June 9th, 2017
By Chris Teague
As many of us pass retirement and really start focusing on living a healthy and active life, there may not be a thought in our minds that we could someday be a landlord. In fact, it is very likely that opening our homes for someone else to move in is very low on the list of priorities. Twenty years ago, it was very common to see young adults in their early twenties moving back in with mom and dad until they were able to establish a career and build financial stability, but today the age range of adult children roommates has shifted drastically upward.
In the past 10 years, the Great Recession, along with changes in the housing market, swings in technology and the job market, and many other factors have made it hard for people who are later in their career to find or keep steady jobs. This group (Generation X) has found their savings and retirement prospects greatly impacted by the changes in the country over the last decade, and in many cases their hard work and planning has been wiped out completely. American adults are living with their parents and grandparents now more than ever before, and while a handful of factors are likely at fault, finance and employment are at the top of the list.
What Can You Do?
While many people age 65 and older may be in a solid position to help their children, many more have been affected by the same instability and financial issues. No one will ever suggest that you don’t help your children. In fact, with planning and open discussion the living arrangement can be a great benefit for everyone involved.
Planning is Key
When you and your adult child or other family member have made arrangements to move in together, you will want to establish a solid plan for finances and other home-related items. It sounds silly, but working out a loose contract to cover who handles household upkeep, splitting food and utility costs, and even splitting the cost of paying the mortgage will go a long way to making your life and your new roommates’ lives more comfortable. Many families shy away from openly discussing finances and other topics that can be awkward to talk about, but having these difficult conversations up front will help prevent a much more painful disagreement down the road.
Sometimes We Still Need Help
Even with thorough planning, sometimes families need help staying organized, keeping up with home maintenance, or preparing healthy meals. It’s also very likely that, as parents age, their adult children are not equipped to help with their health needs. Common things like scheduling a trip to the doctor can be a hassle if parent is unable to drive and the children have jobs and other responsibilities to worry about. Having a trusted partner to help with these everyday tasks is a great way to fill in the gaps and keep the household running smoothly. Members of the Aging Excellence staff are happy to sit down with you to determine your needs and help make a plan that works best for everyone.