Most parents want the best for their children, including a comfortable life where they don't have to struggle financially. Parents who have had their own financial struggles especially understand how difficult it can be to try to come up with money for rent and bills each month. While it is understandable as well as generous that parents wouldn't want to charge their adult children for living in their home, not doing so can actually be a disservice to the adult child.
Many financial experts agree that parents should charge their adult children rent if an adult child lives in the parents' home or in other property the parents own. Financial advisors have usually seen many cases in which young adults don't take their obligation of paying rent seriously and end up in high consumer debt with an eventual inability to make rent or mortgage payments. Those who do understand that rent and fixed living expenses have to come first, on the other hand, may still have high consumer debt but are less likely to be as seriously behind in housing payments for the most part.
Paying rent and the other fixed fees that go along with it such as electricity bills, is a necessity in the real world and parents not expecting their adult children to pay them anything for living in their premises aren't doing their children any favors. Some young adults keep living at home in order to reduce expenses while saving for their own home and this is commendable and a good idea with the high housing rates today – either renting or owning.
But allowing adult children to live rent-free so they can drive fancier cars and spend more money on trips with friends and dinners out is not teaching them responsibility about money. Learning how to cover basic fixed expenses while putting away some savings will better prepare them for the harsh reality of living in the real world. Financial experts say that, ideally, no more than about 35% of a person's net income should be used for housing costs. You can still give your children a big savings in costs compared to their income, yet have a reasonable percentage of their income to cover your expenses and inconvenience of helping to house them.