We've all read or heard stories--or experienced the real thing--about college grads (or even older kids) moving back home. Thank you Great Recession and the Oh-So-Slow Recovery.
But that's only part of the re-nesting story. As I've written in a previous post, having our adult children live on their own after college is a socio-economic and cultural phenomenon. In many other countries (first world and otherwise), it's accepted as the norm that the kids will live at home until they marry. And for good reason: When they have a job, they can save money for their future connubial adventure or to invest in an entrepreneurial dream.
All of this is the long way around reporting about a formula I came across recently: How much a stay with mom and dad is worth. The logarithm factors in the usual stuff--rent and food, as well as the other perks of living at home, such as having an Internet connection and cellphone paid by the parents and having laundry done by the host (usually, the hostess.)The findings? I'll let The Calculator tell it:
"I wish I’d lived in my parents’ basement the last four years. I’d be $85,000 richer. That would put me in down payment [on a condo] territory already.... Instead, I wasted all my money on rent, food, and TV."
Our hero kept a detailed spreadsheet of everything he spent in his four post-college-grad years living at home and used that journal to create, as he puts it, "a breakdown of the money I washed away."
Want to know what you're host-home is worth to your grown kid? You can go to the “living with your parents” calculator and plug in rent and other expenses (or use The Calculator's estimates of his spending habits) and see how much your grown child would save in four years of living in his or her old room at your house. Hint: The Calculator assumes you'll pay for car insurance and put him or her on your health insurance and that the money saved from living at home would be invested to earn a return.
Bottom line: Re-nesting is worth a sizable nest egg for them. For us, it's a less monetary formula: A chance to experience quality and quantity time with them. Fortune and fortunate tied up in one small bedroom.