Children who stay put costing parents $12.2b a year

Parents spend about $112 a week on adult children who refuse to move out: research.

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?

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    COMMENTS

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    TREBOR
    31st May 2018
    10:17am
    Hmm... yeah.... but I never viewed my kids as a cost to me... and it seems at times, looking around these days at the rat race they have to live in and with, any parent who is happy to help their offspring get ahead is a good parent.

    Had this conversation coupla days ago with the ex's grand-daughter, who is just finishing high school and getting to start uni next year. Can't see her leaving home until she is established and her parents don't want her to - better to stay at home and go to work and maybe get a property of your own before stretching the wings.
    TREBOR
    31st May 2018
    10:18am
    Oh, yes - I was on my own at 16..... maybe that ruined my thinking.
    Rosret
    31st May 2018
    11:27am
    Exactly Trebor and these articles are so detrimental to young adults who would like to step out on their own but are in an nonviable financial situation.

    Back off and let us look after our own tribe as we see fit.

    The developers, greedy investors, marriage breakdowns, immigration rates and lack of government infrastructure planning have caused this anomaly. Next week you will have an article on youth suicides rates and have piously not linked the two articles together.
    MICK
    1st Jun 2018
    10:38am
    There is a time for children to leave home and there is a difference between getting set for the future and expecting mum and dad to keep you.
    Unfortunately parents are being too kind sometimes and kids are taking advantage of this. A bit of common sense has to be displayed here and tough love is the best thing parents can do so as not to cripple their children. It's tough!
    Nan Norma
    1st Jun 2018
    11:15am
    MICK Agree with you 100% Parents have a responsibility to teach their children to be self-reliant. They can't do this while you are spoon feeding them. You won't always be around. I think some parents are insecure themselves.
    Howie1
    31st May 2018
    11:16am
    In 2000 we took a mortgage out on a house for our children to live in. We told them they must pay rent. Told them not to look at it as rent, but as a down payment on their inheritance.
    They grew up so we left home and worked around the country. I retired in 2017 . Fortunately the house had a granny flat. So we moved back home. With my limited super we paid off an investment mortgage. Our kids have helped us out since retiring and just paid off the rest of the money owing on the family home. Without their help we would not be able to survive. Not eligible for a pension due to retirement investments taking a long time to sell, they loaned us $75,000 and are still paying their rent . Love them greatly.
    Cassius
    31st May 2018
    11:21am
    My kids started paying rent from when they left school and started work. They need to learn to budget.
    cupoftea
    31st May 2018
    11:47am
    Cassius when I left school 1970 and started work I had to pay board to my grandparents I soon learned to switch off lights
    Troubadour
    31st May 2018
    1:45pm
    Yes it is just sensible to have them pay some board - al our kids did as soon as they were earning - not a lot but enough so that they learned about handling finances.
    Our girls were better at keeping a tab on their finances,than their brother was - we did seem to be always helping him out!~! Thankfully he has grown up into a fine husband and father and helps others now learn how to keep their finances in check!
    patti
    31st May 2018
    3:36pm
    So agree, Cassius, see my post above

    31st May 2018
    12:26pm
    How dare anyone try to tell a parent how to raise their children. A child is not a cost, a child is much loved member of a family.
    Twyla
    31st May 2018
    9:06pm
    Old Man,

    Wise comments, as usual
    Nan Norma
    1st Jun 2018
    3:12pm
    We are not talking about a child but an adult.
    jaycee1
    4th Jun 2018
    12:26pm
    Old Man,
    Yes a child is a much loved member of a family. BUT, and it is a big but, they are no longer a child - they are now adults and should be treated as such.
    If they are staying in the family home they should be expected to contribute towards their own usage within that home. i.e groceries / utilities /phone etc.
    Just because it is the family home does not mean the bills stop when they move back in. Usually they increase - sometimes massively, and they should pay for things that they use / eat.
    You are not helping them live in the real world by cushioning them against reality.
    That reality being: houses cost money and if you DON"T pay your bills then you lose said house. FACT, and applies to everything you buy - especially if bought on credit which seems to be the norm these days.
    KB
    31st May 2018
    12:30pm
    My daughter is still living with me in the hope that she will able to save for a deposit for a house. She went to university . Since finishing she has found a full time job and fully paid her HECS Loan She has a full time job and pays a contribution towards living expenses, The only way to help adult children enter the property market is for them to stay home provided that they pay board of some sort and do chores around around the house. My adult daughter is not a burden to me at all. We entered into an agreement that she could stay home as long and needed to pay off her loan and save for a deposit rather than rent as I do already and know disadvantages of renting,You cannot save for a deposit when you are hanoing over money to a landlord paying off rental or lifestyle What comes around goes aound my daughter might need to take me under her roof.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    4:45pm
    Many women expect "What comes around goes aound my daughter might need to take me under her roof". Many don't get that. If children don't learn responsibility they won't be there for you. But I wish you luck.

    31st May 2018
    1:00pm
    This is ridiculous, it's our own fault. The younger generation has been spoilt to the point they are almost useless. Even the government tried to call them youths at 30 and not pay them unemployment benefits. That's because they realise we see them as youths. When are we going to allow this generation to grow up. And before you tell me it's so much harder now , that's plain garbage. Unemployment rates were a lot higher when I was 17 my daughter who doesn't live in a capital city owns a house that is only 3 1/2 times her annual salary, it has 4 bedrooms and granite bench tops.
    Mothers who want to treat their children like babies when they're 30. How many guys out there are putting off their retirement to allow their wives to spoil and ruin their children. As I said ridiculous!
    I was working and paying board at 14. I rented a house and worked shift work in a town far away from my home town just to get work when I was 17. I was in charge of a dozen men when I was 25. Some of the guys on this site were at war at 18. You do them no favours by your ridiculous spoiling of your children you just help them to remain children till they are middle aged. They never grow up and address life as an adult and its your fault.
    sunnyOz
    31st May 2018
    6:22pm
    Marcus - I totally agree. I was a sole parent after my partner passed away, and fully supported my daughter, even paying for her uni course - no HECS debt for her. She was never spoilt - I simply provided for her as a parent. She squandered all that education, and when I was 45, and she was 20, I decided it was my turn, and I bought a cheap little house. She literally went ballistic saying I "OWED" it to her to update her older car, and pay her rent when she chose not to work. I said no, and all hell broke loose. I feel no guilt for ending her gravy train, and she has chosen not to have anything to do with me - UNLESS I pay her some money, which I refuse.
    No doubt she will be sitting there waiting for me to drop off the perch to get her hands on what I have worked so bloody hard for.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    7:40pm
    Sorry to hear that sunny too many mothers are in for bad news when they expect their children to help them when life doesn't treat them so well.
    jaycee1
    4th Jun 2018
    12:50pm
    Marcus I also agree. I was working from 13 - before / after school, also full time on weekends and school holidays.
    My pay was given to my mum and she gave me back pocket money. I was still expected to do chores around the house between coming home from school and going to work, also on weekends when not working. Never harmed me - in fact have been told, many times when working, that I had a very good work ethic.

    sunnyOz,
    Sorry to hear your daughter doesn't appreciate what you have done for her.
    My sister's husbands brother in law is in a similar situation. His stepdaughter expects to inherit everything when he dies even though he has 2 sons with his ex-wife, who actually have a bigger claim than she does.
    John and Morag [her mother] were married for about 8 years when Morag died. John has given thousands, over the years, to Anne but she just keeps putting her hand out for more and more and has told her friends that when John dies she expects to get the house and any money he has left.
    She blames John for breaking up her parents marriage - even though her mother and father were separated and almost divorced when John and Morag met.
    Hoohoo
    5th Jun 2018
    3:45pm
    There's no doubt young people aren't as resilient as our generation were when we were young. After high school I was busting to leave home (& country town) at 17 so left to find work in the big smoke for a year before going to Uni there.

    I first stayed with my older brother, his wife & new baby for a short time. I helped out in their business after work (I found a full-time job 9-5). My sister-in-law did all the domestic work except maybe washing up, even with a colicky first baby. I felt guilty about it (even ex-Catholics will always find something!) but moved out soon after into a share house with other young adults. This is when my real independence started. It was a shock to the system not to have someone running the domestics quietly behind the scene. Trips to the laundromat, grocery shopping, working bees on Saturday for the house to be cleaned, meals rosters & washing up rosters became the norm. Pretty easy when 4 people share the responsibility.

    I don't think real independence begins until you've learnt to run your own domestics. Boarding doesn't cut it. So if you want your children to become independent then teach them how to run a home. Parents, if you can't hand over the reins (& it's extra hard if you've had no practice) then you've dug your own hole.

    31st May 2018
    1:14pm
    As parents age, 'kidults' begin to look after their parents.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    1:28pm
    Good luck with that. Ha ha
    sandiefran
    31st May 2018
    1:33pm
    Our adult son is an asset in many ways - he will do the lawns - when asked- he always washes up, and upgrades my computer regularly. He's my electronic fixit.

    We charge him board and I index this yearly to the current CPI.

    We would be at a loss if he ever moved out.
    Hasbeen
    31st May 2018
    1:41pm
    My son came home after 14 years in the navy, & moved into my granny flat, while he re-established. After about a year, & fully established, he was about to buy a home, when he developed some medical problems after an accident.

    He has used up much of his savings in hospital & specialist costs, & still has one more operation to go. I find his power usage quite expensive, & some of the maintenance on the granny flat has not been cheap. Fortunately My living costs are not high, so we will manage.

    Unfortunately his injuries did not attract any kind of insurance, so my advice is, make sure you have all types of accident insurance. Not having it has cost him a lot, & us a little.
    Sundays
    31st May 2018
    1:56pm
    Our girls left home, came back, left again and on and on for many years. They paid us board, and helped with chores. They were between flats, saving for cars, holidays, house deposit. It may have cost us more, but we we were working and it didn’t matter. However, if it causes financial or emotional strain, then they need to leave and stand on their own two feet.
    Nan Norma
    31st May 2018
    2:30pm
    If your adult child pays their way, does their share around the house and doesn't tell you how to run your life, then you are all on to a good thing. But it doesn't always work like that. Its hard to understand why a parent should have to go to court to get a 30 yrs old to get of the house.
    Puglet
    31st May 2018
    2:48pm
    My daughter, husband, enormous dog and a large amount of property moved in with me while they were building their house. They offered to pay rent etc but I preferred they put all their money into the house. They spent every weekend and most work nights at the house site so didn't have much time to help with chores (unless I asked). They're in their own house now. I miss them but not their two cars, three bikes and camping gear. After they'd gone I worked out a plan for managing as a retiree and by accident discovered how much it cost - electricity, gas, water, food. Not everyone has the resources to support two extra adults. We shouldn't feel guilty if we say no. It isn't a matter of not loving our children but more that some people just can't do it (no room, no money, poor health). I love my kids and would do it all again but I am glad they go home after a visit.
    Charlie
    31st May 2018
    3:24pm
    In my generation teens could hardly wait to leave home, have their own money and stay out late.
    Stay at home rules were strict and boring but also depended on age of parents.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    4:50pm
    Men have a different view of these things, most of us were independent very young.
    Sundays
    31st May 2018
    5:18pm
    Marcus, like your cousin Tib you can’t seem to let your criticism of women slide. I left home at 17 as did many of my girlfriends. Lots of reasons, same as men
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    5:28pm
    Sunday I didn't criticise women. You are jumping to conclusions. And who's tib.
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    5:30pm
    Sunday besides being pregnant at 17 and living with your boyfriend isn't being independent.
    Sundays
    31st May 2018
    5:35pm
    Marcus, you’re an idiot. Nobody lived with their boyfriend when I was 17. You could never have gone back if you had. That came much later.
    Sundays
    31st May 2018
    5:39pm
    Country girls moved to hostels in the city, nurses had to live in, those who went to teachers college left home, those escaping unhappy homes etc, etc
    Anonymous
    31st May 2018
    6:05pm
    Today too many young women see getting pregnant as a career path. After all it's better than working. They leave their child with their parents and go back to having a good time. This is the younger generation.
    Anonymous
    1st Jun 2018
    10:09am
    Going to teachers college or a hostel for nurses is like going to boarding school it's not being independent.
    Hoohoo
    7th Jun 2018
    4:04pm
    You certainly do have a different view of these things, Anonymous. I totally disagree with you because most (young or otherwise) men NEVER become self-sufficient or independent: they are cared for by their mothers & then they are cared for as boarders until they are married, when their wives take over the caring.
    In reality, marriage ceremonies should have the mother of the groom "giving away" her son to the bride. "Phew!" Mum says, "that's one less passenger out of the house."
    And you're living in an alternative reality if you think having a baby is a good career path. There's little or no pay, no holidays, no sick leave, no long service leave (& believe me, the service isn't just long, it's unending) because you're on call all day & night (with no penalty rates). AND NO SUPERANNUATION, so you'll be old & broke despite all your hard work.
    Having a baby is "better than working" you say! Can you think of a shittier job with worse conditions? You've obviously never had a baby.
    patti
    31st May 2018
    3:34pm
    It would cost them to live away from home, and they should be contributing to the household. I always charged my son board when he was working or receiving benefits, however small the amount. Otherwise how are they equipped for real life if they don't know how to manage money when they live independently?
    Nan Norma
    31st May 2018
    5:28pm
    Your right patti. Even if unemployed they get dole money to keep themselves.
    TREBOR
    31st May 2018
    5:24pm
    Anyway, you need grand-kids close so they can fix your mobile phone and computer for you.... anything with buttons.... so maybe they could move in as well....

    If in trouble with technology - call a kid...
    OZtraveler
    31st May 2018
    9:29pm
    They are not a cost until they get into a situation of getting money.... From then on it become another phase on life management education.... Learning to budget within reason is sure to teach them the value of money , commitment and honouring their engagements.... It has work very well toward some and dismally to others between our kids.... It is somewhat character related in part and other factors that come into it at the wrong time..... But in essence they should get used to have to pay their ways or it is out ...They could comeback ( once !...). one got it and others did not..... They all make choices ...
    KeyC
    31st May 2018
    9:33pm
    A lot of comments already posted. I will throw in my bit as well. I am still in the workforce and nowadays having colleagues in the Gen X-Y = Millenials?. At times I am simply flabbergasted to learn about their lives. For instance, I still pack a lunch such as homemade sandwich or leftover dinner/casserole to a fresh salad. While at lunch with my young colleagues regularly, the majority would purchase lunch at the local café for anything up to $20 a pop. Another trendy thing amongst them are the home delivery of meals. Then there is at least 2 x cappachinos/coffee from the local coffee shop. I ask myself on many occasion just how much I have saved whilst they have not.
    Secondly, they purchase brand new 'out of the box' vehicles from sedans to utes with all the mod cons. Thirdly, they plot out their leave planner for a 3-4 week overseas holiday. As for myself, going overseas is a once in a while. My holiday is spent visiting beautiful destinations in Australia. They nearly all seem to be able to sign up to expensive 12-month gym fees; some would hardly make it to the gym.
    But the punchline is …..nearly all of them still reside with mum and dad! Who is to blame? When does a university qualified, 22 year + start taking responsibility and stop the leeching of parents? Sadly, no Millenials may get to read our posts.
    I say: it is all up to the parents to stop being the victim. Time to push them out of the nest or else this pattern gets repeated.
    Rae
    2nd Jun 2018
    10:33am
    The latest trend of buying expensive cars on leasing arrangements with a very large final payment is going to be very bad in 4 or 5 years time when they need that $60 000 or so to pay out the deal.

    Living the life of the Kadashians using debt may seem like a great idea until the bill comes due.

    The annual luxury trip to Iceland, The Vodka Express or next popular spot is also being done using debt.

    Anyone can live like the rich for a while I suspect but the cost to all of us will be very high when they can't pay for it down the track.
    Snowflake
    2nd Jun 2018
    5:53pm
    I was a single dad with two girls and a boy. Brought them up to be independent and they were all gone by 17. Have never come back and we are very close. I think if they had demanded anything from me like a spoilt brat, they would have known the answer in advance. I think that’s why it never happened.
    jaycee1
    4th Jun 2018
    12:59pm
    Snowflake,
    LOL mine were the same. Don't ask and you won't be disappointed when I say no.
    One son came back for about 5 months but that was when he was going through a marriage breakup and needed somewhere to stay fast. Once on his feet again off he went.
    Hoohoo
    6th Jun 2018
    1:08pm
    Good on you, Snowflake. You sound like you were a great parent to your children.
    I don't want to sound sexist, but I think men are much better at setting standards for respect & general appreciation. So many women thinking giving everything = love, but they are actually denying their children to grow up & become self-sufficient.