Goodbye empty nest: Millennials are moving back home

Lifestyle

If one or more of your adult children moved back home after graduation, your family is part of a widespread trend in America. Research shows that for the first time since the Great Depression, more than half of young adults live with their parents rather than with a spouse or partner in their own home. So what's behind this societal shift? Some of today’s young adults may have different attitudes toward relationships and marriage, but economic factors also play an important role. As college loan debt has risen, moving back in with mom and dad may be a cost-effective housing option for many adults ages 18 to 34.

If you have an adult child living under your roof, one of the first things you should talk about as a family is money. "Everyone needs to be on the same financial page," says Leslie H. Tayne, a debt-related attorney based in Melville, N.Y., and author of Life & Debt (Gateway Bridge Press) in an interview conducted by Athene. All expenses — from food and bills to transportation and rent — need be discussed and outlined.

Not only will discussions about expenses and expectations prevent conflicts down the road, they may help your adult child learn to save money, pay down debt and reach financial independence.

Tayne offers that adult children living at home should also be working. It might not be their dream job, and it might not even be full-time, but they need to have a paycheck coming in so they can begin to learn about budgeting. If they are just entering the work force and open to guidance, your adult children may also benefit from a few tips you can share to help them get the most from their first post-college job.

"In order to appreciate and understand money, you should try to take on your own bills sooner rather than later," says Tayne, who suggests having your adult children put together a list detailing:

  • All of their financial obligations (rent, car payment, cell phone bill, student loans)
  • Due date for each payment
  • Amount of each payment

Even if you are contributing to their payments, "your child should know how much is being paid and when," adds Tayne.

If there is room in their budget to start saving money for retirement, encourage your adult children to start a Roth IRA or contribute to an employer-sponsored 401(k). Financial experts know that retirement accounts started when people are in their teens or 20s can end up being worth much more than those started later in life.

Finally, Tayne recommends checking in with adult children every six months or so about the living arrangement. That way you can gently start nudging them toward independence — both financially and residentially.

This information is brought to you by Athene — where unconventional thinking brings innovative annuity solutions to help make your retirement dreams a reality.

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