The Centre for Modern Families think tank has released a report outlining the financial pressures felt by parents with adult children still living at home. With youth unemployment still a serious problem, and entry level wages struggling to match up to living costs, the number of grown-up kids still living under their parents’ roof is at an all-time high.
The Office for National Statistics have released figures that show 3.3 million 20-34 year-olds living with their parents in the family home – representing almost 25% of this age group – a shockingly high percentage. There are currently 2.7 million households in the UK with one or more adult children living at home, and ‘full-nester’ parents are starting to feel the strain on their finances. 62% of parents with grown-up children living at home said they were financially supporting their adult children, as well as providing room and board.
The report claims that full-nester households spend, on average, £1200 more per year on food shopping and utilities than households without adult children. In some cases, parents are actually putting their financial future at risk by focusing on funding their children at a time when they could be preparing financially for old age or retirement. The majority of full-nester parents said they were happy to help family members with money and living costs, despite the fact that 32% don’t expect to recoup any of the money spent on supporting their grown-up kids.
Another important factor that has forced more young people back into their family home is the fact that housing benefit for the under 25s has been revoked by the Conservative government, drastically reducing the options available for unemployed young people or those in low-income jobs.
Speaking as a 24 year old still living with my parents, I can guarantee that the vast majority of these young people aspire to flying the nest and making a life for themselves away from the comfort of the family home. However with wages stagnant, spiralling rental costs and a lack of truly affordable housing for young people, especially in London, the number of full-nester households is unlikely to fall in the foreseeable future.
As part of the ‘clipped-wing generation’, I worry that those of us who are not fortunate enough to have the option of living with our parents, are left with little to no viable alternatives. There is a serious debate to be had about the sustainability of the ‘full-nester’ situation, and this report paints a worrying picture of a generation struggling to strike out on their own.