We had kids because we wanted them around. If this means they'd like to stick around a little bit longer than age 18, that's great in my opinion; we're glad to have them. An MSN Money article notes that "If Junior has his way, there's a good chance he's planning to be on your dime until his mid-20s, while simultaneously believing his financial future is brighter than yours, new research shows." It goes on to say, "About 29% of those surveyed expect to be 25 years or older before they are financially independent without their parents' help, according to a survey from Allstate Foundation and Junior Achievement USA. That's up from 27% last year, and it's a large increase from the 16% who felt the same way just two years ago."
Sometimes it seems that we're so fixated on booting our kids out the door as soon as they reach college age that we fail to take other options into consideration. However, having married into an extended family with lots of kids, and now having kids of our own, I've seen some of the benefits of having children around, even into their 20s and later.
Around the house savings
Having in-laws who have had multiple adult children living at home, I've seen firsthand some of the advantages of having these human resources around. From help with lawn care (a savings of $200 to $300 a month for them during spring and summer months), to assistance with home maintenance and repairs, meal preparation, cleaning, help with Internet problems, computer issues, and other tech related complications, and similar duties, kids around the house can be of great assistance with helping to cut costs that might otherwise be paid for. As we age, I therefore don't really mind the thought of having the kids around, as long as they're pulling their weight.
Help with the family business
It looks like there is a fundamental shift going on when it comes to how an education affects getting a good job. It used to be that if you had a college education, you had a pretty good chance of getting a decent job. After the recession though, that doesn't seem to be the case.
With millions of young kids graduating from school only to return home when unable to find a job, we're not going to push our own kids toward this path. While we also won't deter them from taking it, I've seen how kids returning to work in the family business can payoff through our own extended family. Whether in farming, manufacturing, or whatever, children can carry on a dream started by their parents or grandparents while also building a future of their own.
We're already paying for services; so the more, the merrier
When it comes to things like a house payment or rent, utility costs, and home maintenance and repairs, having the kids around isn't likely to run such costs up that much more. Sure, there is the additional wear and tear on the things they use, and the possible extra cost of things like water/sewer consumption, electricity/natural gas, and maybe an extra cable box or two in their rooms; but otherwise, they aren't going to increase our overall home costs that much more by being around our home.
In the process though, we can save them significantly on their own such services. Half our utility costs typically come in the service charges themselves as opposed to consumption. So it's cheaper for adult kids to utilize services already being provided than have to pay for separate services of their own. And when it comes to things like rent or a mortgage, the savings can really add up for them. Even if they were to pay a couple hundred bucks in rent each month, or help out with home repair projects to pull their financial weight, each side would be coming out on top in our situation. So the thought of the kids coming home to milk us for more money doesn't really bother me, since really, it's a smart financial move and one that I wouldn't blame them for making…plus, they're my kids; and I can't imagine not wanting them around.
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The author is not a licensed financial or parenting professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.
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