Boomerang Children

8 September 2021

It’s very unlikely that most parents, or their adult children, expected to still be living at home in their adult years. However, given the high rent costs, lack of rental properties and rising house prices, it is near impossible to find the money to save. This has resulted in adult children knocking on their parents’ doors to give them some breathing space and a chance to gather these savings.

Even Pre-Covid, Ireland had one of the highest rates of young people living with their parents in Europe, with 78% of those between 16 and 30.I would expect that Covid has just increased that percentage with a number of adults moving home to study, having to move back home due to losing their jobs or choosing to give up the expensive rent while being able to work remotely.

While some parents may baulk at the idea of asking their child to contribute to the household bills or pay a form of “rent”, most underestimate the cost of having their children live at home in their adult years. Asking your child for a contribution towards the bills is a great way to teach your child to become aware of the costs involved with running a home and living independently.

If your adult child has moved back home with the specific goal of saving money to gather a deposit to buy their own home, then letting them live rent-free so they can save faster is a great idea.Every family is different but, letting them live rent-free can cause frictions to arise as you may not agree with how they spend their money!

One way to get around this which I have seen work in real life and every party has been very happy with the results is to still ask your child for a “contribution” towards the household bills, save that money yourself, and then “gift” it back to them when they’re ready to purchase their own home. In doing this, you do not need to make the child aware that the funds are being set aside.As they are not aware of the savings you are making for them, they are more likely to take responsibility for their own finances and make better decisions. They will however be overjoyed to know that you have been squirrelling money for them when it comes to it. Another advantage of them not knowing is that if later down the line, your child makes some decisions that you do not agree with and you feel the money would not be used in the manner you had intended, then you can change your mind and keep the funds yourself.

If you would like further information on this, please feel free to contact our office but unfortunately, we cannot offer any advice on the division of household chores, grounding an adult child or who gets to pick what to watch on the tv!

Jacinta Clerkin BSc QFA FLIA RPA is a Qualified Financial Advisor, Fellow of the Life Insurance Association and Retirement Planning Advisor. You can contact her through John F. Loughrey Financial Services by telephone on 074-9124002 or by email on

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