If you've followed the U.S. Census news, you know the phenomenon is more widespread today than forty years ago. Back then, one in five adults ages 18 to 34 were living at home. Today, it's one out of three.
For some of us, having the grown kids putting down roots in their childhood bedrooms is pure pleasure. If they're saving money to get married, buy a house, start a business--or they're keeping vosts down low until the right career job comes along--we feel good about making the future more financially sound for them. Some adult kids are at home because it suits both parents and child. A couple we met on our recent group tour of Morocco admitted, in somewhat embarrassed tones that they enjoy having their 30-something son and his girlfriend live with them. When the parents travel, the younger couple water the plants, feed the cat and walk the dog; when the parents are in town, they are included whenever the younger couple's friends drop by. She's an artist, he's a poet and having the next generation around keeps them in touch with the changing culture.
For many of us, though, the pleasure is mixed with pain. We may be embarrassed that our kids are still at home. Or we may be concerned that our 20-or 30-something kids have failed to launch, or their habits may be out of sync with our life style. Or we feel it's time for our kids to live independently: we don't want to deny them the space to learn the life-management skills of paying the rent and balancing their budget.
Pleasure or pain, if we want to encourage our grown children to find a new place to call home, Canadian parents have a sure-fire method. Pay them to move on.
How widespread is this approach in Canada? A commercial bank's survey of 1,000+ parents found that three out of four Canadian parents with a child age 18 or over would or have offered their child money to move out of the house. How much? About half put the figure at $24,000. (In U.S. dollars that's a few thousand under $20,000.) Those with household incomes of more than $100,000 said they give $40,000, with as many as 25 per cent offering more than $50,000.
You could sum up the concept as, "Here's the money, I love you, now please move out." The survey did not mention how successful the payoff was.