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.
New research shows that in the United States, it’s not just adult children moving back into their parents’ homes. In fact, families are “doubling up” in all kinds of ways — to the tune of 663,000 in-laws and other relatives moving in with family in 2013 alone.
At the same time, more “working-age, unmarried or un-partnered adults” are moving in together as roommates in order to afford their housing costs.
All told, 32% of working age adults are now living in doubled-up homes of one variety or another.
It’s time to work on those communication skills to ensure that all adults sharing a household have the most positive experience possible.
Online lender NetCredit.com has created an interesting infographic packed with stats about the costs of post-secondary education and how those costs impact student debt.
I’m not surprised to see that 28% of the average student’s college costs are paid for out of their parents’ income and savings. (Though I do encourage all students to pay for as much of their own schooling as they can to give themselves a sense of ownership and a meaningful stake in their own success.)
I am concerned to see, though, that 9% of the average student’s college costs are paid for through parent borrowing. That means the parents, not the students, are taking on loans to pay for college. Let’s hope those parents are being paid back!
Take a look at the infographic below for some other interesting stats and some tips on paying loans back after graduation.
Yesterday, I was a guest on CBC Radio’s national Cross Country Checkup program, which tackled the issue of whether it’s harder for young adults to find jobs than it was a decade ago – and what that means in terms of getting them launched into independence. It was an interesting program, and I found myself wishing I could jump in at many parts of the show, not just in the segment in which I was interviewed.
To the mom who said she was anticipating one of her three kids was likely to boomerang home because 26% of young adults do so, I wanted to say she might want to prepare for two of them: In Canada, the actual number of young people aged 20-29 living at home according to the most recent census is 42.3%. (It varies across the country, of course. In Toronto, which has the most adult children living at home, the number is actually 56.3%)
I had a great twitter interaction with Sumaiya Ahmed, who took some ribbing from guest host Suhana Meharchand for suggesting parents should help their adult children network to find a job. It turns out we agree that parents can be a positive force in their children’s job search, but that it’s also possible to take that help too far.
I wanted to talk to some of the young people who called in saying that it was just too hard to find work that was fulfilling, and that they were giving up high-paying jobs (and expecting financial help from their parents) to pursue opportunities that better aligned with their dreams. I wanted to tell them that pursing your dreams is certainly a worthwhile endeavor, but that in your thirties it’s not your parents job to pay for it (it can be financially challenging for them, too), and sometimes your job will simply not be the source of your life’s fulfilment. Certainly the jobs you have to take on to build experience in the early stages of your career are likely to be less than you’d dreamed. But you need to build experience and gain skills that provide value to an employer before you have the bargaining power to craft your dream career.
All of that to say that if you missed the show, you can listen to it here. My segment begins at about 1:16:00.
New research from Canadian bank TD Canada Trust shows the majority of baby boomer parents have financially supported their adult children in some capacity:
- They have let them live at home rent free (43%) [yikes – I suggest all adult children living at home should pay at least some rent].
- They have subsidized big purchases like a new car or computer (29%).
- They have contributed to monthly bills like groceries and rent (23%).
- They have helped pay off credit card or other debt (20%) [here’s why that’s a bad idea…].
But the scariest statistic is that one-in-five baby boomers (19%) admit they would consider putting their own security and financial future at risk to help support their adult children. Watch out, or you may find yourself filing for bankruptcy instead of retiring.
About the survey: TD Bank Group commissioned Environics Research Group to conduct an online custom survey of 2,155 Canadian parents who have adult children not attending school. Responses were collected between January 10 and 25, 2013.
Here’s an interesting infographic from the U.S. Census Bureau showing how the trend of adult children living at home changed from 1983 to 2011. Note that in plain language, “adults 25-34 who are the child of the householder” means “adult children aged 25-34 who live at home.”
Note one thing from the small print: “Unmarried college students living in dormitories are counted as living in their parent(s) home.” That’s interesting, because these children are clearly not living at home — though they likely are still being financially supported by their parents.
In any case, look at the difference between adult sons and daughters! In 2011, 59 percent of men aged 18 to 24 lived at home, and 50 percent of women. These number are up from 53 percent and 46 percent, respectively, in 2005.
And note that the trend of adult kids moving home is not strictly tied to the economic downturn. Rose Kreider, a family demographer with the Fertility and Family Statistics Branch and author of the report this figure comes from, said, “The increase in 25 to 34 year olds living in their parents’ home began before the recent recession, and has continued beyond it.”
from Saga Home Insurance provides some interesting statistics about the number of adult children living at home in the UK. The key finding is that around 3 million parents over 50 have adult children living at home.
But broken down by age, the stats get much scarier:
- The average age of adult children living at home is 27
- About 14% of the adult children living at home are between 31 and 40
- 32% of parents aged 50–54 have adult children living at home
- 16% of parents aged 60–64 still have adult kids at home!
Pew Research is always an interesting source of statistics on just about everything in American life. Today I saw a statistic from their report on the sandwich generation that just about knocked me over. I’ve reported time and time again on statistics that show that large numbers of adults are providing financial support to their adult children. But I’d never before seen a stat capturing how many of those parents are providing the primary support for their adult kids. That means these parents aren’t just topping up an adult child’s measly earnings at an entry-level job, or providing occasional assistance when things get tough. Primary support means that these parents are still the biggest source of income in their adult children’s lives — maybe even the only source. Here’s the statistic exactly as it appears in the Pew report — and note that they define an adult child as a child aged 18+:
Roughly half (48%) of adults ages 40 to 59 have provided some financial support to at least one grown child in the past year, with 27% providing the primary support.
I have to say, even after all the work I’ve done on this subject, that shocks me. Primary support is not just a few dollars here and there — it’s a massive financial commitment for parents who are in the age range that they need to be thinking about saving for their own retirement.
Here’s an interesting new stat for you: More than 40% of parents pay the cell phone bills for their adult kids aged 18 to 35. Twenty-nine percent of them do so even after the adult child has moved away from from home.
I have to say, this one really shocked me. I just find it hard to understand this one — and I can only imagine what my parents’ faces would have looked like if I had ever asked them to pay for my cell phone. I can tell you this — they would have said no. And I really think they would have been right to do so. It’s one thing for an adult child to benefit from the family landline while living at home (I certainly did this). It’s entirely different for a parent to pay a bill that is clearly not a household expense. Even if the adult child’s phone is part of a family plan, they should still be responsible for their portion of the bill.
And how about this? It doesn’t end at the cell phone bill. Some parents are paying for all the digital goodies that keep their adult children entertained:
- 17% pay for mobile wifi access
- 12% pay for streaming video accounts like Hulu and Netflix
- 10% pay for music services like iTunes and Spotify
All of this (including the cell phone) adds up to about $108 every month, or almost $1,300 per year. That may not sound like a huge amount of money, but it’s certainly not insignificant.
I have to say, none of these services are necessities of life. If a 30-year-old can’t afford these services, maybe he or she should learn to live without them for a few years. When I was in my early twenties, some of these services didn’t exist. But I did pay for my own cell phone — and I had my own account at the video rental place (remember those?), even when I was living at home.
All the stats in this article come from a poll by Harris Interactive as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Check out this great infographic from CBC’s Doc Zone to go with their documentary Generation Jobless. It shows some of the challenges young people face today as they make their way through university and try to find a job — key steps to getting them out of the parental home. You can find an interactive version that shows the costs of everyday items in 1980 versus 2012 at http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/episode/generation-jobless.html