Parents with adult children still living at home are spending £1,200 a year more to keep their household running typically than those whose offspring have flown the nest, a report suggests.
Research by the Centre for the Modern Family, a think tank set up by Scottish Widows, looked at the strain that the boomerang generation of young people who cannot afford to leave home is having on their parents who are supplying them with bed and board.
The "meet the full nesters" report found that parents with a "full nest" of grown-up children report that their household spending is around £460 per month, which is £100 a month more than "empty nesters", adding up to an extra £1,200 a year.
Around 2.7 million households in the UK are estimated to have adult children still living in the home they grew up in.
Parents with a full nest were found to be more likely to say they were pouring less money into their savings, raiding their savings accounts, shopping at cheaper supermarkets, using "value" brands, spending on credit cards, going overdrawn, working extra hours and even selling off valuables in order to get by.
Doing all they can
One in 11 (9%) of full nesters said they were going as far as to skip meals to meet the cost of everyday living.
Almost half (44%) of full nesters surveyed said that their current focus is on providing for their family, compared with less than one quarter (23%) of empty nesters.
Full nesters were twice as likely as those with an empty nest to be focused on trying to pay off debt, at 34% against 17%.
Nearly two thirds (62%) of full nesters said they are still supporting their children financially as they live at home, compared with just 37% of empty nesters.
One third (32%) of full nesters do not expect they will ever get the financial help they have given to their children back.
Full nest parents' inability to focus on their plans for later life was also a cause for concern, with 24% of full nesters surveyed saying they wished they could concentrate more on preparing for their own future.
Carolyn Fairbairn, chairwoman of the Centre for the Modern Family, said: "This research highlights the very real pressures being felt by full nesters as a result of the rapid emergence of the 'never fledged generation'.
"With many parents raiding their savings or putting their retirement plans on hold to cover the cost of their adult children still living under their roof, we need to ask ourselves what the longer term implications of these trends are and what this means for the financial well-being of these parents."
The research was based on official figures as well as a survey of more than 2,000 people.
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