PARENTS are being forced to postpone their retirement because children who moved out of the family home have "boomeranged" back.
As the cost of living increases and jobs become harder to find, more and more parents have adult children returning to live with them and relying on them for some level of financial support.
This is forcing parents to work for longer, according to a report by market research company Mintel, seen by the Irish Independent.
About a quarter of people between the ages of 18 and 34 are still living with their mum and dad. This is up from a fifth back in 2001.
Higher levels of debt and difficulties getting approval for a mortgage mean many young adults have little choice but to move back home.
The 'boomerang generation' is made up of recent graduates who have struggled to find work and those who have lost jobs. These young adults are now a serious drain on their parents' finances for longer in their lives.
A separate report by TCD researchers also shows that people in their old age are more often still financially supporting their adult children rather than vice-versa.
The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) shows that 24pc of older households have given financial or material gifts, worth €5,000 or more, to their adult children in the past 10 years. Only 9pc of older adults have received financial transfers from their adult children.
More important contributions of a non-financial nature are given from ageing parents to their adult children.
More than one-third of older adults provide practical household help, including shopping and household chores, to their adult children; and nearly half provide care to grandchildren.
"With children living at home longer, they are more reliant on their parents for both financial support and advice," the Mintel report, 'Retirement Planning -- Ireland', found.
This is likely to limit the ability of parents to save for retirement, according to Mintel.
In Britain, the government has advised parents not to let their offspring get too comfortable at home. It has published a guide aimed mainly at helping graduates gain employment and flee the nest.
"If you are providing free board and lodging, a well-stocked fridge, washing and ironing, there's not much drive there. So cut back to help increase their motivation," the government publication states.