Adults at Home: Why Do Some Countries Embrace Living with Parents?

In the Western world, young adults are often eager to move out and start building their own lives as early as age 18. Going off to college and living independently is an idea planted in children’s’ minds while they’re still in middle school, and many parents even facilitate this transition by paying for their young adults’ first apartments or covering the down payment on their first homes. In other countries, however, families tend to stay together for a lifetime. Even though adults may move out for a time, it’s common for many to live with their parents and grandparents their entire lives. This may be chalked up to a stark difference between individualism and collectivism; those in the U.S., Britain and Australia tend to think more about themselves in relation to the world, whereas people throughout Asia are more likely to consider their identity in relation to their families.

Moving in With Family

Whether it’s to save money or simply be closer, the decision to live with your parents, grandparents and/or other relatives can be one of the best you make. You’ll never have to worry about being alone or never having someone to count on; this can also be beneficial for older family members who would otherwise be unable to afford their own home or live on their own. If you are thinking about living with your family for a long period of time, it’s important to consider how you can create a space that is welcoming for everyone. Accessibility and privacy are the most important features to consider in a multi-generational home; you may consider updating lights, floors and exploring home elevator and residential elevator prices near you.

Life Abroad

In Greece, Italy and Slovenia, roughly 3 out of 4 young adults up to age 29 cohabitate with their parents. While the economy may have played a part in this trend as well, the deep ties and role of family in these countries’ respective cultures has a greater influence on multi-generational living. China, Japan, South Korea and India also see large extended families sharing one roof. While there are some negative connotations in certain situations, the act of being at home with your parents well into your 30s is not often considered as embarrassing or shameful as it may be in Western countries.

While family matters just about everywhere, there’s a dramatic difference between the role parents assume in their children’s lives throughout adulthood in the East and West. Many American, British and Australian adults are eager to break free from their childhood homes, and they believe the only way to be independent is to separate themselves almost entirely from their families. It’s not uncommon for many people to only see their parents a few times each year after they move out. In Asia, however, parents and grandparents play a fundamental role in the family. They act as caretakers to grandchildren, advisors to adults and are revered for their wisdom and skills that they pass on to the next generations. Although more American adults are living at home due to economic recession and an oversaturated job market, the belief that they shouldn’t be there can be a psychological hinderance.

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