Boomerang Kids

I was not quite 17 when I moved out of my parent’s house and my Dad told me, “Don’t bother asking if you can come back.”  And I didn’t.

Yet, when my son was laid off from his job and was struggling to pay his rent, I was the one who suggested he move back home until he got on his feet again.

The term “boomerang kids” is used for young adults who move back with their parents after previously living on their own. The reasons are varied – employment status, high property prices, large student loan debt, returning to school, or a broken relationship.  Moving back home provides tremendous financial relief to the young person.

Susan Williams at Booming Encore  claims this situation is not surprising because everything in life seems to be either extended or lasting longer these days.  Kids are more likely to rely financially on their parents and put off moving out and raising families for longer periods of time.

That makes sense to me.  My own children have very young families.  Yet, when I was their current age, they were adults already.

Don’t put your retirement at risk

According to TD Canada Trust, parents are prepared to put their own financial security at risk to help out, but that isn’t wise.

Rework your budget to factor in all your new extra monthly costs – groceries and utilities are obvious ones.  Spell out their financial obligations, or if they are not earning at this time, have them help around the house, or take on other responsibilities.

The goal should be to create an arrangement that both supports your children and encourages them to move on.

Rise of multi-generational housing

There is now a growing trend toward multi-generational living.

In some societies, it’s common for children to live with their parents.  Then the children can take care of their aging parents rather than shuffling off the responsibility onto a third party such as a nursing home.

I used to work with a fellow who built a home specifically designed to accommodate both himself and his wife and his daughter’s family which included two children.  They had two separate master bedroom suites, and both common and private living areas.

This arrangement can be mutually beneficial in terms of easing financial burdens for all.

What do you think about this trend?

Final thoughts

Once your kids are grown and out of the house, before you turn their empty bedroom into a craft room or den keep in mind that more than 30% of young adults boomerang back to their childhood home.

Most parents want to help out until their child finds a job and saves some money to move out.

Not everyone is on board though.

Overheard at the gym:

“We’re selling our house and moving to a one-bedroom condo.  It’s the only way we can get our son to move out and make sure the others don’t try to move back.” 

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