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When It Comes To Relatives, More May Not Be Merrier But Are Welcome

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A somewhat surprising survey conducted late last year by the website MoneyRates.com found that a majority of Americans would be willing, if not exactly thrilled, to share their home with either adult children or older parents.

“Additionally, most of those who have let an adult child move back home say they are glad they did so,” according to an article on the study by Richard Barrington, a senior financial analyst. “Americans’ apparent willingness to share their homes with other generations makes sense given recent trends in multigenerational living. The number of Americans in multigenerational households doubled between 1980 and 2012, reaching an all-time high of 57 million people, according to the Pew Research Center.

“Still, respondents to the MoneyRates.com study indicate that there are some limits to their willingness to accept these arrangements.”

Some of the findings of the survey included:

  • A third of parents say their kids will never be too old to live at home.
  • The vast majority would let a 30-year-old move in due to hardship.
  • The maternal instinct runs especially strong. If you’re an adult child who needs to ask about moving back home, your chances are pretty good with either parent. But for the best results, you may want to start with your mother.
  • Only about half are OK with an indefinite stay.
  • Most say a son-in-law or daughter-in-law is welcome, too. Parents don’t just welcome their own kids with open arms. Of those who would let a 30-year-old child move home, 72 percent say it would be OK if that child brought a spouse or other partner along as well.
  • Nearly a third of parents have already taken in adult offspring.
  • Few regret the experience of having an adult child at home. Of those who tried it, just 17 percent say they regret it.
  • Elderly parents evoke more stress than adult children. Forty-six percent say taking in either an adult child or an elderly parent would be equally stressful, but 39 percent say having a parent move in would be more stressful, compared with just 15 percent who say an adult child would be more stressful.

“In part, the lingering impact of the Great Recession continues to affect people’s living arrangements in the U.S.,” the article concludes. “Still, it seems that most American families are up to the challenge of dealing with these hardships.”

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