|By Tim Grant, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette|
His two grown daughters help buy groceries and cook meals. His two granddaughters — ages 15 and 13 — and a 27-year-old grandson are responsible for household chores such as dishes and taking out the trash. With all those relatives around, their mom has never had to worry about babysitters or someone to drive them to school or skating practice.
Three generations, plus a Husky-Lab mix named Stitch, live together in
"I wouldn't know what to do without them if they weren't here,"
Multigenerational living has become the new normal for many families.
According to the
In such situations, family members are able to share living expenses.
It can be a trade off, according to a new study by
But it can also bring families closer.
More than a third of multigenerational and boomerang family types — 41 percent and 34 percent respectively — said they often felt financially-burdened by the number of family members living in their households. Boomerang families are defined as those whose children leave the house, but come back between ages 21 to 35 to live in their old room as adults, often with children of their own. Multigenerational families have three or more generations living in the same household.
While both types of families acknowledge the potential financial issues created by their living arrangements — most notably having less money available for retirement savings — they still felt having an extra adult family member at home was a positive aspect of their day-to-day life.
"Boomerang families and multigenerational families may not have a lot of options but to invite that family member back into the home," said
"In boomerang families, a lot of them already had one or two people retired,"
Multigenerational families were a common way of life during the Great Depression. The lifestyle was a key feature in a 1970s television series following the lives of the Walton family, which had three generations living together in the
After World War II — once people began to rebound economically with the help of
"It just really underscores the fact that families are closer than ever,"
His oldest daughter,
The six of them share the six-bedroom house with 2.5 baths.
All of the household bills have gone up, including the gas bill and electric bill — partly because of so many people using utilities and partly because the cost of everything has gone up. Property taxes for the home
"I probably wouldn't keep the house if I didn't have my family here," he said. "I would venture to say without my family the past eight years I'd probably be with my wife."
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