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When Your Adult Children Move Home

Mother and Daughter Baking in the Kitchen

They’re often called “boomerang kids,” adult children between the ages of 18-and-29 who live with their parents.

At the last check, 52% of young adults were living with their parents, surpassing the previous peak during the Great Depression.¹

There are several reasons for the uptick in boomerang kids. Some have highlighted the pandemic, which caused an economic downtown that drove adult children home. Others have explained that children are trying to save money to buy a home or are choosing to enter the job market later in life. 

Regardless of the reason, parents can find themselves providing financial support to young adults at a time when some anticipated being empty nesters.

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the Lord your God gives you.” Exodus 20:12 

Over the years, we’ve helped many families that have evolved into a “shared-household” situation. In these circumstances, we stress the importance of talking so that parents and children can both understand their short- and long-term goals.

Here’s three talking points we suggest for a better understanding:

 

1. What is everyone’s exit strategy?

Ask your adult child to develop a plan for leaving home. Whether it’s 18 months or 3 years, having a deadline can help everyone be better prepared and focused. Let the child know that adjustments can be made if circumstances change, but be clear about your expectations. If you’re considering downsizing, make certain your timeline is also clear. 

 

2. Everyone contributes

Contributing to household expenses is a sound strategy, but it varies depending on the situation. Some parents ask children to help pay for rent, groceries, and utilities. Some ask their children for a set fee for everything. 

Here’s a pro tip: Ask your child to pay a set amount each month and place it in a separate account. If appropriate, you can give the money to them to help with the down payment for a house, for example. 

 

3. Be open about retirement.

Lat your adult children know some details about your retirement, including your timeline. One survey found that 68 percent of parents of adult children have made or are currently making a financial sacrifice to help their kids financially. More than 40 percent have sacrificed retirement savings.²

If you find yourself in this situation, and you’re struggling to set boundaries for your adult child, please let us know. We’ve helped some clients outline the conversation to prepare for a talk, and in other instances, we’ve been included in the discussion so we can speak to your overall financial situation. Either way, we are happy to help. 

¹ PewResearch.org, 2023. Most recent data were compiled from a July 2020 survey.

² Bankrate.com, April 10, 2023

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