Children who stay put costing parents $12.2b a year

Almost a third of Australian adults aged up to 34 are costing their parents around $12.2 billion a year by refusing to move out of the family nest.

Research conducted by comparison site mozo.com.au put the spend on ‘kidults’ by hapless middle-aged mums and dads at an average of $112.50 a week.

“Unfortunately for many children aged 18 and over, moving out of home is not a financially viable option, with seven in 10 stay-at-home children unable to afford to move out and trying to accrue savings,” says Mozo director Kirsty Lamont.

The findings also revealed that the majority of adult children are not paying their way, with 60 per cent living rent or board-free and 75 per cent not contributing to household bills.

Mozo found that while more than half of parents with stay-at-home children are happy to have them in the nest, nearly 10 per cent said it was a financial strain, and three per cent resented their child for continuing to live at home.

More than 30 per cent of parents allowed their children to stay at home so they could save towards a goal. Reasons cited by other parents included: closeness to family (17 per cent), convenience of location (eight per cent) and cultural tradition (seven per cent).

The research follows news out of the US last week where a couple took their adult child to court because he refused to move out.

Mozo offered some tips to ensure harmony in a household shared by two generations:

  • there’s nothing wrong with having a set of rules while you’re all living under the one roof. Take an hour or two to sit down with your kidult and lay down some ground rules about chores, cleanliness, hogging the living area or television, and privacy
  • while you want to help your kids as much as possible, it’s important not to put too much strain on your own budget. Factor in daily living costs and saving for retirement before deciding if you can afford to support your adult children full-time. If not, you might need to compromise, by having them help out with groceries or pay reduced rent while they save
  • to help your kids save more effectively, you could suggest setting savings goals or help them to find some paid work. If you’re serious about them building up their emergency fund, you might make one of the rules that they need to save at least half of their wages every week
  • living with your adult children is bound to be stressful or annoying sometimes. But a little understanding and open communication goes a long way toward a harmonious household.

Do your adult children still live at home? If so, how do you cope and would you prefer them to move out sooner rather than later? How old were you when you flew the coop?

Written by Olga Galacho

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