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Living With Family During Retirement

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 5 May 2010 | comments*Discuss
Retirement Family Retirees Adult

Financial difficulties during retirement have led to a significant rise in retirees living with their adult children. Ill health is another reason why 850,000 households now have one or more retired parents living in the same house.

The Rise in Retirees Living with Family

There are a number of reasons why retirees are now making the move back to living with adult children. Financial hardships and failing health are the top reasons for the significant increase. Estimated figures reveal that around 4% of households in the UK with adults aged between 35 and 64 now have parents under the same roof. With one in five retirees living below the poverty line and struggling on their retirement income it can be a case of necessity rather than choice. The term 3G family, meaning three generations living in the same house, has been used to describe this living situation.

Retirees Living With Family and Independence

Retirees who make the decision to move in with adult children can often feel as if they have lost some of their independence. There are options available such as using money from the sale of the retired parent’s home to extend the adult children’s property. This can mean adding extra rooms to a property or adding en-suite facilities to existing bedrooms. Another good option is to make the decision to sell both properties and move to a larger house. Both of these options, if viable, will give more freedom and will mean that retirees are contributing financially.

The Benefits of Becoming a 3G Family

The recent financial recession has seen a rise in both adult children moving back with retired parents and vice versa. For both parties this situation may not always be ideal but can actually be mutually advantageous. Living with family means that financial burdens can be lightened if everyone contributes financially. For retirees this is often a chance to reconnect with their children and grandchildren. Many adults with children will appreciate having the extra financial and emotional support and this can end up a beneficial experience for all concerned.

Living with Family and Using a Trial Period

The decision to move in with adult children will not usually be made overnight. The subject will usually be the matter of much discussion before the decision to move is actually made. Some families do opt to take a trial run to see if the situation is workable. This can mean that retirees move in with family for a set period; usually four to eight weeks. Using a trial period will mean that the retiree’s property can be kept in case the situation does not work out.

Taking the Time to Re-adjust to Living with Family

No matter how close retired parents are with their children living together will take a period of adjustment. Some ground rules should be set out that both parties can abide by. These rules can include:

  • Mutually respect each others space and lifestyle choices
  • Contributing financially if this is viable
  • Contributing within the household such as sharing cleaning, cooking and childminding duties
  • Make sure that any disagreements are made in private, not in front of children
  • Never let disagreements last, take the time to sit down and air any grievances
  • Value each others differences and always express gratitude when help is offered and given
  • Have some form of back-up plan in case the arrangement does not work out
  • Do not make either party feel as if this new arrangement is a burden or something to be overly grateful about

A Second Chance to Reconnect with Family

Retired parents who move in with children should view this experience in a positive light. This is a chance to reconnect and become closer to children and grandchildren. The fact is that retirees now live much more active lives and have a lot to offer their families. This can be a golden opportunity to fully include all of the family and will be especially beneficial for grandchildren. Retirees living with adult children can be a very positive example for grandchildren on the benefits of families pulling together in times of need.

Retirees living with their adult children can be a very positive arrangement. Each situation will be different but there can be many mutually financial and supportive benefits. Members of the family should not feel pressurised into agreeing to this situation. But if this is a mutually acceptable arrangement then retirees living with adult children can end up a very rewarding experience.

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