The full nest: living with adult children
Written on the 3 October 2019 by Arrow
The number of young adults living in the family home well into adulthood is growing. ABS data indicates, amongst adults under 35, nearly one third are still at home, and the trend is on the rise.i
If managed well, multigenerational living can be beneficial to both your adult kids' financial goals and your relationship with them, that said it's not without its challenges.
What's behind the shift
There are however, young adults who use living at home as a strategic move, with 28% using it as an opportunity to save for their financial goalsii like owning a home or planning for a big trip.
Benefits of having a kid at home
Having adult kids at home can also mean you get help with the domestic duties and maintenance around the house or assistance looking after younger siblings.
Problems can arise
Equally worrying is the added cost of having an extra mouth to feed and the associated costs of an extra member in the household. If you are a parent in this situation, make sure the not-so-empty-nest is not derailing your retirement plans. According to a 2018 study, Aussie parents spend a combined $235 million each week on adult children living at home.ii
Set boundaries early
On the parent's end, there also needs to be some flexibility. Are you happy to have your child's friends over to socialise? Are partners allowed to stay the night? Rules around curfews that may have been appropriate when they were a teenager may not be relaxed enough to allow your adult child freedom so as not to become resentful.
Both parties need to be aware of each other's boundaries and expectations early on to set the foundations for a happy domestic life.
It might look like this: the parents allow their offspring to live with them rent free, provided the kid puts away 40% of their income towards a house deposit. You can have a system in place to prove this is happening and regularly meet to help make sure everyone is staying on track.
Not always the right choice
Modern kids are likely to come and go throughout their lives. Treasure the times you have living together while making them as fruitful for both your relationships and finances as possible.