You thought you were long done with the day-to-day catering to your child's needs. When Junior flew the coop, it was supposed to be, well, for good. But after a rough patch in the adult world, he's suddenly back on your couch, his size 12s on your coffee table, planning another night out instead of a way out of your house.
You may find some comfort in knowing that you're part of a growing trend of boomerang kids, and that the recession is much to blame for it. Multigeneration households have increased significantly over the past five years.
According to a survey by the Pew Research Center last December, three in 10 parents of adult children (29 percent) report that the economy forced their grown child to move back in with them in the past few years. Adults age 25 to 34 are among the most likely to be living in multigenerational households.
"A generation ago, living with your parents wouldn't have been accepted if you were an adult," says Christina Newberry, author of The Hands-On Guide to Surviving Adult Children Living at Home, a companion to her website. "The stigma is not there anymore."
Experts say that such living arrangements, frowned upon or not, can be a positive experience, but can also cause conflict if there's no proper planning. After all, taking care of an adult son or daughter could mean extra expenses at a time when you have your sights set on retirement. Or maybe you were hoping to downsize — and now those plans have been put on hold. And that thing you can't put a price on — your peace of mind — could take a hit, too.
So, should you get that desperate phone call from one of your own, lay down rules to help keep harmony in your relationship and to prevent your nest egg from dwindling.