Boomerang Children Part Two: Launching Your Adult Child

June 03, 2016

As mentioned in Part One of this post, adult children move back home with their parents for a number of different reasons including recently graduating from college or losing a job. Several times a week, I hear from clients seeking guidance on how to encourage their adult child who has moved back home to live independently again. In Part Two of this post, we will look at three practical ways to launch your adult child.

As this trend continues, it is negatively impacting the retirement that many baby boomers envisioned. We need to take a closer look as to why this is happening and how to help boomerang children live independently from their parents.

What is a Boomerang Child?A young adult who returns to live at his or her family home, especially for financial reasons.

In 2012, 36% of the nation’s young adults ages 18 to 31 were living in their parents’ home, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data. This is the highest share in at least four decades and represents a slow but steady increase over the 32% of their same-aged counterparts who were living at home prior to the Great Recession in 2007 and the 34% doing so when it officially ended in 2009.

How is it possible to maintain a positive relationship with your child while encouraging them to move out? Take a look at these three practical steps:

  1. Adjust Your View:  Instead of picturing of your adult child as a little bird whose wings may not hold him up when he leaves the nest, think of him as fully capable of flying. Maybe your emotions are clouding your judgement. It’s normal to be afraid of what will happen to your kids when you let go.  However, your child is an adult and fully capable of making it on their own. Thinking of him or her as incapable is actually a disservice to them, and keeps you stuck in the primary care-taker role.

  2. Set Clear Boundaries:  Consider drawing up a contract that specifically outlines the terms of living under your roof. Think of the contract as an agreement between two adults, nothing less. If you start viewing your child as a tenant, you’ll be more likely to handle the situation without your emotions clouding your judgement. Your child may decide that the contract is unreasonable and decide to live somewhere else. 

  3. Shut Down the Parent ATM: A big part of launching your child is to stop paying for all of the “extras” in their life. In this day and age, adult children think cell phones, internet, computers, make-up, video games, etc. are all necessities. If you have decided to pay for the actual necessities, such as groceries, the next step would be to kindly remind your child that all the extras are not necessary and they must foot the bill for those things. If he or she doesn’t have the money for these extras, they don’t get them – it’s that simple.  Although this may make your child uncomfortable, it may spark some change and a drive to launch themselves.

Taking these few small steps will put you on a path to help your adult child live an independent life and enable you to live the retirement of your wishes. We at Kemp Harvest Financial can help you through this process and encourage you to call us for all of your retirement planning needs.

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If we at Kemp Harvest Financial Group can help you in any way with regard to your financial planning needs, please feel free to contact us.

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