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In this recent thread, a sidebar discussion came up about the appropriateness of paying rent to your parents (if you are the adult child) or alternatively, charging your adult child rent (if you are the parent/homeowner).  In my case, I have an adult child living at home who works full-time in a professional capacity, covers all his expenses that are his individually - car, insurance, cell phone, etc., and brings in a lot of his own food.  The incremental cost of having an additional family member in the house is nominal, and the benefit of having someone else around is huge - another errand runner, a ride to drop of a car for service, someone watching the house when we're away, a helper to move heavy stuff around, etc., not to mention that we have a good relationship and enjoy having him around.   There's no way I'd charge rent, especially knowing what a leg up I am giving my kid when he's able to save the $20k or more annually that he would be spending on rent and utilities for his own place.

Another poster took the position that this approach is actually doing a disservice to the adult child.  The way I see it, as long as the adult child is saving responsibly, and my expenses aren't any higher whether he lives there or not, what purpose does it serve to charge him rent?  I don't need the money, and I really don't see it as teaching him to be responsible by paying his fair share or anything like that.  He's already proven that he knows how to be responsible by finishing school, getting a job, saving money by even considering living at home, contributing to his own short and long term savings goals, etc.  

I'm interested in what others think on the topic, and if you do share your thoughts, please indicate if you are the parent or the child.

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Inadvertent double post.

angelaira (Feb. 15, 2017 @ 2:02a) |

and from what I have seen personally, the opposite of what you are saying is true.  Matter of perspective, I guess, to e... (more)

Mickie3 (Feb. 15, 2017 @ 10:00a) |

I think it really depends on the kid. A lot of kids I noticed in the generation below me (I'm in my 30s, my cousins in ... (more)

adieuminusa (Feb. 15, 2017 @ 9:24p) |

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Absolutely they should be charged rent. I wouldn't necessarily charge my child market-rate, but there should be some kind of a monthly rent cost. I am thinking around $150-$350 per month (depending on the COL in the area).

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does he date? does he bring his GF to home? very very important because no GF is going to date him if he is not independent of his parents

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They should be charged market rate.

If I was ever in that position as the parent - I will make sure each and every penny I collect in rent goes towards the long term benefit of my kid, or their progeny - as against helping with their immediate consumption.

e.g. random ideas (may or may not be appropriate in your situation):
1. Some sort of trust to pay for education cost of any direct blood descendants.
2. Match their contribution to Roth.
etc. etc. etc.

Not collecting rent, in 90+% of cases, will fuel wasteful consumption - and will not help your kid in any way. So yes - I think you are doing a disservice to the kid by not collecting rent from them at full market rate.

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Eh, no, I would not charge my kid rent. Staying with your parents until you get married is very common (even the norm) in many cultures, as you save money to start your family.

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Let me add one other item that is not directly/purely dollars-and-cents:

As part of living on your own, there are many life situations that one has to deal with.

Finding a rental place: the process of finding a reasonable place, deadline with LL, resolving maintenance issues in the rental, lease, deposit, cleanup, roommate (if applicable) etc. Dealing with neighbors

Utilities, bills (paying on time, billing discrepancies (spotting and resolving them)

Stocking up/maintaining the house/apartment: It is one thing to cover your incidental/incremental things in a home you have always lived in and something else altogether if you are fully responsible the household.

Budgeting: It is more than just "able to save the $20k or more annually that he would be spending on rent and utilities for his own place".

In short, have them be completely independent and responsible for their full well-being and grow.

Whether that means you need to necessarily kick the otherwise responsible adult child out, charge him/her rent etc. I am not sure. Just brining in one other item to think about.

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This has come up before and I think the general consensus is a sliding scale for rent reaching market rate within 2-3 years of graduating. I would never, ever charge rent to a child that was still in school, even a graduate program. However, charging rent helps your child understand that literally nothing in life is free.

In that previous post there was a great suggestion similar to what puddonhead suggested- take at least 50% of the "rent" and gift it back to them at a significant life event like getting married, or buying a house. Don't tell them that while they are paying, rather, surprise them with it.

I will say that it sounds like your kid is well adjusted since (s)he's not expecting a handout of free food, "clothes service", etc but actually taking care of their own costs. It also sounds like they are a help rather than a hindrance around the house which can't be said of some other adult children living at home.

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I think it depends:
Mature independent child who is staying with you for 1-2 years while they save up, etc. Doesn't waste your food, doesn't waste your time, and helps out? I'd charge a token rent, or none at all.
Immature child who mooches off of you, wastes your food, has no career, sleeps in all the time hung over, etc. They need a kick in the rear. If you do let them stay, it's gonna be market rate rent.

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Mmmm I'm a bit mixed on this.

Personally, if they are employed, saving money away in retirement and savings, doing chores and cooking for themselves, does it really matter? It's not an different than paying for their college, you're just giving them a leg up instead of tossing all the burden at once. As long as they have a prospect of moving out once financially situated, I wouldn't feel the need to charge them rent.

Now if they ARENT employed or are being stupid with their money - yes, I would charge them rent.

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I'd agree with OP if your kid is responsible and doesn't need to learn a financial lesson then charging them rent isn't hurting them.

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I lived "rent free" due to certain loopholes in corporate travel policy of my employer early in my career for 3 years. I was single, and it was fun.

While that was fantastic in boot-strapping my savings early on - I know that I gathered certain wasteful habit that cost me dearly AND was a huge pain in the butt to get rid of later.

When I look back and try to calculate - the savings still come out ahead of the cost due to the wasteful habits I gained (which I got rid of - at great pain)! However, I wish I got the savings without the bad habits that came with it due to skewed economics!!

Drawing an analogy - When the kid is not paying rent - he/she does not mature and step fully into adulthood. There is a cost for that. And that cost is often much greater than you realize till it is really late!!

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puddonhead said:   ...
Not collecting rent, in 90+% of cases, will fuel wasteful consumption - and will not help your kid in any way. So yes - I think you are doing a disservice to the kid by not collecting rent from them at full market rate.

  

So what about the 10% of cases?

 

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jerosen said:   
puddonhead said:   ...
Not collecting rent, in 90+% of cases, will fuel wasteful consumption - and will not help your kid in any way. So yes - I think you are doing a disservice to the kid by not collecting rent from them at full market rate.

  

So what about the 10% of cases?

 


Can you tell which one is which with certainty?

On the other hand, I am 100% certain charging market rent now AND making sure it goes towards their long term wealth creation will not hurt them!!

To me that seems to present an easy choice.

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There are many ways of contributing to the well being of a household and being responsible besides $$$$$. DCWilbur, you mentioned that your child is doing a lot of those things. If they were just using your house as a hotel, eating all of the food, not cleaning up, etc would you feel differently?

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This is a personal decision. If your kid works hard, saves, and doesnt spend on frivolous crap, theres no reason to charge him rent. Utility of $ is non linear, that 20k to you means nothing, but to him it may accelerate his time to home ownership/etc by multiple years.

I would argue that collecting rent and "applying to his future well-being" as one poster suggested is patronizing as hell.and teaches no values re: fiscal responsibility.

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I'd charge my them rent because i could use the money and I am not able to retire anytime soon...

But what if I had more than enough? I think I'd still charge them rent.
- I don't want them to get an entitled mentatilty
- I don't want them to spend their money frivolously when they can ignore rent expenses
- I don't want them to get lazy
- I don't want them to get messed up in the head. I know of quite a few perfectly capable 30 year olds who are "unable to work" or "unemployable" simply because they were babied for way too long

I probably would charge them much less than market rate. I'd probably keep the money allocated to help my children out in the future.

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Does the amount of help the adult child does around the house alter people's view on rent/no rent?

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jd2010 said:   This is a personal decision. If your kid works hard, saves, and doesnt spend on frivolous crap, theres no reason for them to be living at home .
  
Fixed.

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DPG said:   
jd2010 said:   This is a personal decision. If your kid works hard, saves, and doesnt spend on frivolous crap, theres no reason for them to be living at home .
  
Fixed.

  
What reason is required for family to live together?

There are various good reasons for family to live together.   Simply enjoying one anothers company jumps to mind.   

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I echo the general sentiment here, if your kid is responsible then let his "rent" be earmarked for future education or housing expense. If your kid isn't responsible then charge him rent but secretly put money on the side.

Contrary to what a lot of Boomers believe, Millennials have it rather tough. They earn 20% less than Boomers at the same age (despite being more educated) and have 56% less net worth. Compound that with the high amount of student loans many of them have.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/13/millennials-falli...

The stigma of the "lazy" Millennial is one that needs to be carefully examined. At the present rate they will be the first generation that is worse off than their former. A product of decades of wage stagnation against massive housing and education inflation.

I'm a Gen X BTW with no kids, so I have no dog in this fight. Just trying to add some perspective.

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I think rent should be charged even if the parents want to sock it away and late gift it for a down payment, wedding gift, or whatever. I have seen siblings and in-laws doing this and I think it does create distorted sense of reality for the young adult. Sure they get to save and get a leg up, but they also don't know what it is like to manage a household, even if it is just paying rent, utilities, and food.

I notice one of my siblings who is saving, "helping out", paying for their food probably eats pricier food than someone could/should on their salary and also has free reign on the fringe for the parents food as well. Even though the sibling buys their food, they have a well stocked fringe that they hit-up anytime and enjoy enough meals with the parents to not be paying the true price of all that food. Same for other things. They get access to the full cable package, internet, unlimited hot water, and other things that they would have to pay for somehow. They definitely have greater access or free reign in the house that other siblings while they are visiting. Parents have just grown accustom to them being around and buying enough to feed the crew in the house, even though the child is "supporting themselves".

My experience: I came from a large family and was told I needed to head off to college/military/own apartment when I graduated high school and make my own way. It was not even an option to hang around not that I wanted to anyway.

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S197 said:   I echo the general sentiment here, if your kid is responsible then let his "rent" be earmarked for future education or housing expense. If your kid isn't responsible then charge him rent but secretly put money on the side.

Contrary to what a lot of Boomers believe, Millennials have it rather tough. They earn 20% less than Boomers at the same age (despite being more educated) and have 56% less net worth. Compound that with the high amount of student loans many of them have.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/13/millennials-falli... 

The stigma of the "lazy" Millennial is one that needs to be carefully examined. At the present rate they will be the first generation that is worse off than their former. A product of decades of wage stagnation against massive housing and education inflation.

I'm a Gen X BTW with no kids, so I have no dog in this fight. Just trying to add some perspective.

  
I would say your statement overall is incorrect. Having it "tough" is incredibly relative, but the definition of today can only be described as "First world problems"

I think the biggest problem with millennials is the stupid connotation that EVERYONE has to go to college. EVERYONE is a bright and shining star. That means, EVERYONE can make it in advanced education, right? WRONG. Not everyone is cut out for advanced education. Not everyone is meant for it. Plenty of people would be 10x better off (pay wise, debt wise, life wise) by going to a trade school or climbing the ranks of any advanced skill (HVAC, Plumber, Construction, etc.. etc..). But nope - someone shoved the concept of going to school to get a piece of paper with a $50k price tag down these kids throats... And now they are shocked that after the fact they are working at Starbucks still with their amazing piece of paper saying they are qualified in the amazing talented art skill of Psychology or Women's Studies. 

Millennials come out of high school with these prospects of making it big, and when the real world comes to smash them over the head with a mallet they can't even manage to get back on their feet and conquer the world. This is the systemic problem with millennials - they look so far up that their head does a 360 and ends up in their own ass. The real world is a cruel place, and the sooner you teach kids this the better. The market doesn't care what you're passionate about. The market will pay you what they think you're worth... which is based on what generates money. That's it. I don't care how much I loved playing MMORPGs growing up, 16 hours a day. When I went to school I knew I wasn't going to get paid to play them. So now we have a screwed up windmill of kids coming out of school that could find a real job, but instead would rather live in depression always dreaming of that cushy white collar job.

This is why certain industries LOOOOOOOOOOOVE the idea of legalizing and allowing illegal citizens, they are the cheapest of the cheap as far as cheap labor gets - which is hard to find now with the millennial generation.  Until people stop and realize that there is money to be had when you don't go to college, we are destined to have our working population forever decrease. 

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I wouldn't charge my kids rent.  I would prefer my kids save or invest the money they were going to give me.  Their mother and I don't need the money.

Too many Americans have no vested interest in giving their own kids a head start in adulthood.  It's as if it's a BAD THING to ensure your kids have a better life than they did! Can't have that! Pull yourself up by the bootstraps that we (your parents) never gave you.  

Kick them out at 18, charge them rent if they come back, tell them they're not good enough, tell them they're lazy (looking at you, Baby Boomers).  And you wonder why they don't call once they leave the nest. 

For all you naysayers, I hope your kids put you in the worst nursing home in town. 

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justignoredem said:   
S197 said:   I echo the general sentiment here, if your kid is responsible then let his "rent" be earmarked for future education or housing expense. If your kid isn't responsible then charge him rent but secretly put money on the side.

Contrary to what a lot of Boomers believe, Millennials have it rather tough. They earn 20% less than Boomers at the same age (despite being more educated) and have 56% less net worth. Compound that with the high amount of student loans many of them have.

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/2017/01/13/millennials-falli... 

The stigma of the "lazy" Millennial is one that needs to be carefully examined. At the present rate they will be the first generation that is worse off than their former. A product of decades of wage stagnation against massive housing and education inflation.

I'm a Gen X BTW with no kids, so I have no dog in this fight. Just trying to add some perspective.

  
I would say you're statement overall is incorrect. Having it "tough" is incredibly relative, but the definition of today can only be described as "First world problems"

I think the biggest problem with millennials is the stupid connotation that EVERYONE has to go to college. EVERYONE is a bright and shining star. That means, EVERYONE can make it in advanced education, right? WRONG. Not everyone is cut out for advanced education. Not everyone is meant for it. Plenty of people would be 10x better off (pay wise, debt wise, life wise) by going to a trade school or climbing the ranks of any advanced skill (HVAC, Plumber, Construction, etc.. etc..). But nope - someone shoved the concept of going to school to get a piece of paper with a $50k price tag down these kids throats... And now they are shocked that after the fact they are working at Starbucks still with their amazing piece of paper saying they are qualified in the amazing talented art skill of Psychology or Women's Studies. 

Millennials come out of high school with these prospects of making it big, and when the real world comes to smash them over the head with a mallet they can't even manage to get back on their feet and conquer the world. This is the systemic problem with millennials - they look so far up that their head does a 360 and ends up in their own ass. The real world is a cruel place, and the sooner you teach kids this the better. The market doesn't care what you're passionate about. The market will pay you what they think you're worth... which is based on what generates money. That's it. I don't care how much I loved playing MMORPGs growing up, 16 hours a day. When I went to school I knew I wasn't going to get paid to play them. So now we have a screwed up windmill of kids coming out of school that could find a real job, but instead would rather live in depression always dreaming of that cushy white collar job.

This is why certain industries LOOOOOOOOOOOVE the idea of legalizing and allowing illegal citizens, they are the cheapest of the cheap as far as cheap labor gets - which is hard to find now with the millennial generation.  Until people stop and realize that there is money to be had when you don't go to college, we are destined to have our working population forever decrease. 

  
Baby boomers and early GenXers raised millennials.  So what does that say about them if millenials have poor expectation management?

Read Our Kids by Robert Putnam.  It will enlighten you. 

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RailroadTrack said:     
Baby boomers and early GenXers raised millennials.  So what does that say about them if millenials have poor expectation management?

Read Our Kids by Robert Putnam.  It will enlighten you. 

  
I never said who was to blame. Believe me, the moment it became the teacher's fault for a kid being stupid instead of the parent's fault is the moment you knew shit was going downhill fast.

Edit: I should also say, I AM a millennial - and I feel ashamed to have a to be a part of this group.

 

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justignoredem said:   
I think the biggest problem with millennials is the stupid connotation that EVERYONE has to go to college.


 


Perspectives on the value of college don't very all that much based on age.   

http://www.gallup.com/poll/166490/americans-college-education-im... 

% who think college is "very important"
18-29 year old = 74%
30-49 year = 70%
50-64 year = 68%
65+ year = 67%

And when millennials think college is more important its due in large part because their parents told them so.


ETA:   The % of the population with college degrees isn't drastically changed by age either.
http://www.census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/20...

% of population with some college or more : 
age 25 to 34 = 65%
age 35 to 44 = 62.8%
age 45 to 64 = 59%
over 65 = 49.7%

% with bachelors 
age 25 to 34 = 36.1%
age 35 to 44 = 36.3%
age 45 to 64 = 32%
over 65 = 26.7%
 

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I find it amusing to see that Millenials labeled as "lazy". I recall that was what they dubbed Gen X.

I wonder if back in the 1890's if the "Greatest Generation" was dubbed "lazy" by their grandparents and ridiculed for wanting to graduate from elementary school?

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Without a doubt I'd charge my child rent. If I wanted to be generous and didn't have a need for the money, I'd consider putting the money in a savings account and gift it back to him/her when he moved out. There's a reason why my generation (I'm 34) is still living at home so late into adulthood. They're parents make it too easy for them and there's no incentive to move out on their own.

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justignoredem said:   
RailroadTrack said:     
Baby boomers and early GenXers raised millennials.  So what does that say about them if millenials have poor expectation management?

Read Our Kids by Robert Putnam.  It will enlighten you. 

  
I never said who was to blame. Believe me, the moment it became the teacher's fault for a kid being stupid instead of the parent's fault is the moment you knew shit was going downhill fast.

Edit: I should also say, I AM a millennial - and I feel ashamed to have a to be a part of this group.

 

  
It's important to recognize who caused this.  I'm a firm believer that the baby boomers are largely at fault for the mess millennials are in, and the country for that matter.  I don't want this to turn into a political discussion, so I'll digress. 

I'm not ashamed to be a millennial.  I'm ashamed that many parents in the the generation(s) that raised millennials didn't take the time to think about anyone other than themselves. 

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TRD703 said:   Without a doubt I'd charge my child rent. If I wanted to be generous and didn't have a need for the money, I'd consider putting the money in a savings account and gift it back to him/her when he moved out. There's a reason why my generation (I'm 34) is still living at home so late into adulthood. They're parents make it too easy for them and there's no incentive to move out on their own.
 

  
If you wanted to be generous and didn't have a need for the money? So obviously you'd charge them because you do need the money.  Do you have any children?

Many in your generation are living at home because of the reduced opportunities and because they make 20% less than the boomers.  Again, do some reading please.  Books.  Not news articles. 

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RailroadTrack said:   
TRD703 said:   Without a doubt I'd charge my child rent. If I wanted to be generous and didn't have a need for the money, I'd consider putting the money in a savings account and gift it back to him/her when he moved out. There's a reason why my generation (I'm 34) is still living at home so late into adulthood. They're parents make it too easy for them and there's no incentive to move out on their own.
  
If you wanted to be generous and didn't have a need for the money? So obviously you'd charge them because you do need the money.  Do you have any children?

Many in your generation are living at home because of the reduced opportunities and because they make 20% less than the boomers.  Again, do some reading please.  Books.  Not news articles. 

Not sure I buy the reduced opportunities, at least with the situations I know.  Perhaps bad parenting, poor life decisions/sense of direction (psychology degrees, etc), and lack of drive to create opportunities.  "Life is hard and I didn't get the first job I applied for and I am not willing to move to get work" = excuse to live with parents.  Previous generations of older siblings (children spanned 24 years between first and last), struck it out with knowledge that it was up to them to make opportunities and succeed.  Younger ones always had a comfortable life at home and the safe net to return.  Given the net, it is easy to say the world is not the same and move back to the comfortable life.  I understand my situation is different than OPs since it is probably more mooching, but it still applies in general to many in that generation.  

I have two young daughters and they will definitely be encouraged strongly to strike it out on their own, I truly believe it is in their best interest in the long run.

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You are going to read everyones post and do what you wish anyway,
Instead of rent they can share some of the expenses
you might as well split the cost for tv/internet.some of the homeowners,
When he goes food shopping does he shop for you?

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1st off, thanks dcwilbur for starting a new thread and covering my viewpoint from the old thread! I wasn't sure if anyone was interested in discussing this, but it looks like, based on the number of replies already, that we were on to something!

I didn't mention this in the other thread because I didn't want it to get bogged down, but now that we have our own thread, here goes...

The charging of rent isn't really the main point of this. In the other thread where the 25 year old guy making $84k was living rent free at home, my main reason for suggesting that he should be paying his parents rent was because he would see that it's crummy to pay rent to live somewhere that isn't yours, and it would motivate him to go out and get a place of his own.

Let me first dispense with the cultural argument. Yes, there are cultures where the kids live with family until they are married off. That's not our culture. At least it hasn't been for several generations. Back when young adults got married shortly after high school or college, it wasn't a big deal to stay at home until you were married, because that didn't last long! If you live in an immigrant community and want to retain your culture of kids living a home for a while, that's fine, but expect your kid's marriage prospects to be limited to the people in that community if that's the reasoning behind it.

Several other posters (specifically fwuser12, puddonhead, and riznick) have pointed out the life lessons you may be keeping your kids from learning if you allow them to live rent free. And charging them rent might not necessarily help. They may need to actually live on their own to learn those lessons. In addition to the lessons listed above, your's child's perceived role and success at marriage when they finally do move out might be adversely affected by letting them live at home for too long. For instance, imagine your son living with you until his mid to late 20s. He's had years where he was never 100% responsible for washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, doing laundry, etc. You may claim that your kid does all these things, but does he really? Does he wash the whole house's dishes? Does he clean all of the bathrooms. Does he vacuum the whole house? Now imagine him moving in with his wife. Honestly how easy is it going to be for her to get him to take on (or at least share) some of those responsibilities? Add that issue to him not knowing what fwuser12 listed and you may have really made your kid into a pretty crummy spouse. I sure as heck wouldn't want my kid marrying your kid.

Actually, that might be the best way to look at it. Who would you rather have your kid marry?
1. A 26 year old who has never been away from home other than college. That has never had an account with the cable, power, or water company. Has never had to deal with a landlord. Has never had to manage a budget that involved housing expenses. But has $40,000 in the bank.
OR
2. A 26 year old who has lived on their own for the past 4 years. That maintains a clean apartment with utilities. And has been able to save a few thousand bucks while maintaining their lifestyle.
If you say that it doesn't matter to you, then by all means, let your kid stay with you however long he or she pleases. The custom now is for young adults to live together before marriage anyway. He or she will just sacrifice that first (or first few) living together relationships while he or she learns how to maintain a household.

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If you charge rent, is it ok for the person to charge you back for services provided? I would never charge my kid rent as the OP pointed out.

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RailroadTrack said:   
TRD703 said:   Without a doubt I'd charge my child rent. If I wanted to be generous and didn't have a need for the money, I'd consider putting the money in a savings account and gift it back to him/her when he moved out. There's a reason why my generation (I'm 34) is still living at home so late into adulthood. They're parents make it too easy for them and there's no incentive to move out on their own.
  
If you wanted to be generous and didn't have a need for the money? So obviously you'd charge them because you do need the money.  Do you have any children?

Many in your generation are living at home because of the reduced opportunities and because they make 20% less than the boomers.  Again, do some reading please.  Books.  Not news articles. 

  Apparently you misunderstood what I said.  To rephrase, If I didn't need the money and could afford to have them live at home with no impact, despite that, I would still have them pay me rent.  In that case, I would consider placing those monies in savings to give as a "house warming" gift when they move out.  I believe the lessons learned from managing expenses are too valuable to ignore.

To answer your question, no, I don't have any children.  I suppose it's possible that my child may "not call once they leave the nest."  But I don't believe in telling a child "they're not good enough" and "they're lazy", so I don't think your generality of 'paying rent=you're a failure' is a fair comparison.  There may be some who are living at home because of reduced opportunities, but there are many doing so because there is no urgency to leave.

At the end of the day, the OP asked the FW community our opinions.  This is mine.  I understand you're saying you wouldn't charge your children rent, possibly even if you needed it.  I respect your opinion; I just don't agree with it.  Good luck to you.

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I can't imagine living at home as an adult. I moved out at 18 and never looked back.

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puddonhead said:   They should be charged market rate.

If I was ever in that position as the parent - I will make sure each and every penny I collect in rent goes towards the long term benefit of my kid, or their progeny - as against helping with their immediate consumption.
 

  Then how happy will you be when the tables are turned? When you are old and can't live by yourself, how will you like it when your kid says, Pop, you're welcome to live with me instead of going to a nursing home as long as you pay me the $7,000 a month market rent a nursing home would charge.

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jigsaw1975 said:   If you charge rent, is it ok for the person to charge you back for services provided? I would never charge my kid rent as the OP pointed out.
  If rent is charged by parent, it would/should take into account the big picture --- not just "rent" for the space but utilities, cable, internet etc., use of common area, and of course the services provided by the child. I am sure it is not an exact science but somewhat subjective.

The implicit understanding is that the child can decide to live on their own if the exchange of "rent" and service provided is not in their interest.

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I think it really depends on the kid. A lot of kids I noticed in the generation below me (I'm in my 30s, my cousins in their 20s) are totally lost because their parents provided everything for them, took are of everything (bills, food, clothes, education, gas, insurance, etc, etc) and they gripe to me about how they are not prepared for the real world, that they don't feel they can move out any time soon and want to stay home but they have issues getting along with their parents who kept nagging at them.

Whereas, when I was living at home with my parents, I didn't pay any rent because I help them more than they help me. In fact, I didn't want to stay home but they needed me and I take care of their paperwork, insurance, running errands for them, etc. Basically they were more dependent on me than I was on them and I learned how to be independent when I was away in college.

If the kid did not have a chance to learn about rent and bills and food and gas and basically personal finance in college, then the parent should charge them rent, and heck, a portion of all bills, just so they can learn the basics of personal finance that a lot of kids don't get to learn about. It is not about the incremental cost of them being at home, it's whether or not you are enabling them to not be personnally financially savvy. It's about more than saving 20k for their own house. I was a budget analyst and it's amazing how many grown folks I know don't know how to budget and live within their means.

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