There has been a growing trend over recent years of adult children moving back in with their parents for anything from a few months to a few years.
These ‘boomerang’ children move out of home in their late-teens or twenties, but return to the nest after failing to make it on their own.
There has also been a rise in grownup children asking their parents for financial help and support as they struggle to make ends meet on their own.
Many of these children have families of their own now and are failing to keep up with the costs and time needed to raise their own kids.
The answer to these problems are clear for many kids: ask mum and dad.
Not only are parents called on to lend financial aid and support, they are asked to devote their time and energy to help get their child’s family through the day-to-day activities.
Millions of grandparents across Australia, and the world, act as part-time carers for their grandchildren. They pick them up from school, babysit them on the weekend, help them with homework and entertain them for hours of end.
While many parents are happy to help out their children, the pressure can become too much for some.
Jacquelyn McClellan, 74, was already retired when her son came to her for help. He and his wife were struggling to keep up with the costs of paying off a mortgage and affording all the kids’ activities.
She decided to help and ended up using her pension to pay for dancing lessons, family holidays and school fees, all of which eventually led her to bankruptcy in 2011.
Now, Jacquelyn can’t afford holidays of her own and has little savings left in her account.
She did all this though because she felt like she had a duty to help her grandchildren and son.
“I didn’t want them to have a bad life,” she said.
While Jacquelyn’s case is extreme, it’s a concept many parents are dealing with; adult children who ask too much of their parents.
After years of hard work and raising a family, you’d like to think you’d be able to sit back and enjoy your retirement and the money you saved so carefully to get there.
Unfortunately, many parents find they are instead worn out from all the extra duties and pressure they are placed under as they help their children navigate their way through financial struggles and family matters.
We can’t place all the blame on our kids though. The cost of living and unaffordable housing market has placed unprecedented pressure on today’s young adults.
They are facing financial barriers many of us were lucky enough to avoid in our youth.
While we didn’t exactly have an easy run of it either, the average price of a house when baby boomers where first looking to buy was four times their annual salary.
Now our kids are faced with property prices that are 12 times the cost of their annual salary, making it near-impossible to get ahead.
For many parents though, it comes down to this: despite the financial challenges their kids are facing, they want to be able to enjoy their retirement without the burden of having to drain their bank accounts and their energy helping their children out all the time.
What are your thoughts on this issue?