Time to Hit the Road: How to (Lovingly) Get Your Adult Kid out of the House

If you had an adult child return home (or never leave) during the Great Recession, you're not alone. According to the Pew Research Center, 36 percent of people ages 18-31 were still living with their folks in 2012. That’s a total of 21.6 million members of the "millennial generation" living with their parents. The Great Recession of 2007-09 caused increases in unemployment and college enrollment and a declining number of marriages. Unfortunately, these are the three things that keep young adults living with their parents well past their teens. But the economy is improving and the job market is starting to look bright and shiny, and it's time to nudge your birdie out of the nest.

Establish a Plan

If your young adult has moved back in with you due to job loss or financial concerns, help him create a plan for recovery . Don’t just talk about it—write it down. Create a schedule to revisit the plan regularly and discuss what is on track and what's not working out as well.

This is a business discussion, not a talk about a report card. Your job is to train him to be independent and action-oriented and to stick to the plan. Do not be afraid to speak up. This a teaching moment, a way to empower your adult child to take charge of his life.

Set Financial Boundaries

Discuss what you are willing and not willing to pay for. Avoid covering expenses that would make him more dependent on you. He may not be able to afford his own apartment, but that doesn't mean you should be paying for gas or hair gel.

Hold Him Accountable

Make it clear: If he doesn’t follow the rules, then the arrangement is over. This is not a child. You are teaching him how to make it in this world, and he may be uncomfortable with that. Living in the comfort of your home prevents him from facing reality.

Charge Rent

If your young adult is working, charge him rent. If you have a plan with a deadline and you don't need the money to meet your monthly expenses, put the money into a savings account and present the funds the day he moves out. Imagine what that windfall would feel like to him, and he'll have a little cushion to get through hard times.

Consider a Gift

If you receive monthly payments from an annuity or structured settlement, consider selling your future payments to a company such as J.G. Wentworth for a lump sum payment now. You can use the funds to help your young adult get back on his feet. Of course, if he's the one who receives regular payments, he should consider cashing them in and using the money to move out.

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