There are lots of studies that give us the price tag on raising a child. The U.S. Department of Agriculture pegs it at $250,000 for the first 18 years. Now comes a British report that lets us know how much it costs us should our young adults (21-year-olds) return to the nest--or continue to live at home: Each year, British male children cost their parents an average of £2,195 (that's around $2,800 in our currency); women a mere £2,036 (or $2,600).
The study cross referenced those figures with data that suggested that in Britain many grown kids don't leave home until they're 30 years old. In which case, the price tag for providing all the feathers of the nest for an adult child comes to nearly £20,000 ($25,000) --or £19,489 for men, and £19,837 for women.
Here's how the researchers got there. Their survey base was 1,000 parents with adult children over the age of 21 living at home with them. They took into account increases in weekly food bills, utility bills, broadband use and pay TV subscriptions as well as such incidentals as household insurance premiums. The kids weren't total freeloaders. They made some contributions to household expenses and that was factored in.
The point of the research was to study the impact of rising rents and housing prices on young Brits. So the study looked at the reasons children chose to remain living at home. The top answers:
--34 percent were saving for a deposit to buy their first home.
--33 percent weren't earning enough money to move out.
--23 percent liked the quality of life at their parent's home.
--13 percent enjoyed their parents' company.
That said, there were downsides:
--35 percent said there were parent-child clashes over the housekeeping and help or lack of it.
--28 percent argued regularly over money.
--11 percent said the parent/child relationship turned sour.
One Brit financial adviser's solution: Lend the kids money to buy or rent their own place. It's cheaper in the long run.
How relevant is the Brit experience to ours? There are certainly some parallels. And then there's the Brexit vote. I'm just saying.....