The Bank of Mom and Dad

globalI spoke with Global BC reporter Rumina Daya today about a new CIBC report that shows one in four parents are spending more than $500 a month to help their adult children cover expenses such as rent, groceries and cell phone bills, and that the most common form of financial support parents provide for their adult kids is free room and board at home (71 per cent). You can see Rumina’s story on Global’s website here.


How to handle the finances of a child who moves back home

That’s the topic addressed by an article in the Deseret News that features my advice:

Even a modest amount of cash paid to parents every month carries a benefit beyond the merely financial, Newberry added.

“Adults have financial responsibilities, so it’s important to maintain them even if your child is living at home,” she said. “It’s good for their self-esteem.”

Read the rest at

What if the adult kids never leave?

That’s the question posed by a Globe and Mail article published yesterday that features my advice for parents whose retirement is being threatened by adult children living at home:

“A family needs to sit down ahead of time and work out a budget … look at what their existing costs are in terms of paying for their home and things like heat, electricity, insurance and food, then estimate how those costs will be impacted by having another person living at home.

“It’s easy for adult children to go in expecting that it’s not going to cost anything or to be completely unaware of what the costs are.”

Read the rest of the article on the Globe and Mail’s website.

More Canadian seniors declaring bankruptcy

New information from Statistics Canada shows that the number of Canadian seniors in declaring bankruptcy is climbing. More than 82,000 people declared bankruptcy in Canada in 2014, 10% of them seniors. That’s a substantial increase from 8.3% in 2010.

Even more worrisome, Scott Hannah of the Credit Counselling Society told CBC Radio’s BC Almanac that the proportion of seniors among the society’s clients has increased from one in 20 fifteen years ago to one in five today. He told host Gloria Macarenko that boomerang kids are a factor in seniors’ increasing debt problems when the adult children don’t pay their fair share of the living expenses.

Canadian reporter looking for parents of boomerang kids

A reporter is looking to speak with a parent or parents of boomerang kids to find out how they have made things work, financially and otherwise, for an article in an ongoing retirement series in a major Canadian daily newspaper.

The reporter will need to use your real name, but there is no need to get into detail about financial numbers – just a sense of what agreements were in place, if any, and how you handled it more generally. [Note: I recommend you ALWAYS put an agreement in place – in writing! But the reporter would be happy to speak with you whether or not you did so.]

If you’re interested in sharing your experience, please email the reporter directly at

Delaying adulthood, changing the brain?

New research shows that delaying major life steps like moving out, getting married, and having children is actually changing the brains of young people today. According to Beatriz Luna, a professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh, that’s actually a good thing, because it gives the brain longer to specialize before it has to stop engaging in “novelty seeking and exploration” to start dealing with the reality of day-to-day life responsibilities. That extra time could result in brains with more “variability and plasticity.”

You can read (or listen to) the whole interview with Dr. Luna, from CBC’s Day Six program, here.

New UK statistics: 25% of adults 50+ have adult children living at home

New research by MetLife shows that 25% of adults over 50 have children aged 18 or older living at home. Here are some of the other findings from the report:

  • 43% of adults living at home pay absolutely no rent and do not contribute financially to the household in any way
  • Parents are spending about 3,700 pounds a year (about $6,000) to feed and house their adult children living at home
  • 21% of parents lend money to adult children (an average of 2,600 pounds, or $4,200) even after they leave home

I’m a huge advocate for adult children making a financial contribution to the household when they live at home (I explain why in this video), so it’s troublesome to see once again that so many parents have adult children living at home absolutely rent-free.

Setting rules for boomerang kids: Sun News Network

Today, Sun News Network has published an in-depth article on how to prepare for boomerang kids to come home, based on my advice:

“There’s a fine line between helping and helping too much, at which point it becomes very easy for your adult child to become dependent on you and not develop the skills they need to become independent,” Christina Newberry of Vancouver says. She’s the founder of and author of The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home.

She offers these tips…

You can read the rest at Sun News Network.

Giving the gift of household peace

If you know a family with adult children planning to move home in the new year, or where adult children are already living at home (and maybe things aren’t going as smoothly as everyone had hoped), you might be thinking about holiday gifts that could help return peace to the household. Since you’re reading this post, you may even have thought about giving a copy of The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home.

You may also be feeling some hesitation, unsure how your friends or loved ones will react to the gift. Will they appreciate it? Or will it get their hackles up if you suggest they may need some help?

What I can tell you is that families who have implemented the advice in my book — and used the family contract template that’s part of the package to create a clear plan for their adult children’s stay at home — say that they have better relationships with their adult children, both during their stay at home and after they leave. Some parents have even told me the book has saved their marriage. What better gift is there than that?

If you want something to wrap and put under the tree, you can get a paperback copy of the book from Amazon (in Canada, If you’ve left your gift shopping to the last minute, you can order the eBook for an instant last-minute gift. Both the eBook and the paperback come with the family contract template and a family budget calculator.

Happy holidays to you and yours!





How to Have Happy Holidays with Adult Children Living at Home

newebookcoverHaving your adult child living under your roof can have its challenges (and its rewards), but things can get more intense over the holidays, when family tensions tend to build.

If you have an adult child living in your home (or are expecting one to stay with you over the holidays while visiting) the key thing you can do is sit down and talk about what the living situation will be, before your grown son or daughter comes in the door — or soon afterwards.

You need to make sure you all agree about what’s acceptable, and a written agreement can be an great way to make sure you cover all the issues and everyone is on the same page.

After all, the relationship between parents and their children is always a parent-kid relationship, with all that that entails, no matter how old the child is or how long they’ve been on their own.

Here are some issues that should be part of the conversation, to ensure peace and goodwill in your home this Christmas:

Household rules, including swearing, late nights, and noise: Especially if your kids are coming home from college and is used to college-style language, music, and hours. Talk about what you’re comfortable with, and what you’re not.

Who covers additional expenses: If your adult kid is just home for the holidays, this probably isn’t an issue. But if they’re home for a month or more, who’s going to pay for the extra groceries they consume and the electricity they use? Remember that food bills especially can pile up over the holidays.

Which chores your grown kids will be responsible for: A Christmas break with no help from your adult kids could leave you fuming. Make sure you agree on what’s expected beforehand so your kid doesn’t feel imposed upon, and you don’t feel resentful.

For more tips on keeping the peace — at any time of year — check our my 115-page eBook, contract template, and household expense calculator, all for only USD $27.97 now just $19.97 for the holidays for a limited time!