A recent MSN Money article touched upon how to deal with boomerang kids, as if such kids are a definite bad thing. While I'm sure most parents would prefer to see their children not only survive but thrive on their own, I also think that as a society, we have lost sight of many of the valuable things that can come with multi-generational living.
While our family has never moved in with parents as a necessity, we have had several multi-month stints living with parents over the past few years due to moves and relocations. These experiences have taught us that while there can certainly be challenges to cohabitating with parents, there can be a variety of benefits -- many of them financial -- for both sides as well.
I can tell you that moving back in with the parents was a big help to us financially. Being rid of a monthly mortgage, property taxes, and home repairs -- even for just a few months -- saved us thousands of dollars. At the same time though, while our parents' costs for things like housing and utilities didn't really increase (or increased minimally) with our arrival, our chipping in for things like food and utilities, if not helping them financially, at least helped cover our being there.
Increased Home Maintenance for Decreased Costs
Another one of the benefits of boomerang kids can be the assistance and cost savings it can provide to aging parents. In our case, having me around to do things like fix leaky sinks, cut the grass, shovel snow, clean gutters, rake leaves, paint, move heavy things, and conduct other maintenance and cleaning jobs not only saved the parents thousands of dollars that they would have had to spend paying someone else to do such work, but made me feel useful and as though I was pulling my weight around the house. It also kept them from attempting difficult and at times dangerous work themselves.
Some parents like having their adult children around. And believe it or not, some of us kids actually enjoy and like being around our parents. Many nights we found ourselves staying at home to spend time with our parents rather than having to go out and spend money at restaurants or bars, and vice versa.
My wife's parents were going out to eat and ordering takeout much more before we moved in and began pulling much of the cooking weight around the house. While they were often feeding us (even though we did chip in for food), it was still significantly cheaper than order food or going out to restaurants. In turn, we provided one another with cheap entertainment, they got more time with their grandchild, and we all gained some family time together that we might never had enjoyed were we not "boomerang" kids.
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The author is not a licensed financial professional. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.
Foreman, Gary. MSN Money. "How to deal with 'boomerang' kids". January 15, 2013. http://money.msn.com/family-money/how-to-deal-with-boomerang-kids. January 29, 2013.