Difficult economy and loneliness forces some retirees to move in with family
Yucaipa, California — Expensive upkeep, coupled with isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, led retiree Jennie Olsen to move in with her daughter, son-in-law and their five children.
Olsen loves being close to her family, and her daughter gets some much-needed help.
"I get to see the grandkids grow up," Olsen said. "I'm with them all the time."
An estimated 60 million Americans live in households with two or more adult generations, according to numbers from the Pew Research Center.
Dr. Rodney Harrell with AARP said home shortages and high prices are forcing families to combine resources.
"Honestly, the economist side of me loves the fact that it's just more efficient, that we've got people that can have a family caregiver nearby," Harrell said.
Lennar, a construction company, has a line of Next Gen homes that come with a separate wing. Those Next Gen homes account for nearly 30% of the company's sales in Phoenix, Arizona, alone.
"To be able to have that privacy and the pride of ownership of their own separate space, connection to rest of house, but at the same time, it's connected to the rest of the home," said Jeremy Parness, regional vice president for Lennar.
Another option is accessory dwelling units, or ADUs, which have become popular in cities like Los Angeles, thanks in part to California laws designed to tackle the state's housing crisis by easing the permitting process. Olsen said an ADU sounds like a great idea, and she is putting a modular home in her daughter's backyard.
She said her family will be close, but "far enough away that I'll have my solitude still."
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