I think it’s a great idea. In fact, I wonder if part of this is less financial and more emotional. People used to live near or with relatives and see them often.
For every middle-aged couple who rejoices at the thought of an empty nest, there is another who misses the kids. And practically every kid I’ve ever known would like more time with Grandma and Grandpa.
I have 6 children, 14 g/children and 4 gg/children, I'd like to see all of them more often but have them live with me? No thanks.
Why is it only in America where we say, “You’re 21, gtfo NOW. And grandma, you can’t bathe yourself any more so you gtfo too?” Is it our culture of independence? Is it our affluence in comparison to other countries? Family should be a death grip. “Get motivated and shoot for your dream. We will not abandon you before you’re ready and we won’t send you away to die alone.”
I lived a state away from my children, but I was in a resort area and everyone would spend some vacation time with me. Then, two years ago there was more snow than usual and my children worried about me alone up there all winter, and since I’m “elderly” actually only 88, they convinced me to sell my house and move in with my bachelor son, so I did, and since I have 3 children in the same town, it has worked out just fine for all of us (well maybe not my son). But I own a commercial strip mall and I told him he doesn’t have to pay rent.
I'm all for it. Of course there will be friction, at times, but there's a reason why religious communities live in community. It rounds our sharp corners. It's humbling. It forces us to get outside of ourselves. Overall, it's a healthy thing.
The downside is children who won't work. Children who won't work have to be thrown out, as a last resort.