According to Pew Research Center, half of adults ages 18 to 29 were living with one or both of their parents in 2022. This was down from a peak of 52% in June 2020 but still significantly higher than the 44 percent who were living with their parents in 2010. While these living arrangements can help young adults pay down student loans or save enough money to establish their own financial independence, they 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 adult children move back into your empty nest, take the time to discuss and share all parties’ expectations for the new living arrangement. Discussion topics can include responsibilities for performing household chores, sharing household expenses, protecting personal privacy and setting a timeline of how long your adult child should stay in your home. Laying down these ground rules from the beginning can make a move back home easier for both you and your adult children.
Don’t be a Piggy Bank
Giving an adult child a family credit card or a handful of spending money on a regular basis is a recipe for disaster. Similarly, think twice before cosigning loans for adult children, which could jeopardize your own financial stability today and in the future.
Give Children Financial Responsibilities
Helping your children become financially independent requires that they bear some of life’s financial burdens and establish 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 children living at home 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 that supporting an unemployed child or one who is just entering the workforce should be done with the end goal of helping them become financially, emotionally and physically independent.
Ensure Children Have a Plan
It is not uncommon for an adult child to become comfortable with the free meals, cleaning services and other perks they 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?
Keep your Retirement Plans in Sight
You 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 + CPAs, and a registered representative with Raymond James Financial Services. He can be reached at the firm’s Boca Raton, Fla., office at (561) 361-2001 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Posted on February 15, 2023