This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

January 14, 2014

Boomerang Parents

With the increasing monetary pressures and in some cases, the deteriorating health of the aging of the Baby Boomers, we are now seeing more parents moving in with their children. We call them "Boomerang Parents".

The Trend is Clear
In spite of the continually improving economies, whether the reason is to reduce costs or be available for caregiving when needed, the trend is unmistakable. In a recent survey by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), they have seen more dedicated guest rooms, including in-law suites, over the last few years. These purposed rooms may be as simple as a second master bedroom suite with a bathroom.

Growing Demand for Mother-in-Law Suites
According to the AIA, in 2014, 39 percent of responding residential architecture firms polled said they saw a growing demand for this feature, compared with 10 percent in 2012. Specifically, Kermit Baker, chief economist for AIA said, "As many households become caretakers for aging relatives, separate living suites have become popular options for accommodations".

More Seniors Living with their Children
Those findings were reinforced by an analysis from the real estate website Trulia. It found that there has been "an increase in the share of seniors living with relatives over the past 20 years". That trend is mainly due to more seniors today being foreign born and their average age being older. In fact, according to the Institute for the Ages, for the next 40 years, the fastest growing population segment worldwide is those over age 80.

This increase of seniors living with relatives is a long-term demographic shift, said Jed Kolko, Chief Economist for Trulia. "Six percent of United States-born seniors live with relatives, while 25 percent of foreign-born seniors live with relatives. For those born in countries including India, Vietnam, Haiti and the Philippines, the share of seniors living with relatives is even higher", he added.

Though in the past, outside of the US----particularly Asia and South America---we have seen this strong social contract between the generations, with Westernization, there has been the increasing construction of assisted living and old-age homes. Expect to see an increase in this trend, as the proximity of aging parents living in the house makes managing disease much easier, while reducing the financial burden many adult children have shouldered in the past.

Special thanks to Amy Hoak, writing for MarketWatch, and Jason Alderman, writing for The Huffington Post.

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