While the trend of multigenerational living began long before the pandemic, the popularity of it has grown significantly during the past couple years as families have been forced to reevaluate how to care for themselves and their loved ones.
We Americans tend to be outliers when it comes to multigenerational living. Here in America we expect our kids to have it all figured it by the time they are 18 when they are “adults” and forced out of the home to make it on their own. Instead of promoting independence, this can essentially start them off on a path of stress and financial debt. They take out college loans and credit cards and start racking up debt before they can even legally drink a beer.
In most other cultures outside of the USA, the extended family model is the norm, and kids leaving the family home before marriage is not something you see. Collectivist cultures are dominant in Asia, the Middle East, India, and Africa, as well as most Hispanic countries. In this model, the entire immediate family as well as the extended family, including grandparents, and even sometimes uncles, aunts, and cousins, are all an intimate part of the familial network. They live together, share costs and responsibilities, and support each other financially, physically, emotionally, etc.
If more families here would adopt this way of living, it would drastically help the housing market and the economy as a whole. Shifting our thinking to normalize our kids staying at home with us until they are 25 will go such a long way for helping set their future on the right path. Look at it this way, you can pay for your kids to stay at home until they are 25, or you can pay later when they are in debt and unable to buy a home and come to you for help with the down payment.
Sometimes going against the trend is the wisest way.