Solo living is becoming more difficult for younger generations, especially for millennials who are struggling to afford rising home prices. Shared living, such as cohabitating with roommates or parents, is a way to cut down on costs and living expenses—a route many young professionals are choosing to take. But millennials are not the only ones seeking the benefits of cohabitation. Older, retired people are also opening their doors to roommates as a way to off-set monthly living expenses, or in some cases, for companionship or assistance with daily household chores.
According to a recent Zillow analysis, 30 percent of adults across the country are either living with their parents or a roommate—this number has grown by 8 percentage points since 2000.
As rents and home prices have outpaced incomes, living alone is no longer an option for many working-aged adults. By moving back home with family or sharing a place with roommates, working adults are able to afford to live in more desirable neighborhoods without shouldering the full cost alone. Unless current dynamics shift and income growth catches up with and exceeds the pace of price and rental appreciation, this trend is unlikely to change.
Financial security is similarly increasingly hard to come by for those who are retired or entering retirement. Many people simply have not saved enough money to maintain their pre-retirement living standards. The rising cost of health care, increased life expectancy and lower interest rates only exacerbate the situation. In addition, a Fannie Mae survey found that baby boomers are more likely to be carrying mortgage debt into their retirement years than previous generations were.
For the time being, it seems, adult kids as well as their retired parents might enjoy the mutual benefits of co-habitiation.