Category Archives: Statistics

Do you give your adult kids an allowance?

New data from the Pew Research Center provides some interesting statistics about adult children living at home. I’ll provide a detailed post in the next couple of days — I want to take some time to analyze what this new information means for families.

For now, the Huffington Post has an interesting article on the topic that ends will a poll: Do your parents give you an allowance? As of this writing, 22.06% of respondents had voted yes. That’s about in line with the Pew Statistics that show 1 in 5 18- to 34-year-olds is receiving an allowance from mom and dad. I’ll keep you updated on the results of the poll!

40% of non-student adults 18-39 living (or recently lived) at home

Various agencies and surveys tend to present the numbers differently, but they all convey the same message: More and more adult children are living at home. This is one statistic I find especially significant: According to a poll for the National Endowment for Financial Education conducted by Harris Interactive, 40% of American adults aged 18 – 39 either live at home or have done so in the recent past. That’s a shocking figure, partly because it goes all the way up to age 39, and partly because it specifically excludes students.

The same survey finds that adult children are having a financial impact on their parents, which is no surprise. What’s scary is that 26% of the parents with adult children living at home have taken on debt to support their kids, and 7% have delayed retirement.

Adult children living at home after their parents are retired

A new report from TD Canada Trust shows that adult children living at home may be interfering with their parents’ retirement plans — because those adult children will still be living with Mom and Dad after the parents have retired.

The TD Canada Trust Boomer Buyers Report shows that 17% of baby boomers who plan to downsize are delaying selling the family home because they still have adult children living at home. Of those, 12% say they will likely still have adult children living with them after they have retired.

These numbers illustrate one of the important points I try to make when talking about why adult children should always make a financial contribution to the household, and why it’s important to create a family budget. While it may seem like it’s “free” for parents to let their children live at home, it simply is not. In this case, parents who would otherwise be lowering their living expenses and freeing up equity from the family home are delaying doing so in order to house their adult children. This is a real, and significant, cost.

This report also raises an important question: Does it make sense for boomers who have retired and are living on pensions or retirement savings to continue to support their adult children, who are in their prime earning years?

Boomerang generation = Entitlement generation?

Margaret Wente, a columnist for the Globe and Mail, a national newspaper in Canada, today published an opinion piece about the “entitlement generation,” and how their expectations for life are rather out of whack with the realities of today’s economy, and today’s world. Among her points? A recent survey showed that new university graduates expected an average starting salary of $53,000 per year. The realities of the job market, of course, will not bear these expectations out. The question is, will these young people accept jobs they think are below them, or hold out for a job they feel is worthy? And if they do accept what they feel to be sub-par jobs, will they approach them with the openness, willingness to learn, and positive attitude needed to advance in a company, and in a career?

With these questions having no obvious answer, it’s not surprising that so many young people are now living with — and financially relying upon — their parents. Wente argues parents are to blame for the lack of ambition and reality-consciousness of their children, having told them since birth that they were successful always, even when they weren’t. It may seem unfair to let reality in to the parent-child relationship at this stage, but it truly is better late than never. If boomerang kids feel entitled to live at home until the perfect, $50K+ job comes along, they will be at home for a very, very long time.

During my post-college stay with Mom and Dad, I worked for slightly more than minimum wage at a bookstore. It was a long way from the lofty career I’d pictured, but I was, after all, 21 years old with only retail and service job experience. The high-level career job offers were not pouring in. But, I did earn some money — enough to get out of the house after eight months — and I threw myself at every opportunity that little job offered. I started a community book club. I asked to become the liaison with community newspaper ad reps, then started writing some of the copy for newspaper ads. I launched a very basic store website. I never made more than $9 an hour, but I left that job with real, relevant experience to convert into a first “Real Job,” which turned into a career. That member of the “entitlement generation” living in your basement needs to take a similar approach. And, even if you’ve coddled them all along, it’s up to you to help them see that no dream job offer is coming. To make it on their own, they’ve got to make their own opportunities. It starts by looking for a job, even if it’s not a career.

New UK stats: 3 million adult children living at home

Mintel, a leading market research company, has released a report jam-packed with interesting statistics about adult children living at home in the UK. The report itself is worth a read, and you can find it here.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • 27% of new university graduates will be living with their parents
  • 3 million adults are living with their parents in the UK
  • 196,000 adults over age 36 are living with their parents in the UK
  • 45% of parents say they have less money while their adult kids are living with them
  • 18% of parents say it’s more stressful with adult children living at home

What’s most interesting, though, is that while most adult children move home either because of financial uncertainty or the end of a relationship, some move home just because they want to be pampered!

According to Ina Mitskavets, Consumer and Lifestyles Analyst at Mintel:

“While millions of boomerang children return home because of financial reasons – our research reveals this is not a clear cut case, many return simply to experience TLC, home comforts or simply because they have had enough of rented accommodation – and stick around because of this.”

If your adult children are moving back home, it’s important to have conversations about expectations beforehand. if you’re expecting them to be reasonably independent while they’re moving home to soak up your tender loving care, resentment and bad feelings will be sure to follow.

Adult children living at home in California: Graphic

This interesting info-graphic from the Bay Area News Group shows how the percentage of adult children living at home has increased in California in the last 10 years. The most interesting thing to not? Adults over 18 now make up 30.7% of the children living with their parents. That is, almost a third of parents with children at home are living with adult children.

adult children living at home

Adult children living at home | Image Credit: Bay Area News Group

You can read the article that originally featured this infographic on the InsideBayArea website here.

54% of parents say there's no set time when adult kids need to leave

The latest 60 Minutes/Vanity fair poll asked an interesting question: Generally speaking, at what point do you think children are too old to be living at home with their parents? The surprising answer? Fifty-four percent of parents say there’s no set time when they should leave — not when they get married, graduate from college, or even get a full-time job. What about you — would you welcome your kids back home at any age, no matter their marital or employment situation? You can see the poll on the Vanity Fair website here.

Are you spoiling your adult son?

Very interesting new information has emerged from a survey conducted in the UK by Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment. It shows (perhaps not surprisingly) that parents treat adult sons living at home quite differently from adult daughters in the same position. Among the findings:

  • Parents are three times more likely to let a son move back home than a daughter
  • Almost 60% of parents say they spoil their sons, while only 35% say they spoil their daughters

So, are you spoiling your son? And, if so, are you setting up inappropriate expectations that will make it harder for him to get established on his own two feet when it is time for him to leave the nest?

Informal poll shows only half of parents think their adult children should move out

A (very) informal poll on the website asked the question, “Do you think it’s okay to let your children live at home for eternity?”

Of the 41 people who responded to the poll, only 48.78% answered “no.” Only one person selected the answer, “Yes, I would love to cook/clean for my adult children forever,” but 14 people (34.15%) selected “Yes, they can live with me for however long they want as long as they contribute to the house.”

Of course, three people chose the answer “Clam Chowder,” so who knows what this poll really tells us! Still, it’s interesting to see that parents are clearly more willing to let children live at home — and feel happier about them being there — if the adult children are contributing to the household.

You can see the poll — and read seven pages of interesting follow-up comments — here.