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For a lot of parents, the day a child moves away from home, regardless of their age, can be a day filled with both sadness and a secret sense of relief. For as much as they’ll be missed, the peace and quiet and chance to put yourself first for once could be an attractive thought.
However, this day might be further into the future than you anticipated, if a recent survey by the ONS (Office for National Statistics) is anything to go by. According to figures highlighted in an article in The Guardian newspaper, “many young adults in their mid-20s and early 30s, and especially men, are increasingly postponing the transition into adulthood”. The reality is that the number of grown-up children still living with their parents or returning to the family home has increased significantly over the past decade.
The ONS reports that 25% of men aged 25 to 29 now live with their parents – almost double the proportion of women in their late 20s (13%) who still live at home. And surprisingly high numbers of thirtysomethings are still tied to the apron strings – latest stats reveal that more than 10% of men in their early 30s live with their parents compared with 5% of women of the same age group.
So why is the nation’s youth struggling to launch into independence? Rising property prices is a key factor. A third of the so-called “adult-kids” who have not left their parents’ home say they haven’t done so due to prohibitive costs pricing them out of getting on the property ladder. Property ownership for some is just an elusive dream – the large deposits now required mean that making it to the first rung on the ladder can prove impossible for many young adults in their 20s and early 30s. With rental prices also deemed too expensive by some, staying in the family home can seem like the only viable option.
And while more young people are going on to further education than ever before, the cost of getting a degree has also never been so high. Hefty tuition fees – only set to get higher over time – and the generally high cost of living mean that many graduates emerge with a substantial debt before they’ve even drawn their first pay packet.
Meanwhile, unemployment – which has increased during the recession – has also forced growing numbers of both graduates and non-graduates back to the family home.
There is however also a growing group of young people who may be simply struggling to grow up regardless of financial constraints. This band of reluctant adults, dubbed “kippers” – kids in parents’ pockets eroding retirement income – are staying on at home through choice. For some, rent-free luxury with hot meals and a laundry service on tap is simply too cosy to give up.
With many parents now providing a roof over their children’s heads for several more years than they may have initially expected, securing and protecting the family home seems more important than ever. You might want to consult an independent financial advisor to find the best saving and investment vehicles for your needs and also consider taking out life insurance cover, which is designed to make sure your family is protected in the event of your death, during the policy term.