Middle-aged adults often take in older parents facing health problems, but the “reverse boomerang” effect helps with both childcare and living expenses.

NEW YORK – Approximately one-quarter of Americans aged 25 to 34 lived with parents or older relatives as of 2021, the fastest-growing segment in multigenerational households, according to data from Pew Research Center.

Most of this group is adult children moving back in with their parents, but a significant number of older adults are moving in with millennials, according to Richard Fry, a senior researcher at Pew. Some parents aren’t waiting for retirement or urgent health care needs to move in with adult children.

Known as the reverse-boomerang effect, changing attitudes about family life often drive the moves, researchers said, along with high housing costs and the challenge of finding affordable child care.

After bottoming out at 12% of Americans in 1980, multigenerational living made a comeback in recent years; in 2021, nearly one in five Americans lived in multigenerational homes, according to Pew.

Housing market challenges also factor in. In 2022, 14% of all homebuyers set up multigenerational homes, up from 11% in 2021, according to the National Association of Realtors®. The pandemic drove increased demand for multigenerational homes, in part because complexes built for older adults had an increased risk of infection and they banned visits during lockdowns.

Source: Wall Street Journal (02/22/23) Adedoyin, Oyin

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