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Everything You Need to Know When Grown Children Move Home

Seven Key Issues, From Rental Contracts to Health Insurance

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An ever-increasing number of grown children are moving back home. Whether it's because of crushing student debt, layoffs or personal crisis, the move is bound to cause upheaval for parents. Here are some key issues to think about first.

1. Quiz: Are You Ready?

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Depending on distance and family dynamics, a grown child's move back home can be a major undertaking. If you're pondering whether you're ready to refill that empty nest, this quiz can help you decide whether this is the right option, or whether it's time to explore alternatives.

2. Boomerang Kids and Rent

Apartment for rent
Photo courtesy of David Lat, Stock.Xchng photos
Grown children usually move back home for financial reasons. They’re job hunting, paying off college loans, looking for work or saving for a place of their own. So most families wrestle with a basic issue: whether or not to charge rent on a childhood bedroom. About half the 20-somethings that move home pay some sort of rent, but don't fret. There are many options between zero and market rate.

3. 6 Tips to Smooth the Transition

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How does this even work? How long will they stay? Do you charge rent? And do you still have to wash their socks? Fortunately, happy “re-filled" families tend to have six things in common. They set goals, discuss rent and timetables, and reach an agreement on issues like guests, booze and 2 a.m. noise. Here are their tips.

4. A Sample Rental Contract

Courtesy Roland Maier, Stock.Xchng Photos
When your grown-up child moves back home, it’s best to be clear about expectations and financial agreements. Some families draw up formal paperwork, others use a rental contract simply as a guide to launch the big discussion. This sample rental contract can get you started on the process.

5. The Emotional Side

Courtesy Rodolfo Clix, Stock.Xchng Photos
It's natural for parents to wonder if they did something wrong. Heck, we fret about that all the time, not just when a grown child returns to the nest. But when grown kids move home, anger, anxiety and joy are all part of the mix. Frankly, they're usually not super happy about the arrangement either. Here's a guide to understanding the boomerang trend, so you can figure out - or at least expect - the accompanying riot of emotions and find your way to a serene living arrangement.

6. Alternatives to Moving Home

Courtesy Steve Woods, Stock.Xchng Photos
Some 60% of young adults end up moving back home, at least temporarily. But that's not a solution for everybody. The friction may be too much for some families, while others, who have downsized to smaller digs, may be dealing with space constraints. So here are three other possibilities for different situations.

7. Health Insurance for the Not-Yet-Employed

Doctor's bag
Courtesy Sanja Gjenero, Stock.Xchng Photos
Most 20-somethings seem to think they’re immortal, so it’s no big deal when they suddenly discover they’re no longer covered by mom and dad’s health insurance.But all it takes is a bout of pneumonia or a trip to the emergency room to make them – and you – wish fervently that they had medical insurance. Fortunately, the federal health care reform act covers them under your insurance until they turn 26 - although there are some sticky points there for kids living out of state. But there are other ways to bridge the gap until junior gets a job with health benefits.
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