Adult children living at home cost parents hundreds

Parents who have adult children living at home spend around £456 more on their children each year compared to those whose children have moved aw…

Parents who have adult children living at home spend around £456 more on their children each year compared to those whose children have moved away. This is an increase from the extra £372 that was spent on average in 2012, according to the Scottish Widows Centre for the Modern Family.

The increased cost isn't just due to bed, board and essentials; parents are now spending more on luxuries for the children still living at home. One in five (21 per cent) parents with children living at home are still paying for their phone, compared to just 4 per cent of empty nesters.

Some 19 per cent of parents with live-in adult children are also still footing the bill for family holidays, over double the number of those whose children have left home (eight per cent). They are also more likely to pay for entertainment, with around ten per cent paying for subscription services like Netflix, compared to only one per cent of empty nesters.

Mums and dads who still have children living with them were found to be more likely to pay for personal maintenance, such as haircuts and beauty treatments (15 per cent) and clothes (23 per cent).   

The effect of children relying on the bank of mum and dad into adulthood is apparent, with a quarter (25 per cent) of full nesters admitting that the biggest impact on their quality of life is a lack of financial security. This is compared to just 19 per cent of full nesters.

Those with adult children living at home were also found to be more likely to take out loans, get credit cards or go overdrawn in a bid to deal with living costs, with 21 per cent saying this is the case compared to nine per cent of parents whose children have left home.

It isn't just the present that can be affected by these financial decisions. Some 13 per cent of full nesters admit that helping their children with money will impact their retirement plans, with just six per cent of empty nesters saying the same. Although they know there is likely to be a big impact, a third (35 per cent) said they don't expect to get the money back that they have given their children. 

Anita Frew, chair of the Centre for the Modern Family, said: “The Scottish Widows Centre for the Modern Family first uncovered the impact of the full nest on parents’ finances in 2014 – but this latest research suggests that two years on, the financial burden has worsened, with the Bank of Mum and Dad now having to extend its services to fund luxuries like holidays and entertainment subscriptions.

“While it is heartening to see that the UK’s families are so willing to support one another, we are in danger of nurturing a ‘Peter Pan’ generation of children who are reliant on their parents well into adulthood for all types of spending – which could have a major impact on parents’ finances for later life.”

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