Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

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Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby SnapShots » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:06 pm

Inter-generational living: Does it work in the US? DH and I are planning to downsize to a garden home. We live on an acerage and our grandchildren love to visit and hangout here. They do not want us to sell our house or land. Our daughter has proposed that she move in with us and she wants to convert our garage into an additional living space, making the back part of the house a separate living area for she and her two young children; our grandkids 8 and 6. In essence, share the house, work and expenses. DD has a professional occupation, is reliable, divorced and a good mother and daughter. She's 39. The children's father is involved and sees them often.

DH and I have a second home in the mountains and plan on traveling while we still can. We are very skeptical about this arrangement for many reasons but are tempted. It just doesn't seem like it would be good for our daughter. And, think we should just downsize and move into something cheaper with less maintenance and expense.

My gut says this isn't a good idea. Has anyone had good or bad experience living with their grown children and grandchildren?
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby 555 » Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:58 pm

http://money.cnn.com/2012/04/03/real_es ... /index.htm
cnn wrote:As of 2010, 4.4 million U.S. homes held three generations or more under one roof, a 15% increase from 3.8 million households two years earlier, according to the latest data available from the Census Bureau.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby interplanetjanet » Tue Jun 12, 2012 11:08 pm

I have lived in a house with three generations under one roof for 16 years. It's worked well for us but our paths had never taken ourselves too far from each other. I would think that coming together as adults, more set in our ways, the adjustment could have been more difficult. It helps that we're pretty easy-going.

So, I'd say - yes, it can work. I'm not sure how to predict that it *will* work, for any given people involved. There is surely a lot of give and take!

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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby GregLee » Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:56 am

No, I have no experience living with grown children, but I do have experience being a grown child living with a parent. My mother lived with my wife and me for 15 years, until her death at 89. There were occasional tensions, but it went pretty well, over all. It was a pretty good deal for my mother, toward the end of her life, when the tasks of ordinarily life became increasingly difficult for her. She was a strong and independent person, for almost all her life, but toward the end, my wife and I needed to do many things for her.

So, you might want to look ahead to when you are much older and might be glad for the help that your still vigorous offspring might be to you, if they are willing.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby ks289 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:11 am

Lots of experience growing up in a multigenerational home with grandparents and also as an adult with in-laws in separate living space within our home.

The simple answer is YES is does work, but usually the parties involved must manage the arrangement and relationships to adequately meet everyone's needs. Many times it fails when one or both parties cannot work through problems (personal space, different philosophies about childcare, finances, household responsibilities, etc) to take advantage of the potential upside (developing a true symbiotic relationship while maintaining good personal relationships).

It sounds like your hesitation is a possible warning that this arrangement may not work for you, but certainly the ability to have some separation (separate living space in garage space) within the household can work in your favor.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby reggiesimpson » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:50 am

I think its a wonderful idea. The positives far outweigh the negatives in my opinion. You have another home to escape to on occasion. You get to see your grandchildren and they get to see you. Your purpose in life if you will? And who knows at some point as time moves on you or your wife may move into the converted garage and your daughter and the grandkids may move into the larger home. Cycle of life. Why not work with it?
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby likegarden » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:56 am

Having two grandchildren living in your house makes you the primary care taker of the children during workdays, unless your daughter has them bused to after-school care. My wife and I are around 70 and live in our house with son in his 30s and 9 yr old grandson. There is a lot of work starting with bringing kid to bus, attend school events, do homework with him until son comes from work in the evening. We actually raised our grandson after birth and love him. It keeps us young, but we are also tired often. Financially my son saves a lot of money to live with us, no daycare, no rent to pay.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby coalcracker » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:09 am

I grew up in a household with my maternal grandmother, parents, and 2 brothers (and 1 bathroom!), and generally it was a really great experience. My grandmother was invaluable to my parents when we were young, as she was still fit enough to chase after 3 young boys, look after us when our parents were working, give us rides to our freinds houses, etc. I assume she liked hanging out with us too :D

Having a separate living space would be key so everyone can have some alone time when they need it.

It was both very rewarding and challenging for my parents, especially my mom, when my grandmother became ill and she became primary caregiver. But it allowed my grandmother to stay at home up until the end.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby SnapShots » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:11 am

Lots of positive replies. I'm rather surprised. Wanting to hear more.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby bungalow10 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:36 am

I can't speak to inter-generational living, but my brother has lived with me, my husband, and our two kids for the last six years. He is moving out next month as we are expecting our third baby and our house is only three bedrooms (he was ready to move out anyway).

From my experience, having my adult brother live with us has been a delight. Sure, there were issues, especially since our house is not very large. We are a busy household and having an extra adult around is nice. He has enjoyed spending a lot of time with his niece and nephew (2 yo and 4 yo). My son (4 yo) is taking the pending move-out pretty hard, but my brother is not moving very far away. I still remember when my son was 2-3 and realized that not ever kid had an "uncle Dave" living with them. He felt pretty special knowing his family was different.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby Muchtolearn » Wed Jun 13, 2012 9:59 am

No chance in God's earth for peace of mind. live near. Live next door. Not under same roof. You'll be involved in too many of the tasks and decisions that shouldn't involve you.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby hsv_climber » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:07 am

Problems might start when your daughter will start dating someone and/or her kids will become teenagers.
You should be fine before that.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby ResNullius » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:09 am

Like all types of living arrangements, success depends in large part of whether everyone can live together in harmony. If not, things just slowly degrade into a festering pile.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby Go Blue 99 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:15 am

In my culture, it is fairly common to have multiple generations in one household. In fact, my brother-in-law (who is a millionaire CEO of a small company) plans on moving back in with his parents in a few years. Both he and his wife get along amazingly well with his parents, so I know the arrangement will work out smoothly. They are hoping to build a new house with dual master bedrooms and multiple rooms for the grandkids.

The instances where I do hear this is a bad arrangement is when there is a newlywed couple living with the parents. Sometimes the new daughter-in-law does not mesh well with the parents, and I know a few situations where this has led to divorce.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby SnapShots » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:23 am

Muchtolearn wrote:No chance in God's earth for peace of mind. live near. Live next door. Not under same roof. You'll be involved in too many of the tasks and decisions that shouldn't involve you.


This has been my concern, too. However, DH's comment, "Not if we're gone." We have a condo in the mountains to escape to. DH has always wanted to move there.

We could be gone more if we had someone living in the house. Our house is isolated and it's hard to leave.

The children's father lives 75 minutes out-of-town and are with him every other weekend, half the summer plus holidays.

OMG!! I forgot these sweet young grandkids will turn into teenagers.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby TheGreyingDuke » Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:45 am

We are making some plans to join our son and daughter-in-law in the next few years. I think it all depends on the chemistry, outlook, and lifestyle of the parties involved.

I would never have considered, not for an instant, co-locating with either my parents or in-laws, our ideas about way of life were way too divergent. But for our son and his wife, it seems a good fit. We have already had some extended stays together and it worked out fine.

I am not sure what the OP meant when she questioned whether such an arrangement was good for her daughter. The reality of it is, many offspring are living with parentals out of necessity, this is an international phenomenon, look it up (Italy, Spain, China, US, etc.) The current economic arrangements have made it difficult for youngsters to follow the old "American Dream", they are the first generation to not have it better than their parents.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby zed » Wed Jun 13, 2012 12:15 pm

Have first-hand experience with two different scenarios: a) DW and I sharing a large home with adult daughter, husband and their three children -- ie everyone under the same roof and b) DW and I sharing a large home with my mother -- ie everyone under the same roof.

In short, can't recommend it. Nearby is wonderful but avoid being under the same roof.

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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby mmmodem » Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:16 pm

In my culture as well, it is standard practive to have 2-3 generations living under one roof. There were 4 at one moment when my sister gave birth. In general, it works. It was horrible living with my grandmother. She had a lot of traditional ways and refuses to modernize. Not that I blame her for it but it does clash with my values often. I moved out as soon as I got a job. I moved in with my parents and took over their mortgage last year when they were about to lose the home. It hasn't been a perfect experience but the finances made perfect sense. My mom stays home and watches my daughter. We save tons on childcard costs. Mom and dad have a nice familiar place to live rent free. There has been some friction between my dad and me. It's not like it's set in stone. When DW says enough is enough to have our own place. Then they move out or we find another place. No big deal. In the meantime we grow our nest egg.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby Miskatonic » Wed Jun 13, 2012 2:35 pm

Bogleheads are forever citing how far back reliable data exists to track a fund or theory. 1929 seems to be the start date of consensus.

For data on the success of multi-generational living as a unit, that data goes back to cave drawings in France. Multi-generational family units *is* the way the world lived up until about 50 years ago.

It tickles me that we consider it so exotic today. Of course there will be challenges and tensions, people living under one roof will always have this. There is much good to be had as well.

It's historically typical to live in this manner.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby SnapShots » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:34 pm

These are great comments and insights. Thanks. Keep talking.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby hazlitt777 » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:39 pm

Of course it does. But it takes understanding, forgiveness and flexibility. Those are things we need to learn again. We have been living above our means for decades as Americans. We are going to have to learn to live within our means once again soon. And this will include cutting housing costs via "intergenerational living."
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby SnapShots » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:59 pm

hazlitt777 wrote:Of course it does. But it takes understanding, forgiveness and flexibility. Those are things we need to learn again. We have been living above our means for decades as Americans. We are going to have to learn to live within our means once again soon. And this will include cutting housing costs via "intergenerational living."


The "living within our means thing" keeps changing. Some time ago, Congress changed the rules on pensions, let companies raid pension funds and underfund them; now few people have pensions and those that do may never get them. 20 years ago a SWR was 8%. A few years ago it was 4%. Now it's 2%. 2% of 1M = $20K a year; if one's so fortunate to have a million. It's not just young people who are struggling. It's also seniors who planned but the world changed in the mean time.

There are many good things about the idea of Intergenerational living. Families helping each other. And, many on this thread have positive comments about it. But, if we do this, I will miss my peaceful, early morning coffee. :wink:
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby bottlecap » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:08 pm

SnapShots wrote:Lots of positive replies. I'm rather surprised. Wanting to hear more.


I apologize if someone else has said this already, but the fact that you're skeptical is enough of a reason for me to steer clear. The question is whether this is how you envision living the remainder of your life, or whether you'd rather change plans to accommodate your daughter while at the same time hoping that it will be good for you.

I imagine that there are some people that would jump at the chance to live with their grandchildren and others that would enjoy the freedom of downsizing and frequent (or infrequent!) visits. Only you can answer the question and it, to me is very much a "gut" question. If your gut is telling you it's not how you want to live, that's a big sign.

Good luck,

JT

P.S. Like you, I also wonder whether it would be good for your daughter. Is she recently divorced? When you're going through a hard time emotionally, living with the folks can sound good, but I would imagine that might also impede moving on.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby Easy Rhino » Wed Jun 13, 2012 6:18 pm

My in-laws are from the Philippines, and it's pretty darn common there.

Ironically, when the subject has come up with my wife and I, I think we're each kinda open to the idea of living with our parents, but not necessarily with our respective in-laws. :?
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby imagardener » Wed Jun 13, 2012 7:57 pm

I think it would be difficult unless you are culturally attuned to it. Unlike generations gone by Americans in retirement are healthy, very active and independent-minded. How many parents can't wait 'til the kids move out to get more room and how many groan when they move back in due to lack of employment or underemployment.

Multi-generational living requires an adjustment in attitude that could be painful. I could not do it but then I couldn't wait to leave home the first time. I don't even like houseguests for more than a couple of nights.

It sounds like a good deal for your daughter however and maybe even a semi-good deal for you to have someone there to watch your property. I know some women, who are spouseless for multiple reasons, who would love their family living with them or vice versa.

It's all about space and territory. If your house is big enough to give everyone privacy and "one's own room" it could work. How do you feel about another cook in your kitchen? Have you and your husband ever spent 2 weeks with them in the same rental? Try that before making this very important decision. If it rains a lot you'll get a good idea how well you get along. :-)
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby SnapShots » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:09 am

bottlecap wrote:
SnapShots wrote:Lots of positive replies. I'm rather surprised. Wanting to hear more.


I apologize if someone else has said this already, but the fact that you're skeptical is enough of a reason for me to steer clear. The question is whether this is how you envision living the remainder of your life, or whether you'd rather change plans to accommodate your daughter while at the same time hoping that it will be good for you.

I imagine that there are some people that would jump at the chance to live with their grandchildren and others that would enjoy the freedom of downsizing and frequent (or infrequent!) visits. Only you can answer the question and it, to me is very much a "gut" question. If your gut is telling you it's not how you want to live, that's a big sign.

Good luck,

JT

P.S. Like you I also wonder whether it would be good for your daughter. Is she recently divorced? When you're going through a hard time emotionally, living with the folks can sound good, but I would imagine that might also impede moving on.


Our daughter has been happily divorced 5 years. She's busy working and taking care of her boys, now 8 & 6 years. She had a relationship right after the divorce but broke it off and has not been interested in dating. Saying she's too busy and doesn't want to inject a man in her kids lives. A relationship would complicate their lives and hers. DD has a good occupation and can take care of herself and the children's father pays child support and is involved.

DD has always been a homebody and I've had to push her out of the nest. She went to college, graduate school and worked out of state from age 17 to 32 years, when she moved back to her hometown. When she moved back I made it clear, while we wanted to be part of the grandchildren's life and help, we would not become the caretakers or babysitters. She has not asked us to do any of that. The grandkids go to afterschool programs. She typically picks them up after work. Sometimes we do it and take them to soccer practice. In a pinch, we step in and help.

DD wants the grandkids - boys - to be involved with my husband. She wants him to show them how to do man-things. Of course, being under the same roof and having a couple extra hands would be helpful.

We are traveling and are out-of-town three months in the summer. She has never asked us to stay around to keep the kids and always has always provided childcare.

We don't live in the back of the house where there are two extra bedrooms and a full bath. The garage entrance is next to this area. If were remodeled and turned into a Kids-Cave, there would be some separation.

However, I like my peaceful life. I am concerned about the disruption. On the other hand, it seems like this might benefit all of us. I'd rather have two houses next door to each other but it is what it is; that would cause a whole lot more disruption to make that happen.

Thanks! for you thoughts.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby Jay69 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:30 am

A question, how much land to you have? Would it be possible to build a little lets say 800-900 sq. ft. home on the back 40?

We have a few acres ourselves and 2 teens, I could see after my kids learn to live out on thier own that moving back on the same plot may be an option. We have many farms around us who have 2-3 homes on the same land. Matter of fact my DW family farm has had 2 homes for the last 100+ years, works for them.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby Mudpuppy » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:06 pm

I haven't read the replies, so apologies if someone else already suggested this: Why not build your garden home on the acreage you have? Set it a comfortable distance away from the main house and put all the amenities you're looking for into it (full kitchen and bath of course). Your daughter could use the main house for her and the children. You and your husband would have the garden house so you could have private time when needed. When you want family togetherness, you could walk up to the main house or gather in a common patio/yard area.

There's a whole movement towards this idea called "Accessory Dwelling Units". Google it for some good ideas.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby SnapShots » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:29 pm

Mudpuppy wrote:I haven't read the replies, so apologies if someone else already suggested this: Why not build your garden home on the acreage you have? Set it a comfortable distance away from the main house and put all the amenities you're looking for into it (full kitchen and bath of course). Your daughter could use the main house for her and the children. You and your husband would have the garden house so you could have private time when needed. When you want family togetherness, you could walk up to the main house or gather in a common patio/yard area.

There's a whole movement towards this idea called "Accessory Dwelling Units". Google it for some good ideas.


We have 11 acres. The main house is too expensive for our daughter to buy or maintain by herself. We've considered selling the main house and building two smaller, less expensive homes on another part of the land and limit the yard. But, for us we might as well sell and move into the garden home we already own. She could buy a garden home in the area near us.

The main house was built for a couple and not with small children or a family in mind. We built it as empty-nesters. I hesitate to say it's not big since that likely depends on the part of the country you live. It is roomy for two at 2,900 sq ft but not set up for a family.

Thanks, I'll check out Accessory Dwelling Units.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby SnapShots » Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:40 pm

Jay69 wrote:A question, how much land to you have? Would it be possible to build a little lets say 800-900 sq. ft. home on the back 40?

We have a few acres ourselves and 2 teens, I could see after my kids learn to live out on thier own that moving back on the same plot may be an option. We have many farms around us who have 2-3 homes on the same land. Matter of fact my DW family farm has had 2 homes for the last 100+ years, works for them.



Definitely possible. But, the reason we wanted to sell was to get the money out of the main house, reduce expenses and work. Then move into a garden home we already own; inherited property from my mother.

My daughter and grandchildren love the land and house and don't want us to leave. We are struggling with the decision, ourselves, because we're not quit ready to downsize. But, realize we will be growing older. Know this is as good as it gets - and thought maybe we should do it while we have the energy to move.

Daughter has now proposed that she pay for the garage to be converted into a Kids-Cave apartment and that she and the boys would live in the back of the house. In addition, to the Kids-Cave apartment there are also two bedrooms plus a full bath. Daughter would have the two bedrooms. One for sleeping the other as her office and TV room. Then we would share home expenses and the yard work on the main house.

This would provide some separation for all of us but most importantly, it would provide 600 sq ft for the grandkids. A place for them to have their own TV room, video games, bedroom, shower. So, this might work. Plus, we are traveling a lot right now and are gone 4-5 months out of the year. It would make it much easier for us to leave.

But! moving to the garden home would probably still be cheaper but not something we're very excited about doing. I'm just worried about trying to live with grandkids and our daughter on a daily basis. But, we are gone a lot. And the boys are gone a lot when they visit their dad. I'm talking in circles and trying to talk myself into this.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby 555 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:34 pm

What is a "garden home"?
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby 555 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 2:37 pm

What is a "Kids-Cave apartment"?
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby SnapShots » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:03 pm

555 wrote:What is a "garden home"?


A garden home is built on a zero lot line. Meaning the house sits on the lot line. Typically, in my local, there is usually 20-25 feet between homes. Garden Homes are normally small (1,200-1,800) but can be any size; even very large. They have small yards and normally there is an HOA which takes care of all the outside yard work. Where do you live? I'm in a southern state.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby SnapShots » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:05 pm

555 wrote:What is a "Kids-Cave apartment"?


Have you heard of a Man-Cave? It's a room for the man of the house. It can be anything. A terrific workshop. To a movie theatre room with great sound, lighting and a bar. A Kids-Cave with be a cool hangout room for whatever age.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby reggiesimpson » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:05 pm

SnapShots wrote:
Jay69 wrote:A question, how much land to you have? Would it be possible to build a little lets say 800-900 sq. ft. home on the back 40?

We have a few acres ourselves and 2 teens, I could see after my kids learn to live out on thier own that moving back on the same plot may be an option. We have many farms around us who have 2-3 homes on the same land. Matter of fact my DW family farm has had 2 homes for the last 100+ years, works for them.



Definitely possible. But, the reason we wanted to sell was to get the money out of the main house, reduce expenses and work. Then move into a garden home we already own; inherited property from my mother.

My daughter and grandchildren love the land and house and don't want us to leave. We are struggling with the decision, ourselves, because we're not quit ready to downsize. But, realize we will be growing older. Know this is as good as it gets - and thought maybe we should do it while we have the energy to move.

Daughter has now proposed that she pay for the garage to be converted into a Kids-Cave apartment and that she and the boys would live in the back of the house. In addition, to the Kids-Cave apartment there are also two bedrooms plus a full bath. Daughter would have the two bedrooms. One for sleeping the other as her office and TV room. Then we would share home expenses and the yard work on the main house.

This would provide some separation for all of us but most importantly, it would provide 600 sq ft for the grandkids. A place for them to have their own TV room, video games, bedroom, shower. So, this might work. Plus, we are traveling a lot right now and are gone 4-5 months out of the year. It would make it much easier for us to leave.

But! moving to the garden home would probably still be cheaper but not something we're very excited about doing. I'm just worried about trying to live with grandkids and our daughter on a daily basis. But, we are gone a lot. And the boys are gone a lot when they visit their dad. I'm talking in circles and trying to talk myself into this.

Now that you have discussed this further i am reading that you would like it to work out with your daughter and grandchildren. For further thought have you considered how important you will be as the boys get into their teen years? I am not diminishing the relationship with their Dad but boys need a male presence and if Dads not available then Grandad is an ideal substitute. Just my two cents.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby hazlitt777 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:10 pm

SnapShots wrote:
hazlitt777 wrote:Of course it does. But it takes understanding, forgiveness and flexibility. Those are things we need to learn again. We have been living above our means for decades as Americans. We are going to have to learn to live within our means once again soon. And this will include cutting housing costs via "intergenerational living."


The "living within our means thing" keeps changing. Some time ago, Congress changed the rules on pensions, let companies raid pension funds and underfund them; now few people have pensions and those that do may never get them. 20 years ago a SWR was 8%. A few years ago it was 4%. Now it's 2%. 2% of 1M = $20K a year; if one's so fortunate to have a million. It's not just young people who are struggling. It's also seniors who planned but the world changed in the mean time.

There are many good things about the idea of Intergenerational living. Families helping each other. And, many on this thread have positive comments about it. But, if we do this, I will miss my peaceful, early morning coffee. :wink:


But think of all the great early morning conversations you would have over coffee :D
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby SnapShots » Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:45 pm

hazlitt777 wrote:
SnapShots wrote:
hazlitt777 wrote:Of course it does. But it takes understanding, forgiveness and flexibility. Those are things we need to learn again. We have been living above our means for decades as Americans. We are going to have to learn to live within our means once again soon. And this will include cutting housing costs via "intergenerational living."


The "living within our means thing" keeps changing. Some time ago, Congress changed the rules on pensions, let companies raid pension funds and underfund them; now few people have pensions and those that do may never get them. 20 years ago a SWR was 8%. A few years ago it was 4%. Now it's 2%. 2% of 1M = $20K a year; if one's so fortunate to have a million. It's not just young people who are struggling. It's also seniors who planned but the world changed in the mean time.

There are many good things about the idea of Intergenerational living. Families helping each other. And, many on this thread have positive comments about it. But, if we do this, I will miss my peaceful, early morning coffee. :wink:


But think of all the great early morning conversations you would have over coffee :D[
/quote]

Ah Ha! This is true. :eek:
the best decision many times is the hardest to do
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby AndroAsc » Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:32 pm

You got to be kidding... be prepared for inter-generational conflict and a worse case scenario a nuclear fallout in your family relationship.

Amongst more progressive/developed Asian countries, where the people are not all that traditional in terms of culture and embrace some "Western" ideals, and where such inter-generational living is common, in-laws and grandparents are cited as one of the most frequent reasons for divorce.

To be honest, inter-generational living is just ASKING for a divorce within your family.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby SnapShots » Fri Jun 15, 2012 8:06 am

AndroAsc wrote:You got to be kidding... be prepared for inter-generational conflict and a worse case scenario a nuclear fallout in your family relationship.

Amongst more progressive/developed Asian countries, where the people are not all that traditional in terms of culture and embrace some "Western" ideals, and where such inter-generational living is common, in-laws and grandparents are cited as one of the most frequent reasons for divorce.

To be honest, inter-generational living is just ASKING for a divorce within your family.


This arrangement would be with our daughter and grandchildren. I would not consider it if she were married. If she were to get married she would move to her own house. Financially, it would help her. I have concerns as your posts suggest that this arrangement could hurt our very good relationship.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby Jay69 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:46 am

SnapShots wrote:
555 wrote:What is a "garden home"?


A garden home is built on a zero lot line. Meaning the house sits on the lot line. Typically, in my local, there is usually 20-25 feet between homes. Garden Homes are normally small (1,200-1,800) but can be any size; even very large. They have small yards and normally there is an HOA which takes care of all the outside yard work. Where do you live? I'm in a southern state.



In our neck of the woods in Minnesota we call these Detached Townhomes. We have a few of these around us, I like the concept myself. I could see moving to one of these, very nice.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby HomerJ » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:51 am

hsv_climber wrote:Problems might start when your daughter will start dating someone and/or her kids will become teenagers.
You should be fine before that.


This. Once she or the grandkids start dating, it gets pretty weird.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby HomerJ » Fri Jun 15, 2012 10:56 am

My dad's mother lived with us for years when I was growing up...

My mom and dad didn't particularly enjoy it (she was a crusty old woman who complained a lot), but I liked having her around. She was always available to play any board game or card game I wanted. She even taught me to play bridge.

My other grandparents lived a thousand miles away.... I don't remember them well, but I sure do have strong memories of the grandmother that lived with me. Is that a motivation to spend a lot of time with them? Maybe. Kind of nice I think to know someone still remembers you fondly even 50 years after you're dead.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby imagardener » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:19 pm

rrosenkoetter wrote:My dad's mother lived with us for years when I was growing up...

My mom and dad didn't particularly enjoy it (she was a crusty old woman who complained a lot), but I liked having her around. She was always available to play any board game or card game I wanted. She even taught me to play bridge.

My other grandparents lived a thousand miles away.... I don't remember them well, but I sure do have strong memories of the grandmother that lived with me. Is that a motivation to spend a lot of time with them? Maybe. Kind of nice I think to know someone still remembers you fondly even 50 years after you're dead.


I had the opposite experience. The grandmother that lived with us was nuts, hit us and pulled our hair, not really her fault she had Alzheimer's but tough on a kid. The grandparents that lived 1,200 miles away were wonderful, sent birthday money when we had no other means to get money since our parents didn't have enough to give us an allowance and they were as close as the telephone. We always knew they loved us.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby sscritic » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:33 pm

I think the ideal is a family compound. My mother grew up in the house across the street from her grandparents, and one aunt and uncle and set of cousins lived next door. The other aunt, uncle and cousins lived two blocks away. My first wife's family all lived in separate houses close together once they could afford it. My SIL wants me to do the same, buy three houses next door to each other for me, my daughter's family, and my son's family. I am all in once I win the lottery. There is nothing better than having your grandchildren next door and the servants to take care of them.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby HomerJ » Fri Jun 15, 2012 3:53 pm

There is a great scene from "Everybody loves Raymond" (may have even been the pilot) where Raymond has a map of the city, and is talking to his wife about where his parents should live...

He draws two circles around his house, one small, and one rather large...

"See, if they live in this inner circle (really close to us), they'll be over every day!"

"But if they live outside the outer circle (really far away), they'll have to spend the night when they visit"

"The ideal place for my parents is between the two circles... about 45 minutes away... Far enough that they don't visit all the time, but when they DO visit, they're close enough to drive home that night"

:mrgreen:
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby 3CT_Paddler » Fri Jun 15, 2012 4:43 pm

rrosenkoetter wrote:"The ideal place for my parents is between the two circles... about 45 minutes away... Far enough that they don't visit all the time, but when they DO visit, they're close enough to drive home that night"

:mrgreen:


Keep your friends close, your enemies closer and your parents 45 minutes away! :D
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby VictoriaF » Fri Jun 15, 2012 5:16 pm

Take a trip with your daughter and grandsons for two weeks (or more). Do not use any organized groups, do your own arrangements, don't stay in one place for more than three days. Don't make it too easy, create opportunities for testing your relationship. See how you are handling various situations including food, money, arrangements, children not getting what they want, etc.

After the trip you will have a better idea of how you are getting along and how much fun the boys are (or are not). If you decide to invite your daughter to live with you, set the ground rules (in writing) and the conditions under which she would move out. The trip will provide you with the hints on what should go into these agreements. Unlike a prenuptial agreement, putting this in writing should not cause bad feeling.

Good luck,

Victoria
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby fareastwarriors » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:03 pm

I live with my parents and my older brother is there as well. We can both move out if we wanted to but have no plans to do so. Maybe it is how we grew up, we don't mind it all. At one point, we had 4 generation of family members living under one roof. We had one bathroom and a bunch of noisy kids... It was definitely chaotic at times and but it was worth it, in my opinion.

Now there are just 6 of us, parents, my brother and I, and two cousins around my age, but sometimes it still feels kind of quiet, too quiet...

It is not everyone that is for sure...
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby jeremyi » Fri Jun 15, 2012 6:32 pm

I'm enjoying reading this thread and thought I should share my story.

My wife and I have been married for 3 years. We have a 2 year old and a 4-month old now. I recently completed an MBA, so now have a better paying job (but still not raking in the dough). My wife is a SAHM and we try to live a pretty simple life.

My MIL is widowed and in her 50s. My SIL is in her late 20s with some special needs and my BIL is going to be a Senior in High School next year.
Previously, they lived in New Jersey (we are in Minnesota now... my wife grew up in Florida until they moved to NJ before she started High School after her father passed away - definite culture shock). Around the time my daughter was born, we began to speak with my MIL about moving out to Minnesota and the idea of a multi-generational home was discussed. She didn't want to miss the moments with her grandbaby - and her relationship with my wife had improved significantly about my wife left home right after HS (imagine that).
I'm curious how close you are to your daughter and grandkids currently? Sounds like pretty close.

We looked for a duplex and settled on a split-level home. Without MIL support (significant downpayment - we cover the remaining mortgage) - we would not have been in a financial place to have the home we now share. Separate living spaces were important to us and we had all had some previous experience with community living coming into the situation. We also share some strong religious beliefs and general life values (although we have our differences, which we can now generally handle good-naturedly). My family lives in the lower level and have a door to our unit. We remodeled a family room to make it a living room and kitchen and have our own bathroom. We have 2 BRs and they have 3 upstairs... with a beautiful yard.
Sharing laundry space (its in our unit) can be a minor challenge, as my SIL handles their laundry and can have a tendency to lurk. She also greets us (and my 2-year old) everytime we come home, which can make it a challenge to get my daughter to go downstairs with us. She loves going to nana's house and we joke that my wife and I live downstairs, they live upstairs... but my daughter lives in the WHOLE house (she can be up the stairs in a flash if we leave the door open which gets annoying at times).

While there were some inital challenges with expectations and understanding that caused one blow-out (on Father's day two years ago), the blessings have generally outweighted the challenges. It has been 2 years now and we committed to somewhere between 3 and 5. I believe my wife and I will be ready for our own space soon (and MIL will likely look at townhome arrangements) both financially and overall. But we are getting some of the positive freedoms of owning, without all of the responsibilities... and the home we live in is valued about 2.5 times what we will afford on our own.
We have the perspective that this situation is helping us all to grow as people. My wife enjoys being able to swing upstairs for a few minutes during the day and it has also been great when nana offers to take the kids so we can run out to the store or go out on a date, etc. (having a newborn has changed that a bit). We try to err on the side of caution and not take advantage of her, but sometimes I think the line can get blurred. It is also a challenge sometimes as hours of life can get sucked away spending time with family upstairs, when we should maybe be focused more on our own little family dynamic (or taking care of various chores, etc.)

There is no way I would consider it without self-contained living spaces (bathroom, kitchen, and living space) -- but I'm the in-law in the situation, which you won't have to deal with. But I also don't think we would have handled the last few years with some particular family emergencies/challenges and my MBA pursuit (completed in February, 2 days before my son was born) nearly as gracefully without the family support that we have had.

I can't speak for him, but for myself it has been good to have another man around (my BIL). As in your situation, not having a steady father figure there on a daily basis can be a challenge for young boys. I know that I can't and don't try to play that role for my BIL, but my wife and I have enjoyed many good conversations with him (providing some guidance as well as just laughing and having a good time) as he has grown up in recent years and it has also been particularly great to see him mature.

I wish you the best of luck in whatever you decide! With the right perspective and attitude, it can work... and much good can come from multi-family living situations. It is neat to be a part of something that is quickly becoming a dying trend in America - even if just for a short season of our lives.
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Re: Inter-generational Living: Does it work?

Postby stan1 » Fri Jun 15, 2012 7:10 pm

This could be the best decision you've ever made, or the worst decision you've ever made.

I think it really comes down to what role you and your husband want to play in your grandchildren's upbringing. They are old enough that you won't be doing much day care/babysitting; rather its raising two boys through puberty with the joys and tribulations that go along. If you or your husband regret not spending more time with your kids growing up it could be a wonderful opportunity to get a "redo" and approach the situation with everything you've learned about life and family since you were 30 years younger. You'd need to be very clear with your daughter over how rules and if necessary discipline will be handled. You can't say your daughter will handle it if its impacting your household as well; likewise she can't hand it over to you.

I think you can still have some peace to drink your coffee (they'll be at school) -- but may need to adapt to their schedule.
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