In recent decades, the definition of “family” has expanded well beyond the traditional married heterosexual couple with at least one child.
Today, American families include multigenerational families (three or more generations living in the same household) and boomerang families (in which a child age 21 to 35 left and later rejoined the household), among other family structures.
A new study by Allianz Life, released Wednesday, finds that many modern families are experiencing financial stress because of their nontraditional structure, though some accept this as a tradeoff for closer family ties.
Forty-one percent of multigenerational families in the study and 34% of boomerang families said they often felt financially burdened because of their household makeup.
This compared with 22% of other modern families in the study: same-sex couple families, single-parent families, blended families and ones with older parents with younger children.
Twenty-seven percent of multigenerational families said living with extended family was beneficial for “help with children and/or household responsibilities,” and 54% of boomerang families said they would “prefer to have my adult child living at home with me as long as he/she wants to.”
However, both family types acknowledged the potential financial issues of these living arrangements, notably the significant risk it can create for their retirement readiness.
“The desire for family closeness resonated with many of the modern family types in the study, but especially with Multi-Gen and Boomerang families,” Katie Libbe, Allianz Life vice president of consumer insights, said in a statement.
“These families may choose togetherness over financial security — however, they shouldn’t ignore the effect this could have on limiting their ability to save for retirement.”
The new report is based on a January 2014 online survey of 4,500 respondents, 35 to 65 years old, with household income of $50,000 or more.
In an initial finding from that survey released in May, Allianz Life reported that modern families felt less financially secure than their traditional counterparts.