11 Replies Latest reply on Aug 29, 2013 12:38 PM by troyfamily

    Multigenerational Living

    LynnR
      One year away from retirement and I am seriously considering multigenerational living, specifically combining households with a daughter, son-in-law and their children. I have neither money or health issues right now. What are the problems we might face?  How do we both protect ourselves financially?
        • Re: Multigenerational Living
          JerryD
          While not the same as living with each other 100%, we had my father-in-law stay with us and the kids for a number of winters after his wife passed. I totally enjoyed being able to talk to another generation about things I never knew. I thought that the kids had a great opportunity to know their grandfather. He loved the new baby too. It did add some to the workload for his daughter though but I never heard any complaints.
           
          He passed while staying with us. I hope that this was a comfort for him. I know it was for my wife and I. He got to have us close during the difficult last days.
           
           
            • Re: Multigenerational Living
              JrzeeTomato
              This sounds as if it was a very positive experience for all of you.  I am envious.
                • Re: Multigenerational Living
                  LynnR
                  I guess that is part of what we are doing right now --- trying to talk about things before we make a decision and take action.   I am only in my mid-60s and already share some interests with my daughter and spouse.  The biggest change for me would be a move from a southern state to a northern one and sharing my life with family on a daily basis after living alone with just a dog for the past 13 years.
                    • Re: Multigenerational Living
                      JerryD
                      LynnR, maybe you can try it out by doing the reverse of what my FIL did, visit in the summer when it's nice and go home in the winter. 
                      • Re: Multigenerational Living
                        jkom51
                        Around here there is great demand for homes with in-law apartments. One gets the best of both worlds: family nearby but both households can live the way they prefer.
                         
                        We don't have such a optimal set-up, alas. My MIL loves music I can't stand, and vice versa. She has to have "noise"; e.g., the TV going, all the time. I hate to have constant noise, it really aggravates me (especially those obnoxious commercials, LOL).
                         
                        Worse is that she has dementia, which amplifies her anxiety level. Unfortunately, DH and I live very unstructured lives in retirement. We get up at different hours every day, eat when we want and what we want - sometimes we eat a late breakfast instead of lunch, for example.
                         
                        Such minor chaos is quite hard on her. She has eaten the same Cheerios breakfast for fifty years. She has always liked having a "rut" to live in, where predictability is safe and secure. She would have been better off picking a senior living community where she would make friends and could be active in a protected environment, rather than insisting upon living with us (DH is an only child).
                         
                        My mother lived with us for five years and was less of a problem because she was always very proud of being independent and not hanging around her kids' necks.
                         
                        Personally, we don't have kids although we're close (physically and emotionally) with my niece and her DH. But none of us want to live together! Compound living, or a rental nearby - that would be ideal. But DH and I are really enjoying the freedom of retirement right now, and we don't want to live with other people's schedules.
                         
                        Might be different when we have to give up driving, someday. But we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. We've done a lot of financial planning so that we won't be a burden to anyone else, thankfully.
                  • Re: Multigenerational Living
                    JrzeeTomato
                    Think long and hard about this.  My parents (both 86) moved in with us and it is not a smooth transition.  We have made tons of adjustments to our lifestyle while they are treating us as if it is a hotel and we are their servants.  My suggestion, pitch in, be useful, be UPBEAT and share what is going on and it could be a very enjoyable experience.  Unfortunately we did not discuss expectations prior to the move-in and they just don't want to talk about a thing now.  Good luck to you.
                    • Re: Multigenerational Living
                      Mindy
                      My own experience, multigenerational living might be difficult.

                      I help my daughter to pick up granddaughters from school, cook dinners, and do the laundry.  My daughter and granddaughters want me to move in with them.  I love them dearly, and am willing to help them as much as I can.    However, I am not going to living with them.

                      The reason is simple: live with them I have to live the way they like, not the way I prefer.  There is a big gap between generations.  I like classic music, they don't.  I like to use fine china for dinner, they don't care.  They like fast food, I don't.  I like traditional furniture, they don't.  I can't live the way they like.  I don't want give up my own life style.

                      I do want to help them and spend a lots to time with them.  I cook dinner 4 nights per week, and have nice family dinner with them together.  The other 3 nights they mostly eat out.  I have 3 nights dinner by myself: good and health food plus a glass of red wine, quiet and nice.  Once a while,I have friends come to my house for a candle lights dinner.  I do laundry for them because I can't stand the way they do it.  All the white color turn to grey.  They have a lady to clean the house, and a man to do the garden. 

                      My daughter and granddaughters love me, and respect what I want.  I love them as much as they love me, and want them to have what they want.  So as long as I can take care of myself, I will be living in my own house.
                        
                        • Re: Multigenerational Living
                          JerryD
                          Mindy, you state the differences in parents and offspring very well. Our daughter is very capable and successful, probably due to being like her father as well as in conflict in her youth with him. When she grew up and went to college, her view and opinion of both of her parents changed drastically to one of more respect and appreciation.
                           
                          She is very caring and responsible and often says that she fully expects to have to house and care for old parents and her MIL although at least her parents have no expectations of any need of financial support from her. I bite my tongue when I hear this. Love them all, but I would do things and make life choices in a much different way as I believe my spouse would too.
                           
                          Just the facts of life with male/female longevity and recent medical surprises indicate that the spouse might well be faced with that situation and choice and I relieved of that choice/debate. Whereas, the spouse is not as "forceful" as I, hopefully she can maintain her independence and choices when/if the time comes. If not, she can bite her tongue much better than I can.
                           
                          So as not to project myself as some kind of  ogre, in his last years, we invited my windowed FIL to stay winters with us. This was a very pleasant experience for me and the kids and the spouse although more work for her. But we baby boomers raised a different style of child, I suppose. 
                           
                           
                        • Re: Multigenerational Living
                          My 86 year old mother moved in to an inlaw apartment we have attached to the side of our house and after an adjustment period of 3 months or so, it is smooth sailing.  Mom doesn't drive, so the main sticking point for us was she wanted me to take her on her errands on the weekend, and that was my only time to do gardening or my own stuff.  Hubby stepped up to the plate and now takes her during the week as he is retired. 
                           
                          It is helpful to talk about things ahead of time, such as how much time you should spend together.  My mom spends 6 out of 7 evenings with me and my hubby and I have one evening together by ourselves.  My mom has resisted all efforts to get her involved with the senior center or things like that, and I try to tell her I can't be her only source of entertainment but I don't think she gets it.  
                           
                          It has been a huge relief for me to have her close (she moved 800 miles to be with us) as she moves into the homestretch of life.  I feel very blessed to have this opportunity.
                          • Re: Multigenerational Living
                            smaneck
                            Right now I'm looking for a duplex I can share with my mother when I retire. She lives comfortably in a senior apartment complex but she is 81 now (I'm 57). I figure that situation will work for maybe another 5 or 6 years. 
                            • Re: Multigenerational Living
                              troyfamily
                              I think separate but adjacent spaces would be ideal.  That way, each generation could retreat to their space when they wanted their own music, quiet, their own friends, etc.  My almost 96 year old mother lives in a senior community in independent living.  We rented a house nearly so I could spend more time with her.  The commute from our main living place is too far.  She can stay in independent living because we are nearby much of the time.  It is not ideal but pretty good.  DD is getting married on the other coast, they is and will be difficult to balance both.  Elaine