Merged Family Living
We specialize in In-Law Additions and Expanded Family Living. Over the past ten years, we have seen a rise in the need of combining families, as well as aging in place. “Today, 14 percent of adults living in someone else’s household is a parent of the household head, up from 7 percent in 1995,” according to the Pew Research Center. Many cultures in society have been combining resources for centuries, but the US is just getting into the game. Baby Boomers are healthy and living longer. In lieu of large homes, they are desirous of travel and freedom, precipitating the need for smaller domiciles. Also, when the need for care presents itself, families are preferring to combine living space with family members for their care. On the other side, these Baby Boomers who are healthy and active can be a great help to growing families and will combine living spaces to help their children with the grandchildren’s care.
The hottest thing in 2000 was 55 and over communities, but in past years, the value of homes has dropped. Since these assets have decreased it has made the move into these communities more challenging especially with the rise of health care expenses and the overall cost of living. Today pressures are being placed on families to consolidate their resources.
Understand your family dynamic. Identify what is your family need. You can go slowly into the water of combining families with the various temporary fixes available.
Michael Owings Shares About In-Law Additions
In the last couple of years, we have started specializing a little more in in-law additions, expanded families moving together. So I really enjoy this opportunity to share. Over the past 10 years, I’d say we have done somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 or 60 related projects – between ramps, in-law additions and similar things.
There are a lot of cultures in societies that have combined their family resources. We are a little late coming to the game. What I think we are seeing now with the baby boomers is that we have a healthy generation. A generation that has access to medicines, doctors, and consequently living longer. In our experience people don’t need to have the 4,000 sq ft house – they live to travel more – combine their resources. And I think the economy has a lot to do with it. We have seen a huge uptick in this type of activity.
When considering merged family living the first thing you have to identify is – what part of the family has the need. In today’s world, we are seeing the younger family have as much of the need as the parents who are aging. So it is no longer a one-sided relationship. It’s not all about the parents needing to move in and the need for children to find the space. Actually, it’s becoming more about young families needing help because they are running around with a lot of kid activities. We are starting to see the need for merged family living to be more down the middle. Not only the parents, but the kids are embracing this opportunity.
I think we all know that retirement plans are not what they used to be. I have no clue where the health care expenses are going, but I think we can agree that it is very expensive. This is a difficult burden on a family. Especially true when you look at folks that are over 65, that don’t have supplemental insurance and only Medicare. It becomes a line item expense for a family. When we consider costs for elderly parents that don’t have the supplemental income we can be looking at numbers like $20k – $30k in prescription medications.
All these combined pressures are now on families. So it makes more sense to consolidate your resources. That’s the value of merged family living, but understand your family dynamics as it is an important aspect when combining two families.