Tips for parents whose kids move back home
February 06, 2012 | Alliant Credit Union
Divorce, unemployment, a high debt load or a return to school are just a few of the circumstances under which your kids may decide to "boomerang" back home (In 2011, 5.9 million Americans between the ages of 25 and 34 lived with their parents. And 18 million unmarried Americans between 18 and 34 lived with their parents.) This is up 26% since the current recession began in December 2007.
It's crucial for parents to realize they're not doing their kids any favors by giving them a free ride forever. The goal should be to create an arrangement that both supports your children and encourages them to move on. Here are some tips:
- Be clear about the conditions. Discuss length of stay, plans for employment, extent of financial support and expectations for financial or in-kind contribution
- If you charge rent, start out low and gradually raise it over time to give kids an incentive to get back out on their own. Perhaps, write up a rental agreement spelling out the amount, when it will be raised and to how much. Or charge market rent - about 30% of take-home pay or 40% if you include utilities
- Put all or part of the rent money away in a savings account that your child eventually can use to get his or her own place
The Wall Street Journal and the Credit Union National Association Inc.
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