Why More Millennials Living at Home Than Ever Before is a Good Thing, Except for the Housing Market

Have you seen the latest stats on Millennials moving back into their parents’ home?  There is a great deal of discussion around this trend because of what it is doing to the housing market.  Many economists agree that in order to continue our rebound from the 2008 recession, young adults need to buy or rent homes.  This puts money back into the economy.  This, however, is not happening.  Millennials are choosing (for many reasons such as high debt levels, increases in the average costs of living and relatively idle salaries) to live with their parents.  Here are one person’s reasons for living at home, seemingly temporarily, per a recent Forbes article:

“I lived at my parents, paid down the loan on my car, and saved for our wedding so we could pay for the bulk of it with cash. Being able to live with them during that time was huge for us and really helped us start off our real ‘adult’ lives on solid financial footing,” says Johnson, who believes that the key to living at home harmoniously is to have financial goals.”

Others desire more of a multi-generational approach to living.  Some Millennials are choosing to move in with their parents or grandparents and not just for financial reasons.  This way of living has many advantages.  It also has many risks, as you might imagine.  Here are 4 healthy benefits of multi-generational living:

  1. Parents are people too.  I think it is very healthy for parents, after having raised kids into their adulthood, to become more than parents but to also become friends.  Yes, it is true that you never stop being a parent as long as you have kids.  However, I believe it is also true that the parent-child relationship changes as both parties continue to mature.  Parents can be friends, too.
  2. Parents will need healthy care.  There will come a time when parents will need care.  I think it is very important that kids return the care that was given to them, when possible.  Actually, lowering costs of living by living in a multi-generational scenario allows for people to save for the rising costs of caring for the elderly. 
  3. Grandkids provide significance for grandparents.  Often, upon reaching retirement age, many people begin to wonder what their identity is.  For years that have given their lives to work and then they find themselves seeking significance in other areas.  Grandparents in the same home as their grandkids can find significance in providing care and attention.
  4. Experiencing the whole of family, the good and the bad. God gave us the family, communion with others, as a picture of God’s love for us and our love for one another.  The family, all of the family, the good and the bad, is meant for each of us to experience in order that we might faithfully live into community.  When we share the joy, mourn in times of mourning, etc. we do this together with one another.  The bringing together of the family to live in multi-generational homes can be a beautiful picture of the Kingdom of God.  


Do you have families in your church and community that are living in multi-generational settings?  In what ways can you serve these families better?  Perhaps this is the best way to begin thinking about “family ministry” in our churches?