[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Monday, 17 November, 2003, 05:30 GMT
The Kippers who won't leave home
Scene from the fictional TV series Sorry, about an adult still living at home
Timothy from TV series Sorry: Not alone in still living at home
Almost 1 million adults are still living with their parents even though they are approaching 40, a study says.

The Prudential has dubbed those who refuse to fly the nest "Kippers", for "kids in parents' pockets eroding retirement savings".

Overall, it said 6.8m over-18s live with their parents. Less than half pay rent, and many are given cash to spend.

A Prudential spokesman said the study showed how parents needed to plan their finances "for every eventuality".

The rising costs of housing and further education, together with a reduction in state support, have previously been identified as factors making young people stay at home for longer.

But this survey reveals just how much a drain on resources an adult child can be.

It found that many adults continue to live off their parents even after they have left home.

Four out of 10 parents continue to help children out when they leave home - at a total cost, last year, of 20bn.

  • Almost 5m helped with a deposit for a home
  • 6m paid for weddings
  • Nearly 8m paid towards further education
  • 6.5m bought cars for their offspring
  • Nearly 3m paid for their child's travels
  • 2m paid for their gap year
  • 1m started a pension for them
  • 8m opened a savings account or investment product for their adult child.

Angus MacIver, director of research at Prudential, said: "The findings may come as a rude shock to parents who expect their kids to be out the door when they turn 18 - these days parents may be stuck with them for much longer.

"While this may not be a problem in itself, the real worry is how much these kids cost - and the extent to which they eat into parents' retirement savings.

"Whether our kids leave home at 18, 20 or 30 years of age, families need to plan ahead for every eventuality.

"Not only do they need to plan to help their children, they also need to balance that with the need to plan their own retirement.

"Kicking-off a savings scheme or pension as early as possible for their kids is an excellent start."

Do you still live with your parents? Why are more people staying at home? Send us your stories?

They've been an absolute rock for me
Chris, UK
Being 28, I have been forced to live with my parents through my own bad financial planning, and the collapse of the IT job market. They've been an absolute rock for me and I'm very grateful for it. However I am moving to the US and getting married next year. I have to sympathise with people, still with parents, that have no long-term plans, as the freedom lost, and the burden on parents, simply must get too high after a time.
Chris, UK

I'm 22 and I still live at home. I pay rent, buy most of my own food and drink and help out around the house. Recently I've been more and more anxious to move out, and I have been looking at property. However, the cost of housing at the moment is ridiculous and getting a reasonable mortgage is becoming increasingly difficult. It appears that my only options available at the moment are to either stay at home, buy a rundown house or rent.
Mat, UK

Once again those of us who can't afford to live home are mocked. This time by the Prudential. I am the main breadwinner in my household and with two ageing parents to support. I am fast becoming a financial and physical carer. Let's have a discussion about how many of these so called kippers are actually carers. We are destined to support OAPS and supplement their pension because the pension industry (including the Pru) have proved to be an insufficient way of saving for the future.
Anon, UK

Why do family ties have to end at 18 years of age? Rather than investing in unknown quantities such as the stock market, parents should invest in their own offspring to create a more comprehensive team unit which would have obvious benefits for all (including less reliance on retirement homes, for example). As long as parents refuse to take responsibility for rearing their children, their children will be unable to take THEIR responsibility as adults.
Suzi, England

I find it really frustrating being at home
Sinead, Ireland
I am 28 and still live at home - not by choice I must say. I rented for a few years before coming back to try and save for a deposit for a house. While renting this was proving impossible due to the high cost of renting and rising house prices. I find it really frustrating being at home and as soon as I am in a position to move out I will. At least though my parents are in a position to have me stay - otherwise I'd never have a chance to buy my own place.
Sinead, Ireland

House prices are too high for first time buyers and rent is too high unless you share. I know so many "Kippers" who would love to be able to move out of home but even with a full time job can't afford to.
Howard Gees, England

When I finished university I never went home to live again. Having got a job and a place to rent, there was no need to continue to strain my poor parents who had already had me for 18 years! Self sufficiency is also far more rewarding and the stepping stone towards making your own family and life. People need to get out more!
Anthony, England

If you treat your kids like outsiders, expect to be treated the same
A. Patel, UK
This is the very basis of our family values. East Asian culture provides us with a different insight into the values of family life and we do not consider children as "adults" par se, as far as living at home and depending upon parents is concerned. In fact, it would be considered greatly disrespectful to pay money to parents, unless there were financial constraints, which as parents, we would consider to be our great misfortune. If you treat your kids like outsiders, expect to be treated the same. Having family comes with responsibility that does not wear off with time - you can't have your cake AND eat it!
A. Patel, UK

I had to move back to my parents home a couple of years ago as the financial strain of university has left me in massive debt and the cost of finishing my training before taking a full-time job is so high that it would be financial suicide for me to consider moving out.
Nick Diable, 24, UK

The average graduate job (not with a blue chip company) gives a starting salary of about 19,000 within London. Add to this the cost of renting, transport, and general living costs, plus thousands of pounds of student debt, and what other choice do we have? Put it this way, it is not my ideal situation to still be living with my parents at 24, and is especially difficult after having lived away at university for 4 years.
Simm, UK

It's not so much that I live with my Mum as such but we share a house with separate living quarters. I take on the duties of driving her to her appointments, grocery shopping, etc and she will prepare a meal for me roughly three times a week. Not only does it help me but it also ensures that she eats a decent meal with meat and vegetables at least 3 times a week. My Mum is now 82 and it was easier for this arrangement to work vs having her live 90 minutes roundtrip away and me having to drive out every weekend. The house we purchased together in town which makes life a bit easier for both of us.
Glynis Farr, Canada

I wonder if the Prudential has taken into account that many adults who still live with their parents, myself included, pay rent or contribute towards the family income in some other form. With house prices continuing to rise in this country, particularly in the southeast, it is becoming increasingly difficult to get onto the property ladder. Without my parents support, there is just no way I could afford to buy my own property. My only option is to live at home and save as much of my income as possible.
Dan Lavis, UK

In the event of having an adult child living with me when I hit retirement, they can stay if they must but there's no way I'm paying for them as well. I had to pay half my salary in rent to my mum when I first started work and, whilst I can appreciate that leaving the nest might be much harder these days, having carefully planned my future, I'm not going to have it sabotaged by feckless offspring.
Bridget, London, UK

God help me, I'm Timothy Lumsden! I live with my parents because I've been unable to get a job and have returned to university to study for an MSc. Even when I do start earning money again, there is no way I can even begin to afford a house within the next five years. I think the house price insanity in Britain must account for a lot of us 'kippers'.
Darren Ross, England

Young 'cannot afford to leave home'
12 Mar 03  |  Business
The cost of 'grown up' children
05 Jul 01  |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific