No matter the reasons or circumstances, many seniors are faced with the tough decision when they can no longer live on their own—choosing between housing for seniors or moving in with their adult children. In fact, it’s actually becoming more common for seniors to move in with their children. According to an AARP poll, 4.6 million parents were living with an adult child in 2011.
Furthermore, living with children can help not only with finances, but seniors can get the extra care and social time they want with their children and grandchildren.
Below are important pros and cons to consider when thinking about moving in with your kids.
- Pro: More family time
When you move in with your children, you’ll be in the middle of a bustling household and can interact with your grandkids throughout the day. It may seem hectic at first, but you can work with your children to create scheduled family time as well as find ways to help out with family chores. From making school lunches to reading bedtime stories, babysitting or teaching your grandkids new skills, there are many ways you can get more quality time with your family, while also helping out. When you live with your kids, you’ll be more incorporated in family activities.
- Con: No more privacy
Family time is great, but it comes with a price. You’ll have to sacrifice your privacy when you live with your kids. You’ll also have to abide by the family rules and customs, which may be different than what you’re used to.
However, good communication between both parties can help set boundaries.
- Pro: Personal care
Unlike in housing for seniors, when you live with your children you can get the instant attention and personalized care you need to help maintain your overall health and well-being. Your kids can help manage your medicine, physical therapy and help with your safety. Especially if you’re worried about living on your own or need the extra help getting around the house, moving in with your kids can be a great option.
- Con: Possible conflicts
Living in tight corners with family can add stress and even damage relationships with conflicts and disagreements. Passive aggressive behavior and harboring resentment can also develop when tension within the household is high. The key here is to have clear communication tactics and discussions when issues arise. Instead of acting resentful, bring the issue to the table and discuss how all parties can solve the issue. In the end, it’s important to work towards a loving and peaceful home environment. Both parties need to be willing to contribute and do their part to make the living situation work for everyone in the household.
If the living situation is not working and relationships are strained, don’t be afraid to look at other housing options that are less stressful and less straining on family relationships.
- Pro: Good for finances
Lastly, moving into a household can be more affordable. Living as a family—as opposed to an individual—can be less expensive for seniors by eliminating mortgage/housing payments. Seniors can sell their homes or rent it out, so they can positively influence their overall retirement fund. Even if you’re not living under your kid’s roof rent free, splitting the cost of utility bills and groceries will be less expensive than living on your own.
Keep these pros and cons in mind when debating about moving in with your children.