Sunday, May 31, 2015


Kippers and England go together.

Kippers are delightfully delectable smoked fish that are traditionally served as part of an English breakfast.  I use them as a substitute for smoked salmon and mix them into cream cheese to spread on toasted bagels:  to die for!

But, there is another type of KIPPERS to be found around Great Britain  (indeed the world it seems) these days.

Kids In Parents' Pockets Eroding Retirement Savings

We are talking about adult children who, for some reason or reasons, are living at home much later and longer than tradition would dictate.

And, least you think these young people lack ambition, check out the following information.  Staying home with mom and dad is not necessarily their first choice.  It might be their financial necessity.

BTW, the heavy lifting of providing the facts for this blog comes from a wonderful blog named Can't Swing a Cat.  I was just struck by the information she shared and wanted to try and help get the word out.  It is so easy to judge without taking the time to understand why.

The average cost of renting a home in the UK is £862  ($1318) a month across the UK and £1,412 ($2160)  a month in London alone.  And, these are smaller on average than homes in the U.S., much smaller.

75% of  British KIPPERS have jobs, but most of the jobs are part-time, low-skilled and often poorly paid. In fact, 47% of university graduates find themselves in jobs that bear no relation to the degrees they worked so hard and spent so much to get. 

The average salary for the average worker working full-time  in England is just £21,000 ($32,120).  If you spend over £10,000 of that for rent only, the chances of saving anything after everything else is paid for drop to almost zero.  And, if you are living in London, you may be spending £26,000 of that on rent but chances are you have roommates just to make eating possible.

And, many graduates that leave university earn much less than the national average in an effort to create a better future for themselves. Some work unpaid internships, despite having already graduated, in an attempt to gain more experience and a leg up in the job market.

If the cost of living is not enough of a challenge, student loans add an additional debt and cost that many graduates have to face the reality of paying for the next twenty or thrirty years.  So, where do you find the wiggle room in your budget to save for down payments or get approval for a mortgage?

These young people may be looking at a minimum of 7 years if they are very lucky and cut their expenses to the bone  or about double that if things don't work out perfectly.  In London it could take 25 to 30 years before you could look forward to paying off a 30 year mortgage , by age 75 or 80.  REALLY!?

So is it any wonder that young adults are living in the family home longer?  It seems to be their only hope of every having the life they and their parents have dreamed of for them.

Yes, statistics show that  having these young adults living at home with them cost these parents an additional   £3700 (about $6000) a year to feed and pay extra utilities and such.

And yes, these same parents are saving for retirement.

BUT, speaking as a parent, I cannot imagine that they begrudge that cost.  Helping our children towards a better future is in our DNA and in our hearts. 

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