Do Your Adult Child A Favor: Kick Them Out!
It’s not like you don’t love your children. Far from it, but that doesn’t mean that you want them living with you until they’re old enough to retire.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the problem is getting worse.
According to a study, 13.6 percent of Americans ages 25 to 34 were living with their parents in 2012. That represents a small increase from 13.4 percent the prior year, but it continues the uptrend from 2003 when the number was flirting with 10 percent.
Why the continued uptick? A familiar culprit: the recession. Demographers note that although the rate was rising before the recession, there was a sharp spike when the economy tanked and young people low on the career ladder and corporate seniority lists lost their jobs.
Others are living at home to save money. As one person told the Journal, why pay $700 or $800 per month for rent when you could live at home and save money?
And attitudes towards living at home have changed too. What used to be nightmare scenario a generation or two ago, is now accepted and even enjoyable by current twenty-somethings. Pew Research found that four out of five people living with their parents were satisfied with the arrangement.
But if you’re a parent with an adult child at home, letting them live with you shouldn’t be a free ride, according to experts. You need to set some rules and boundaries, both for your sanity and their growth.
Charge them rent
How could you be so heartless? By remembering that it’s not heartless to teach your adult child how to live on their own in the controlled environment of your home. Experts advise charging them 10 to 20 percent of their take home pay instead of a flat rate.
Force them to work
If they live at home, they have to work, go to school or apply for at least one job each day. No freeloading allowed.
Ratchet up the toughness
One mother advised to, “Make it so uncomfortable at home that your kids flee.” As time passes, impose more rules, raise the rent, assign more chores, and turn off the cable.
Kick them out
Now that sounds heartless, but it’s for their own good, say experts. If a year goes by and nothing has changed, it may be time for tough love. Not only can the arrangement cause a financial strain on your budget, your child has to learn how to live on their own. Ask yourself this: how many successful people do you know that live with their parents?
Even if you enjoy having your adult children live with you, shielding them from life’s financial challenges isn’t doing them any favors. Providing short-term assistance is healthy and caring but when that turns into something that begins to feel permanent, put aside your feelings and push them towards independence.
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