It can be a tough adjustment at any point in your life when your empty nest becomes full again. However, living and housing expenses can be tough to brave alone. Parents and children alike are choosing to cohabitate when they are in need of the extra help. If you’re thinking of opening up your guest bedroom for a more permanent resident, remember these tips for a smoother transition!
When Children Move Home
Have you heard of “boomerang kids”? The term has recently picked up steam to describe the influx of college grads returning to live at home. The cost of living goes up each year and jobs are harder to find. It can be a real lifesaver for a recent grad to have the option of coming back home while they get on their feet. However, it’s important not to let your child or grandchild get TOO comfy and fall into old habits.
No Freeloading – It’s a good idea to create some sort of formal agreement, wherein your child is contributing to the household and has some responsibility. You are not an ATM machine. Make it clear that choosing to do nothing is not an option.
Allow for Privacy – If your child hasn’t lived under your roof for a while, they’ve likely adjusted to their own way of living. Think about how you will approach their day-to-day. Do you need to know where they went for lunch or what time they’re coming home? Your house may mean your rules, but know when to provide space for your sanity and your child’s.
Prioritize YOU – Your children will always be your babies, but it’s important to know when to let them be an adult. Your financial future should come first. Are you close to retiring? Think about your savings and how much you will need before spending more than you have to help bail out your kids.
When Parents Move In
Children aren’t the only ones moving back home. With high costs of home care, some parents are choosing to move in with their adult children to save money. These living situations can be even trickier, depending on the needs of your parents.
Talk Money – Odds are parents will want to make some contribution to the family expenses. It’s important to set these expectations up front to avoid anger and confusion later. If all members of the family are benefitting from a billed service, who should be responsible for covering the costs?
Think Renovations – Will there need to be additional room for another bedroom? If a parent has a disability, will permanent accommodations need to be made? Sometimes when parents move in, it can mean big changes for the entire household.
Encourage Independence – As much as the parent is involved, they should also be independent. Make sure they have their own social life, activities, and hobbies. This will allow for more privacy throughout the house and will help other members of the family feel less responsible for their happiness.
The best thing you can do for your cohabitating family is to be upfront and respectful. Remember that you get to set the rules to keep your home a happy, safe place.