After finishing college, it’s not unusual these days for 20-somethings to move back in with the parents. Given the high cost of living, and slow-moving economy, “boomerang children” could be a long-term trend. So how you get your adult children ready to eventually move out? Setting some ground rules can help.
Rule #1: Require that your child contribute — money and/or services — each month to the household.
Rule #2: Insist that your young adult save a significant part of his/her earnings for a down payment on a rental, or better yet, an equity investment – purchasing a home/condo, starting a business. It’s very OK for you to sit down with your young adult to help him/her set up financial goals and then monitor the progress. Saving, for a bird who has returned to the nest, is similar to saving for college, except that the time frame is shorter, so the emphasis should be on safe, short-term investments.
If you want to continue helping financially, you can set up an incentive plan. For instance, for each $1 saved by him/her, you might contribute a matching percentage. Remember that you can give up to $14,000 annually to your child ($28,000 for husband/wife) without incurring federal gift or estate taxes.
To the extent you’re too personally and emotionally involved to institute a savings plan, a financial advisor can be a useful and objective source of advice for you and your child. Here at LNWM, we often sit down with the children of clients, including young adults, to review what they want to do and how to go about attaining financial independence. Depending on the situation, there are a number of strategies that are especially helpful. For our best advice on each decade of life, read this article by LNWM’s Kristi Mathisen and Sam Craig.