Should I charge rent after my son graduates from college?


Q. My son is graduating from college but he doesn’t have a job yet. He wants to move back home. He hasn’t found a job in his field yet and I think he wants a break before working full time but we haven’t really talked about it. At what point should I charge rent or insist he works, even for DoorDash or something?
— Mom

A. Congratulations on this big life event.

You and your son both are in for some changes as he establishes himself as a full-fledged adult.

Start by creating expectations for your graduate so that you are not left supporting him for too long, said Jody D’Agostini, a certified financial planner with Equitable Advisors/The Falcon Financial Group in Morristown.

She said it’s a parent’s job to empower their children to live responsibly and independently. You have done this by providing for their education, she said.

“It is not healthy for both parties to have an extended period of unemployment,” she said. “I would offer six months for them to obtain employment.”

If they are not devoting their full time towards finding a job, then you might insist that they secure some job that supports their entertainment and personal expenses but does not get in the way of their job search, she said.

“It can take months for the interview process, and patience can secure a better starting situation,” she said.

As part of this, you may want to work with your son on a budget so he can plan ahead to get his own place and find his financial independence.

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This story was originally published on May 1, 2023. presents certain general financial planning principles and advice, but should never be viewed as a substitute for obtaining advice from a personal professional advisor who understands your unique individual circumstances.

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