“I think in hindsight, I wish we would have charged everybody rent and given it back to them after they left,” says Ms. Hantjis, 62, a retired nurse.
“It would have been so positive,” adds Mr. Hantjis, 61 and retired from the Navy. He and his wife were able to financially support them all, he says, but charging rent would have helped prepare them for “real life.” The children are now financially stable, married and living on their own, Mr. Hantjis says.
Looking back, they think they did what was right for themselves and their children. “We were a military family that moved around—we didn’t make a lot of permanent connections,” Mr. Hantjis says. “Our family unit was pretty close. Our narrative was to rely on each other.”