Dreading the empty nest?

For some parents with adult children living at home, “empty-nest syndrome” is a delayed phenomenon, happening when children are in their late 20s or even 30s rather than when they are heading off to college as very young adults. Recent research has shown that empty nest syndrome may be a myth — that parents whose adult children live at home are actually more depresses that those whose kids live away — but for the writer of this article from the Telegraph, looming empty nest syndrome is a reality.

Two things about this article — the writer is doing a couple of things that conflict with the advice we offer, so we want to make sure you spot them. She’s not charging her adult daughter rent, hoping that the adult daughter is saving for a down payment on her own home. We suggest that parents always charge at least some form of rent (even if it’s paid in labor by doing chores around the house) to get the adult kids in the mentality of having that monthly expense. If you want to help them save for their own place, give that money back to them when they leave — you don’t even have to tell them that’s your plan as you’re collecting the money.

She’s also wondering about putting herself in debt to help her daughter by a home. We strongly advise against putting your own financial situation in jeopardy to help out your kids. If the money’s not there, it’s not there. Look for other ways to support them.