Diverse Models of Multigenerational Living


Gary Klaben

Wealth Advisor, Principal

Over the past two decades, there has been a significant surge in multigenerational households. According to a 2021 report by Generations United titled "Family Matters: Multigenerational Living is on the Rise and Here to Stay," Americans living with three or more generations have increased by 271% from 2011 to 2021. Generations United estimates that 66.7 million adults over the age of 18 are living multi generationally.

Recently, I conducted a survey of 20 families who are either currently living in or planning to embrace multigenerational living. The only common thread among them is their geographical proximity, ranging from a few feet to a few hundred feet. However, their approaches to this lifestyle are uniquely varied.

Among these families, two are engaged in regenerative agriculture. This farming and grazing method emphasizes the restoration of soil health and biodiversity. One family returned to the farm in their early twenties, some 40 years ago, to join their parents. Over the following decade, two additional siblings built homes on the 300-plus-acre farm. While some families work together on the farm, others pursue careers outside of agriculture. Nevertheless, they come together for Sunday gatherings and various family events throughout the year.

However, challenges arise as work issues spill over into home life, and concerns about property management emerge. The looming question of how to equitably divide the property upon the parents' passing poses a potential threat to family unity.

Another multigenerational farming family embarked on a similar journey. After raising their children, who later moved away to pursue careers, two grandchildren have shown interest in continuing the family business. Despite this, the second generation acknowledges that the farm's purpose must endure, even if not carried out by a family member. Only time will reveal whether the farm remains in the family and whether they continue to live together.

Contrary to the spaciousness of rural living, some families opt for city living to support aging relatives. When grandma faced health issues, one family purchased adjacent condos in the same building to provide close support. For several years, four generations lived in proximity until grandma's passing. While the arrangement facilitated daily visits and caregiving, it also posed challenges to personal boundaries. To address this, they identified a central gathering space within one condo. Recently, they purchased property with acreage to renovate existing homes and accommodate all generations.

Yet another family chose a different path by purchasing adjacent land for a parent and sibling while maintaining a central "big home" for gatherings. Although they have support from nearby family members, property lines create barriers to easy visits. Nonetheless, they've established an event building for larger gatherings and activities.

Several families are in the process of purchasing their properties, each facing unique challenges such as location, cost, and access to amenities. Despite these hurdles, the desire for connectedness and a shared purpose remains paramount.

If you're considering multigenerational living, reach out to us for guidance. And yes, in case you're wondering, I too live multigenerationally with five families spanning four generations. We're still ironing out the details, but the journey is worth it.

Gary Klaben

Wealth Advisor, Principal

All information is from sources deemed reliable, but no warranty is made to its accuracy or completeness. This material is being provided for informational or educational purposes only, and does not take into account the investment objectives or financial situation of any client or prospective client. The information is not intended as investment advice, and is not a recommendation to buy, sell, or invest in any particular investment or market segment. Those seeking information regarding their particular investment needs should contact a financial professional. Coyle, our employees, or our clients, may or may not be invested in any individual securities or market segments discussed in this material. The opinions expressed were current as of the date of posting but are subject to change without notice due to market, political, or economic conditions. All investments involve risk, including loss of principal. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

Copyright © 2023 Coyle Financial Counsel. All rights reserved.

You may also be interested in

view all insights

Let's Begin

Start the conversation today by reaching out to our team.