I 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.
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 DeseretNews.com
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 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.
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 AdultChildrenLivingatHome.com 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.
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, Amazon.ca). 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!
Daisy Goodwin, a writer for the UK paper the Daily Mail, recently wrote about her experience living with her adult daughter, Ottilie, who has recently moved home. And I have to say, Daisy is doing it all wrong. Her 22-year-old daughter is walking all over her and making her miserable in her own home. Here’s what she should be doing differently:
- “Even before Ottilie moved in, an email arrived laying down her rules: ‘I am not a dogwalker,’ she stressed, putting paid to my hopes of an extra pair of hands to help with my daily chores.”
I’m sorry, but Ottilie does not get to lay down these kinds of rules. She is an able-bodied adult living in her parents’ home completely rent-free. She absolutely should be a dogwalker – she just needs her mother to work up the nerve to tell her so. And she should be helping with the other chores, too.
- “And the day after: ‘I think I will need a bigger bed, the one I have at the moment is for a child.’”
I know it is hard on an adult child’s self-esteem to sleep in a single bed. This is exactly what I did when I moved back in with my parents when I was going through a divorce. It was a difficult symbol to deal with, as it so clearly meant I was not operating in grown-up territory. But it would have been outrageous for me to ask may parents to buy new furniture to accommodate me, and it is outrageous that Daisy did exactly that for her daughter. An adult is absolutely capable of sleeping in a single bed!
“Then there is the matter of the family car. Every time we go out as a four, there is a moment when, instead of us both automatically climbing into our allotted seats — me in the front and her in the back — we pause. ‘Do you mind?’ I ask. She never objects, but I can see it is only a matter of time before she is asking me whether I mind going in the back with the dog.”
She may ask, but I sincerely hope Daisy never says yes, unless Ottilie is offering to help share the driving on a long trip.
- “God, the mess. I am not a fanatically tidy person by any means, but my daughter is the sort of person who leaves a trail everywhere she goes. You can tell a child to tidy up their stuff but when that child is an adult it is rather different.”
It is absolutely no different when that adult is living in your home. If your adult child wants to keep her own room as a pigsty, bite your lip and just make sure she closes the door. But the rest of the house needs to be comfortable for everyone. This is why I make the distinction between house rules – which parents can and should enforce with their adult children – and life rules, which are a no-no. The short version is that rules for how adult children behave in the parents’ home are completely fair game. When they’re away from home, even if they live with you, they are adults and should be left to their own devices. With the following exception…
- “Adults should be allowed to come and go as they please but, when you are lying awake at 3am straining to hear a key turn in the lock, it’s hard to remember that.”
There is no reason an adult child can’t let you know when to expect them home. I’m not a fan of curfews, but I am a BIG fan of respecting the people you live with, and not causing them to worry about you
“Unlike, say, a paying lodger — and no, we are not charging Ottilie rent — no room in the house is sacrosanct, and despite having a perfectly nice room of her own (with a new bigger bed, as requested), she likes nothing better than to spread out on my bed, leaving a spoor of paperbacks and soya-milk cappuccinos in her wake.”
I just cannot understand why Daisy allows this. One of the most important factors when adults live together is that everyone has their own space. Those boundaries need to be established and respected. I cannot imagine ever having behaved in this way, even as a petulant teenager. To do so as an adult is inexcusable, and Daisy needs to tell Ottilie that.
This post has gone on long enough, so I’ll end it there. But parents, please, remember that your home is your home. When your adult children move back in, you need to establish boundaries and outline your expectations so that everyone can live happily together.