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What started the boomerang kid trend?

In 2021, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that roughly one-in-three young adults lived at home with their parents.

Thrivent’s study showed that a significant number of young adults were even postponing key financial goals due to student loan debt. For example, nearly 40% of those surveyed are delaying home purchases, while more than a third (34%) are postponing saving for retirement.

Another 36% are skipping out on setting aside money for an emergency fund. Many young people (28%) also claimed they are living paycheck-to-paycheck while they pay off student loans, while only 22% believed their job aided them in reducing their debt.

Rising housing prices are a killer for 20-somethings entering the workforce. Rents are up and real estate inventory is down, which raises prices for both monthly rents and mortgages.

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Financial consequences for parents

Allowing adult kids to move back home has several financial implications for parents.

When kids move back in, household expenses inevitably increase. Parents may find themselves paying higher utility bills, buying more groceries, and covering additional living expenses. These increased costs can strain the household budget, especially for parents who are nearing retirement or are already retired.

Parents may dip into their retirement funds or delay their retirement plans to accommodate the needs of their adult kids — potentially jeopardizing their financial security in the long term and draining the money available for their golden years.

Beyond the financial implications, parents may experience stress related to the prolonged financial dependency of their children and the challenges of adjusting to a new household dynamic.

It’s left many parents weighing the pros and cons of charging their adult kids rent.

Tips for managing boomerang kids

In order to navigate the financial challenges of boomerang kids, parents should consider a frank, honest conversation before anything is set in stone.

Start by establishing clear expectations. This can help set up boundaries right out of the gate and can manage household dynamics and financial responsibilities.

Discussing contributions for household expenses and setting timelines for achieving financial independence can create a more structured and harmonious living arrangement.

Depending on the situation, it may be wise to encourage financial planning for adult kids. Providing guidance on saving, investing, and managing debts can equip them with the tools they need to eventually move out and achieve that financial independence.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to seek professional advice. Parents can benefit from outside guidance to help them navigate the complexities of supporting boomerang kids.

A financial adviser can offer strategies for balancing the immediate monetary needs of adult kids with their own long-term retirement goals, ensuring that both priorities are adequately addressed.

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Chris Clark Freelance Contributor

Chris Clark is freelance contributor with MoneyWise, based in Kansas City, Mo. He has written for numerous publications and spent 18 years as a reporter and editor with The Associated Press.

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