Amanda Claypool, then 28, quit her job as a government contractor in Washington, D.C. and returned to her parents’ home in upstate New York, while she thought about her next steps. Her temporary return was halted by the pandemic.
Claypool, now a content creator in Asheville North Carolina, says that living with her parents for several month “helped me give more flexibility to pivot towards a new career.” Claypool’s parents paid for her housing and food expenses. She helped her parents declutter their home and help them sell over $10,000 worth of collectibles and vintage toys online.
Claypool’s decision is becoming more common to return home. According to the Pew Research Center, 25% of U.S. adults aged 25-34 lived with their parents or other relatives in 2021. The proportion of young adults living with them has steadily increased over the past 50 year.
Stefanie O’Connell Rodriguez hosts Real Simple’s “Money Confidential”. She has noticed the trend. “Even before this latest round inflation, we saw a greater percentage of millennials returning to their parents and staying home longer. She says that the pandemic has accelerated this trend.
Although moving back to their home can offer financial security for young adults, it can also affect their parents’ finances which can negatively impact their ability to grow financially. This article will show you how to manage intergenerational living in a way that benefits all.
Consider what you want
Young adults often have parents who are ready to make a career change. Lorna Saboe, a South Dakota State University Extension family resource management field specialist, says that having children move home might not be the best situation. “Parents should consider that decision before inviting their children home .”
A financial adviser or coach could be a good idea to help you determine your retirement readiness. Additional insight can be gained by creating a budget that assesses your cash flow and the impact of having a houseguest.
After you have decided to bring an adult child home, it is time to establish ground rules. Julie LythcottHaims is the author of “Your Turn”: How to be an Adult. It’s important to be clear about the fact that you are older and things have changed. She says, “We are glad to support you. But let’s talk more about what we expect in terms daily norms and behaviors.”
She says that young adults can be treated like Airbnb guests in many cases. They will have access to the kitchen and bedroom, but they will also do their laundry, some chores, and pay rent. A young adult should expect to help financially, except for mental health issues or other crises. She says, “If they are unable to pay rent, then maybe they will be able to pay for groceries or the telephone bill.”
Write the details
Rodriguez suggests that you sign a contract agreeing to the financial support of the adult child. Rodriguez says, “It is helpful to have something to refer to or to go back to and amend.”
David Bredehoft is a professor emeritus in psychology and family studies at Concordia University. He suggests that the ground rules be made into a formal contract. This document should detail details like who will do laundry, who will pay for utilities, and whether guests are allowed. He says that it is easy to slip into old roles.
Rachael Bronstein is an accredited financial counselor who founded Life’s Jam in Miami. She encourages parents to keep track of their household expenses, especially if they share a home. She says that sometimes they don’t realize how much money goes toward extra food, utilities, and subscriptions. They should probably go back to their adult kids and ask them, “Hey, can this be solved?” She says, “I’m paying a lot for stuff.”
Parents who don’t save enough for retirement and their children aren’t financially independent might have to look to their adult children to help them in the future. She adds that teaching financial independence is the greatest gift.
Rodriguez suggests that the young adult who returns home from college should make a commitment to either move any savings into a savings account or put it towards student loan .
Have an exit strategy
Bredehoft recommends that parents discuss with their adult children how long they plan to stay at home. Talk to them about their plans for finding employment. What hours per week do you plan to spend looking for a job? Are you looking for professional assistance ?'”
This conversation is also beneficial for the child. Claypool, Asheville’s content creator, says, “Make sure you have an action plan to know when you should leave. Otherwise, it will be so easy to stay .”