Americans Are Open to Multi-Generational Living, Says New Study from

Americans may increasingly face the prospect of supporting both their parents and their adult children in coming years, but new research indicates that they are mostly OK with this.

Foster City, California, UNITED STATES

FOSTER CITY, Calif., Dec. 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Though the name "sandwich generation" – the moniker for the group of middle-age Americans who now face supporting both their adult children and aging parents – doesn't necessarily have a pleasant ring to it, new research from personal finance website suggests that most Americans don't fear the prospect of heading a multi-generational household.

Eighty-five percent of the 2,000 U.S. adults who participated in the survey said they would be willing to let an adult child move back home for financial reasons. Seventy-nine percent said they would be willing to let an aging parent live in their home.

"Multi-generational living has been on the rise for 30 years," says Richard Barrington, senior financial analyst for "Though the Great Recession may have accelerated the trend, it has been going on longer than that – particularly with respect to young adults living with their parents. Our poll responses suggest this is happening at least in part because parents overwhelmingly are open to this arrangement."

There are some limits to Americans' benevolence on this issue, however. About half of the parents who said they would take in a 30-year-old son or daughter said they would want the arrangement to last for one year or less. Respondents said their No. 1 worry about adult children who move back home is that those sons or daughters may be failing to fully live their lives. Privacy and financial strain were the No. 2 and 3 reasons respondents would worry about an adult child returning home to live.

While 48 percent of respondents said they would be "happy" to have an elderly parent move in, 31 percent said they would only be "willing" to take a parent in. The remaining 20 percent of respondents said they would either insist on an appropriate care facility for their parent or that they were simply unwilling to make the lifestyle sacrifices necessary to care for a parent.

Of the respondents who expressed willingness to take in an aging parent, 22 percent said that this would only apply to their own parents and that they would not allow one of their in-laws to move in.

Of those who have already let an adult child come back home to live for a period – a group that comprised 32 percent of respondents – 40 percent said they are glad it happened. Another 42 percent said it was inconvenience, but one that was necessary. Seventeen percent said they regret allowing it to happen.

Barrington says that the overall willingness of respondents to open their homes to either adult children or aging parents shows that U.S. families may have stronger-than-expected connections today.

"The disintegration of the family is often cited as one of the ills of modern life," says Barrington. "But both the demographics and our opinion poll show that family bonds are alive and well – and perhaps longer lasting than in the past."

For more details, please see the full feature on


On behalf of, Op4G polled 2,000 U.S. adults for this study, with an even split between men and women, in September 2014.

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