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One of the most difficult and challenging financial situations I see in my line of work is when a young adult moves back in with their parents after graduating from college, both for the parents and the young adult moving back in. This isn’t an uncommon situation as this young adult generation is known as the “Boomerang generation.” The reason why this is a tough situation is that while it can be a helpful situation, it can also have a harming impact on the young adult. If you are facing this situation, here are three things to consider before you move back home or have your child move back in.
How long is this arrangement going to last?
By answering this question first you are making sure that everyone is on the same page. A lot of times frustration occurs when one party (usually the parents) assumes that it’s going to be a 6 month deal and the other (usually the young adult) thinks it could be longer. So I recommend first setting a time limit of how long the arrangement will last. It helps the child get in the right frame of mind of going somewhere and forces them to get everything situated in the time frame. A little motivation and pressure never hurt anyone and that way they shouldn’t be upset or angry when the time comes to move out. In addition, you won’t have to look up five years later and find yourself in the same situation.
What are the rules in the house going to be?
This happens all the time. The young adult moves out after high school, experiences some freedom and independence as a young adult, then they have to move back in and don’t like following the rules at the parents’ house. Conflict ensures and anger and resentment build. However it’s the parents’ home, so they get to make the rules. If you don’t like it then you can live somewhere else. Is it okay to have friends over, what time do they need to be home, what chores do they need to do around the house are things that need to be discussed beforehand. Also the issue of money should be discussed. Will the child pay any rent, contribute to the utility bills, or buy their own food?
What must happen for the young adult to move out?
For both sides the goal is not to have this become a long term endeavor. So decide what must happen for them to move out. Do they need to reach a certain income level? Or do they need to pay off their debt first? What can happen is that the child has it so good at home and they are saving a lot of money so they don’t want to move out. But you need to realize that while living on your own at first might not be as a good as living at home, it is important to learn those adult life skills such as paying rent, buying groceries, and establishing your own budget.
While it has become the norm to move back in with the ‘rents after school, it might not be the ideal way to go. That’s because it sometimes become a permanent ideal if you aren’t careful. Part of the problem is not establishing the ground rules first. But if the both of you have honest discussions and agree on what this time will look like, it can be used as a good launching pad and not a failure to launch.
For parents, would you consider having your child move back in after college? What rules would you make sure your child followed if they moved back in?
Have you ever considered moving back home? What made you decide to do it or not?