Should parents charge their adult kids rent?

Financial Planners

In recent years, more and more adult kids have found it hard to leave home, and they’re still living with their parents.

While it could be awkward for both sides, many wonder – should parents charge their adult kids rent?

CPA Michelle Herting tells Charles Feldman on L.A.’s Afternoon News that, rather than focusing on whether to charge rent, parents should focus on ways to get their adult kids out living independently.

“We want them to be fully functioning adults, and if we charge them rent, we might be holding them back,” Herting said.

There are different reasons why some are stuck living with their parents at an older age, and according to Herting, that’s the best place to start – identify the underlying cause.

If it’s a financial issue from, say, just starting in the workforce, student debt, or maybe medical bills, parents can do what nearly 50% of Americans do – provide supplemental financial support for their adult kids.

If it’s an option, helping with a shortfall on monthly bills, can keep them out of the house and allow them to maintain some independence, Herting said.

She suggests working with professionals such as financial planners can help iron out the details.

And for those struggling with failure to launch, “behavioral psychologists can help them if it’s a matter of not living up to their potential.”

But is there an appropriate cut-off age? Herting said there should be a triggering event, “When they’re done with graduate school, when they’re done with that low-paid internship or a date, for instance, like if they’re 25, that’s a good time for them to move out.”

Herting also believes that by making sure the conditions at home aren’t so comfortable that their kids never want to leave, parents can significantly decrease the chances of ending up with adult kids at home.

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