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Right on the Money: how to deal with ‘Boomerang Kids’

More and more parents say they're frustrated by adult children living at home. What's a mom or dad to do? Photo: Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY — So your adult child moves back into the house. How on earth do you set limits on them so they don’t become financial vampires that lead you down the road to end up on Dr. Phil?

We sat down with DMBA’s Shane Stewart to figure that all out.

1/3 of 25 – 29-year-olds are living with parents or grandparents

According to the Pew Research Center, 33% of adult children between the ages of 25 and 29 are living with either their parents or their grandparents. Pew found that in 2014, for the first time in 130 years, adults were slightly more likely to be living with their parents than with a spouse or a partner in their own homes.

That attribution, Pew says, is mostly due to the drop in young Americans who are getting married or “settling down romantically” before the age of 35.

This is not the all-time record number of young adults living with Mom and Dad, Pew points out; that record was set in 1940  when the number was closer to 35%.

What to do? Set boundaries

If you do have your young adult coming back to the nest, what do you do to make sure they don’t become financial vampires?

Well, the first thing to do, according to Orla Mccaffery with, is to start charging them rent.

“The fee allows parents to recoup some of the costs of having another person in the house, from higher water bills to more frequent grocery store trips. And it teaches young adults to pay for some of their own expenses,” Mccaffery writes, which is something she says helps teach them that their money isn’t just party money.

That decision might not be the easiest thing to do, but it’s an important step.

Dave Noriega made that point on Monday’s Dave and Dujanovic Show.

“When we look at our kids, and they struggle, we think, ‘Oh, I just want to want to pave the way a little bit for making a little softer landing,’ which is why we say, come home, live at home, and save your money,” he said.

Shane Stewart with Deseret Mutual Benefits Administrators says that whatever the agreement with your child is, the ground rules need to be set as they’re coming back.

“A little tough love is not out of the question [and] if they’re coming back, set some ground rules,” Stewart advised.

The rest of the conversation

Hear the rest of the conversation about the best way to help your “Boomerang Children” — and at what age you should start thinking about changing the locks in the Dave and Dujanovic podcast below.


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Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play.

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