According to Pew Research Center, more than one-third of young adults between the ages of 18 and 34 are currently living in a home with their parents. While these living arrangements can help young adults to pay down student loans or save enough money to establish their own financial independence, it can also put a significant dent in their parents’ finances. Following are tips to help families navigate some of the most common challenges that can occur when children move back in with mom and dad.
Before an adult child moves back into your now empty nest, take the time to discuss and share all parties’ expectations for the new living arrangement. Topics to discuss can include issues of personal privacy, responsibilities to perform household chores, sharing in household expenses, committing to a job search and agreeing to a timeline of how long your adult child should stay in your home. Having these discussions and laying down ground rules from the beginning can make a move back home easier for both you and your adult children.
Giving an adult child the family credit card or a handful of spending money on a regular basis is a recipe for disaster. Similarly, think twice before cosigning a loan for an adult child, which could jeopardize your own financial stability today and in the future.
Helping your child become financially independent requires that he or she bear some of life’s financial burdens and establishing a budget to help them live within their means. An employed child who moves back home should be able to pay for some, if not all of their own expenses, whether it be food and entertainment, clothing or gas and transportation costs. Similarly, parents may consider asking the child to pay “rent” and contribute some of their earnings to cover shared household expenses, especially when a child’s stay extends beyond a year or another pre-determined time limit. Remember, supporting an unemployed child or one who is just entering the workforce should be done with the end goal in mind: helping children become financially, emotionally and physically independent.
It is not uncommon for an adult child to become comfortable with the free meals, cleaning services and other perks that may receive when living in your home, so much so that they put off having to deal with the responsibilities of adulthood. Help your children develop a plan for their eventual independence. How will they earn money while living in the family home? What expenses will they be required to pay? If they are not in school or working a full-time job, is a part-time position an option?
You have worked hard to provide for your family and plan for your own retirement. Do not let an adult child moving back home ruin your own life plans. Rather, with the help of experienced financial advisors, parents may make minor adjustments to their estate plans without giving up on their dreams for a secure future.
About the Author: Brendan T. Hayes is a financial planner with Provenance Wealth Advisors, an Independent Registered Investment advisor affiliated with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors and Accountants and a registered representative with Raymond James Financial Services. He can be reached in the firm’s Boca Raton, Fla., office at (561) 361-2001 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Brendan T. Hayes is a registered representative of and offers securities through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA/SIPC.
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