The In-Law Suite—a good Senior Sleuth Guide topic?
Here’s a prediction. In just 10 years, you will know a dozen people who are living with their retired or elderly parents in some sort of a multigenerational house. I just heard an NPR program on Boomerang kids (i.e. college grads that move back in with their parents) that discussed how more and more kids are moving back in with mom and dad. The story also mentioned how the older folks are also moving in with their kids (i.e. mom and dad). In fact, the story cited a statistic that something like 16% of the population is currently living in multigenerational houses. (I assume this statistic is for multigenerational households excluding those houses with minors.) That’s a huge number! And it’s just going to get bigger.
- The 2008 recession seriously depleted retirement savings, and so soon-to-be retirees are considering alternate retirement housing options. One of these options is moving back in with their kids.
- We’re living longer and we didn’t necessarily budget for that extra little blessing. Consequently, we might run out of money before we croak.
- We like each other (usually). I like my parents. I like my kids. And I’m pretty sure they like me. This is a generalization (and I can’t back it up, so take it at face value) but families are communicating better and are creating more friendship-like relationships.
- Multigenerational cohabitation is quite common just about everywhere else in the world. The influx of other cultural attitudes and our exposure to the rest of the world makes this seem less exotic.
So nearly 1/5th of America is living in multigenerational homes and a big chunk of that will be retired folks moving in with their middle-aged kids. That’s a huge number of people sharing a living space. And yet I don’t see any good comprehensive books on the in-law suite. I want a book that talks about the ins and outs of living with another generation. I want a book that discusses easy home renovations for multigenerational homes (e.g. accessibility ramps for the elderly and soundproofing for the recent college grad). I want a book that talks about financial arrangements, tax breaks, house rules, and awkward situations related to bringing home a girl/boyfriend.
Does anyone else want this type of book?
Note that there is already a good book on kids moving back in with their parents (Boomerang Generation by Elina Furman). I recommend it. But I would like to see a book that discusses cohabitation from the opposite side—seniors moving back in with their kids.
I actually came close to writing this book when my parents moved into an in-law suite that we built for them. But it didn’t work out—mostly due to declining health and mobility issues—so I thought I wouldn’t be the best guy to write it. Who wants to read a how-to book from a guy who couldn’t do it?
Did you have a better experience? Want to write a book about it?