Twentysomething: Be responsible, go back home after college

By Ryan Healy - According to Monster.com, 60 percent of college graduates move home with mom and dad after graduation and the trend is on the rise. The statistic holds true with my friends from the class of 2006. More than half moved back to the suburbs to start adult life, much the same way they ended high school life — with their parents. A lot of people say generation Y needs to grow up and take some personal responsibility and that we have been coddled by our helicopter parents (see the comments section).

But when you look closely, it is glaringly apparent that moving back in with parents is one of the the most responsible things a new college grad can do. By sucking it up at home for a year or two, young people give themselves the opportunity to take control of their career, take control of their finances and transition from the care-free college fantasy world to the real-world of work, marriage, kids, mortgages and car payments.

Take control of your career
To live comfortably in a big city like New York, students are forced to take a high paying, but less than satisfying job. Often, top graduates end up working for the best paying investment bank or law firm. I’m sure you could find a small minority of conservative students who had dreams of becoming an I-banker since middle school, but for the most part these jobs are going to the top tier students who are trying to make a quick buck before they retire at 30 (or so they say).

By moving home after graduation, you have little or no rent which allows for more freedom when searching for a job. There is no need to sell out to an investment bank if your real goal is to work with underprivileged children. Depending on where your parents are located, you are probably missing out on the big city night life and social scene, but you have lots of opportunities to find the perfect job, regardless of pay. If ditching the social scene for career sake doesn’t demonstrate responsibility and independence, I don’t know what does.

Take control of your finances
Real wages today are lower than they were for the past two generations of workers. Couple that fact with today’s insane housing costs and an increase in contract workers not receiving benefits, just getting by on forty or fifty thousand a year in a major city is nearly impossible. Attempting to save any reasonable amount of money the first few years is a joke.

However, moving home with mom and dad will immediately save you about $700 a month in housing costs. At least there is some extra cash flow. In two years, you can save up enough to move out on your own without worrying about going into credit card debt for basic necessities like fixing your car or buying groceries.

Take an appropriate adjustment period between college and the real world
People really do struggle adjusting from college to the real world. A good friend of mine just fulfilled her life long dream of moving to New York. She still loves the city, but she is overwhelmed and doesn’t exactly like her day job. Sure, many people go through this tough transition period, and chances are she will eventually enjoy it, but the transition from child to adult is different, and oftentimes, more difficult for today’s youth.

“This period is not a transition, but an actual life stage, according to Jeffrey Arnett, associate professor at University of Missouri and author of Emerging Adulthood: A Theory of Development from the Late Teens through Early Twenties . Arnett describes the period between college and adulthood as, “a self- focused stage where people have the freedom to focus on their own development.” Notice he calls this period of stage in development and not just a transition between two stages.

So why do we still try to go from adolescent to adult in a matter of weeks or months?

Moving home for a while enables an appropriate and productive transition. Rather than focus on rent, bills and kids, emerging adults living at home with their parents have the ability to focus on the most important aspects of emerging adult life: figuring out who they are and what career is right for them.

Ryan Healy’s blog is Employee Evolution.

Posted in College & grad school, Finding a career, Knowing yourself, No image
149 comments on “Twentysomething: Be responsible, go back home after college
  1. Roger says:

    Your title is a joke, right? Being responsible to whom? Being self-centered and entitled is more like it. Previous generations have had to go through the college to “real world” transition – what makes your generation so different or special? Oh yeah, Mommy and Daddy have been telling you you are since you were small…

    • Whym Yname says:

      You’re just not open-minded.

      Back in the day, people had to hunt for their food and only then cook and eat it. Those were your prior generations. Do you still do that?

      With each and upcoming generation, we try and change a few things to make our lives easier. That is exactly what the author was getting at…you hypocrite. Go and read more and learn more about general patterns in life, maybe then you’ll understand.

    • ian says:

      Sorry Roger, but this is just not the reality of today’s world. If you’re son or daughter cannot find a roommate to live with in an apartment, they may have to move back in with you temporarily to either save up at least a few months rent, or find a roommate with which to live in an apartment. Wages are no longer at a level where working 40 hrs a week is enough to get by, but it can be done with a roommate in most cities. (Not to mention jobs can be tough to find, even for college graduates.) PLEASE, if you have kids, listen to my advice. I know 2 people whose parents did not let them move back in after college. They both were hardworking, fine young American gentlemen. I know this sounds cheesy, but they truly were stand up guys, researched their politics carefully and always voted, were kind, considerate and generous to all other citizens of this nation, etc. They were good, hardworking men with full time jobs (albeit low wage jobs). They BOTH ended up LITERALLY HOMELESS because of the economy, one of them ended up living in a garage for 4 months, causing him to develop numerous mental problems which he still struggles with today (I guess being out in the freezing cold with no food causes a person to go a little bit too far towards their animal instincts). He is still in an insane asylum to this day (not making any of this up, I swear). The other now has a job as a delivery driver, and luckily has found a living situation cheap enough for him to get by, but is hard pressed to find good, relevant work which pertains to his level of intelligence and experience (he is a literal genius that went to a top state school for Computer Science).

      I would also like you to consider how during most other periods of humanities development throughout history, and even in most other countries today, living with your family is the total and complete normality. I believe that, ironically, it may be YOU who feels entitled to not have to deal with their responsibilities of children and family, that they should be able to move out and live on their own and you will not have to interact or care for them any longer. This is NOT the norm in most parts of the world. In China, kids live at home until they are married and financially independent. In Africa, villages generally do not just blindly send their kids away to “find work” (they work hard doing the agricultural work they know which has been passed down through countless generations in their villages/families, leaving would be the equivalent of a horrible sin). Native American communities are still close-knit together even today. In South America, leaving home does not occur until the kids have enough money to do so (duh). Even in Europe today, many kids live with their parents until they are at least in their mid 20s.

      Again, please consider that it may be YOU who feels entitled to having widely available, decent wage jobs for your children to develop into an independent living situation in a building which does not exist close to your place of residence. This is strictly a first world, Westernized system of values which does not exist in most countries currently, and for the larger part of the history of the world. Humans simply do not “have their shit together” enough to make this happen most of the time. It costs too much, and is unrealistic. The only reason why Americans believe in residential and total financial independence from family, is because we feel entitled to have so much more than other people. Most other people on this Earth do not even have the means (literally the transportation) to ever “move away” from their families and place of residence. This concept is modern, and happens to be unrealistic to current economic conditions in most parts of the 1st world.

      • ian says:

        I would like to add, though, having them pay rent (equivalent to the average one-bedroom apartment in whatever geographical area) is perfectly reasonable and probably to be expected. During this period, try to help them with their resumes, interview skills, and finding a place of residence, if needed. Doing these kinds of things are what any good parents with the means to do so, should do. This is an important part of the transition from college into residential independence. It’s mostly about finding a good living situation they can financially sustain, which can take a few months sometimes.

        And by the way, I highly guarantee that your college age would refuse to move into a “bad area” or otherwise crappy living situation (unless it’s ridiculous like living with 8 other people in the same room or something) . Young people are not really as concerned with these things as older generations, plus most of them have been living this way for the past 4 years anyway.

        Please, don’t let your kids starve or be homeless, at least.

  2. Matt Bingham says:

    Even though I did not live with my parents after college, I really like this advice. There is no better way, in my opinion, to position yourself financially than living at home for a bit. This is also a very good time to talk with parents regarding personal finance and to get ideas on where to put money. When you leave for college you are still young and looking for the party more than the classes – when you return from college you are a little more sensitive to the real world issues that your parents have been talking about. This is a great time to take advice and build on it.

  3. Shefaly says:

    Very self-indulgent, even selfish plan!

    Parents do not exist merely to run a free or subsidised bed and breakfast service (“moving home with mom and dad will immediately save you about $700 a month in housing costs”).

    Nor, contrary to misgivings, are they complete idiots (“By sucking it up at home for a year or two..”).

    It probably is too much to expect them to have a life of their own, of course, while their progeny explores their dreams, eh (“you have little or no rent which allows for more freedom when searching for a job”)?

    You say “People really do struggle adjusting from college to the real world”. That is true. The inability probably is a result of too much indulgence in the up-bringing and very naive expectations of life. Both need handling post haste, not postponed. It is called growing up and the solution is NOT to go back crying “Mommy!”

    “So why do we still try to go from adolescent to adult in a matter of weeks or months?” Er, we do not. College lasts 4 years, and that is enough time for anyone to ‘grow up’.

    I see much of my peer group (Gen-X) behaving in an infantile manner around their children. And to see this prognosis for Gen-Y makes my heart sink. If this continues, presumably you guys will pass on the ‘favours’ to your children, soon we will have nobody left, who is a grown-up!

    ********

    Obviously, moving home with your parents depends on whether or not they want you to. If your parents are done with you and want a life of their own, then don’t bother them. But most parents I know are more than happy having their kids move back in to save some money and establish a career. Go ahead and pay them rent if they ask, it’s going to be much cheaper than living in a city.

    Life no longer goes child-high school-college-marriage. There is a huge gap between college and marriage for many people and that is the time to be self indulgent. It’s the time to find a career and it’s the time to save some money for the future. It’s the responsible thing to do.

    -Ryan

    • Allie says:

      About the whole 4 years of college is plenty of time to grow up. The same could have been said for high school, yet it is very unlikely that people were adults once they graduated from that. College, well I guess it depends on the college, but most don’t really try to have you grow up at all. They teach you and expect you to learn. You’ll get experiences from the peripheral, but I don’t really feel that many people ‘grow up’ in college. They become more mature, maybe, but they definitely don’t ‘grow up.’

      • Veronica says:

        “If they aren’t able to hack it by themselves, then perhaps they have bigger problems than you suggest.”

        Yeah, it’s called D-E-B-T. Care to pay for it for me? Or maybe you’d like to justify why a four degree costs around $15,000 a year and a above? By the way, how mature were you at 18? I’ve worked since I was 16, and at 22 I’m still experiencing situations and problems that I haven’t experienced at 18. It’s called life, you learn from experience, you know?

        What amazes me most is when I deal with older adults in their 30s and 40s and they have worse manners than a 10 year old, and they feel they have the right to be condescending since they’re all grown up.

  4. Kim Saks says:

    I’m sorry, but this is horrible advice. This is the kind of advice that furthers my generation’s penchant for clinging to the apron strings for dear life. Cut the cord, grow a pair and move on.

    Seriously, though, I think this is awful advice. Moving home as a transition for a month or two, especially if you went to school out of state and are in between places is one thing. But purposefully putting roots in your parents’ home is quite another. This perpetuates a lifestyle of living above one’s means and indulgent behavior that leads to the selfishness we see in our world today.

    People do struggle when they enter the “real world” after college–but trying to dampen the blow by moving back home isn’t the answer. It’s a challenge that every graduate should meet head on. If they aren’t able to hack it by themselves, then perhaps they have bigger problems than you suggest.

    College is at least a 4 year journey. That’s plenty of time to grow up, adjust to what comes next and learn to adapt and thrive in new surroundings.

    This is horrible advice and I’d hate to think that you represent the voice of a generation.

  5. Scott says:

    Seriously? You can’t pay rent and save a little something on 40-50k? Maybe I’m disillusioned since I don’t live on either coast, but around here you can easily get by on 40k to start. You do realize that is the median income of the US?

    Here are some other options:
    1) Get a roommate (or two)
    2) Get a job in a different city with lower cost (not standard) of living

    Here’s the trend I’ve noticed with my friends who’ve graduated recently. If you moved out on your own, even if it was tough, a few years later you were doing well and living independently on your own. If you lived at home after school, you probably still live at home with no real job, no sense of responsibility, and are far from independent.

    Living on your own forces you to be independent and hopefully make the right choices, because if you fail the consequences are real. By living at home, you get the false impression that you are supporting yourself.

    ********

    Good point, getting a job in a cheaper city is an excellent option. I wrote about that a few weeks ago in my post, “Forget the big city, try middle america.”

    The big problem is people moving to the expensive cities and barely making enough to pay rent. This leads to debt and an inability to save that could lead to major problems when you finally do start a family. There is no false impression about supporting yourself when living at home. You’re getting some help, and that’s alright.

    -Ryan

    • Nico Wrenn says:

      Around where I’m from (San Francisco area) you can barely scrape by on $65,000 a year. So yeah, I’d say your perspective is influenced by not living on a coast, but there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just a fact that the coasts are more expensive.

    • Samara says:

      Agreed! Because more educated people live there! Hahaha….totally a joke but kinda…

  6. OHK says:

    This posting makes the big assumption that all parents have the money to support their children post-college. Sure, if your parents are wealthy, but what if your parents are struggling, too? I know that many parents, for example, downsize their homes when their kids leave for school, and wouldn’t have room for an extra body. And what if your parents don’t live near a city center with lots of job opportunities? This may be a feasible option for a privileged few, but I don’t think it’s realistic for the majority of us. Sure, the time after college is a difficult transition, but so is the time after you get laid off from a job, the time you first live with a significant other, the time you have your first child (and your second), the time you retire…

    ********

    Agreed, that is a major assumption to make. If there is no room at home, then you cannot go home. The after college transition is difficult, but not impossible. It’s a transition whether you are at home or on your own. It may even be harder at home, because you no longer have the independence you did in college. But sacrificing that independence and fun for money and a career is responsible no matter how you look at it.

    -Ryan

  7. thom singer says:

    I think this is a bad idea. I am much older (41), but saw many people do this 20 years ago. Those that lived at home and saved a lot of money did get a boost (saved for grad school, houses, retirement accounts, etc….), but most used the extra money to fund a party lifestyle that they never out grew.

    My dad made it clear that his house was not a place of free rent. We were always welcome, but not to live long term rent free. I never moved back after college. Yes, life has been hard, but I made it without daddy having to carry me.

    The better advice to Gen Y would be to realize that life is hard, go out and figure it out. If this means working and not having a BMW when you are 24 year old, then so be it.

    Sorry to be harsh, but if you move home you may never properly launch into your own life. Old habits are hard to break. Start fresh and blaze your own trail. Mistakes and setbacks will happen and that SUCKS….but it is how you learn.

    *******

    It’s a good point, there is risk of people using the money to fund a party lifestyle, but that is their prerogative. The real issue here is that it’s not really a question of whether moving home is a good idea or not. 60% of grads are doing it, so why not figure out the best way to deal with this new stage of life. Until the last century or so it was the norm to live at home until you got married. Now we just get married later. You can learn lessons while living at home, just like you can learn lessons on your own. Why not do both?

    -Ryan

  8. Roger says:

    Ryan,
    You keep saying it is “responsible”, but I never see to whom or the why? Can you please explain this?

    It’s responsible to you. It’s responsible to save money when you’re young, it’s responsible to find the best career for you before you are stuck in a dead end job, and it’s responsible to learn about life after college when the parties and friends disappear.

  9. Flying Squirrel says:

    I am 26 years old. I agree with others that this is a very bad idea. Whatever amount you can save cannot compare to the amount of life experience you gain by launching yourself into the real world. I moved back home for about a year after graduating with a heavy debt load. I was also lucky in that I have loving parents who would be happy to have any of us kids back home living with them. I don’t believe this is the case for most people. Then I moved to the big city and shared a crowded apartment and worked really hard to pay the rent and my loans.

    Living with your parents cripples your ambition, stifles your personality, and regresses you to high-school level maturity. You become used to your parents’ high standard of living and will wait until you can have that same standard (will never happen on the path you’re taking) until you make the leap.

    Rent a cheap room somewhere and take a second job if you have to. Don’t waste your money or time on excessive phone services, cable tv, and meals out. Don’t believe what they say about the economy (if that’s the case, then we’re all screwed) and see what kind of a life you can make for yourself.

    The role of parents is to teach their kids to be self-sufficient. This trend of post-college adults moving indefinitely back home (not to mention advice-givers advocating it!) is unfortunate.

    • slw says:

      You are being quite contradictory. You don’t encourage people to move home but you did it yourself for a year…?

  10. DK says:

    My best friend’s dad used a healthy middle ground between the pro and con posters on this site. He charged him the average price of a local 1 bedroom apartment and put it into an ING direct account for him. (He gets it back when he moves out.) It helped him save money for an eventual downpayment and also helped him avoid the common sticker shock that many people have when they get their first “real” place after rent-free with the folks.

    Just an idea.

  11. Scott says:

    Ryan,

    You said “The big problem is people moving to the expensive cities and barely making enough to pay rent. This leads to debt and an inability to save that could lead to major problems when you finally do start a family. There is no false impression about supporting yourself when living at home. You're getting some help, and that's alright.”

    I have a problem with this statement. Maybe you are approaching this equation the wrong way. Maybe you should factor cost of living into the decision making process when accepting an offer instead of the allure of the big city. If you can’t make ends meet on the offered salary, then the job probably isn’t right for you.

    One of the first things I did after I got my first full time job offer was figure out how a budget could work on the salary. How much could I afford for rent/car/food/entertainment/misc living expenses? There are plenty of variables in the equation to play with, you just have to be willing to sacrifice on some of them.

    And while getting some help for a little while is ok, I agree with Flying Squirrel. Living at home distorts your perspective of standard of living. If you have to have a job that doesn’t let you live on your own, get some roommates, live in a crappy apartment, don’t eat out, don’t party at the bars, don’t have all of latest gadgets, etc.

    There are usually ways to make it work, but they often involve sacrifices.

    • Garry says:

      Your post seems the height of the issue. I completely agree with your statement

      “The problems are those examples of abusing the opportunity”

      Everything prior to that statement seems rather narcissistic. For example:

      1. Graduated college THEN you moved back with parents for two years.

      You didn’t mention how college was financed but if your parents were footing the bill they had already more than most. Did you pay rent during your two years at home? Did you do work/study, part-time job, paid internships or other such activity to lessen the financial burden?

      Best-case scenario, if you actually graduated with your first degree in four years (most don’t) and continued on Mom/Dad’s dole for the next two years you have already drained them of SIX YEARS of additional support.

      2. Got job in another city and lived with G-parents two years.

      Your own statement tells us that you proudly claim “saving 90% of income” during that time. Did the other 10% go to your G-parents, or did it go to your food, entertainment, car expenses and other things that don’t really benefit the G-parents. The mere fact that you stayed with them at all makes you look worse than most of the others on this board (you actually leeched off of TWO generations of your family).

      3. The grand payoff in your post is that you have everything you want and owe nothing.

      Congrats, that’s great…what did you do for the two generations of pack mules you used to get you to that point. You didn’t mention one thing that you have now as a marker of your success that indicates you repaid them anything for their devotion to your cause.

      4. There is one word in your post that speaks volumes to my point

      “Making good USE of family, when available, is just smart advice”

      Wow…did you really mean to say “use”? The statement makes your family sound like nothing more than tools to be used and discarded to achieve your goals. It may be a Freudian slip, but it really doesn’t speak well to your attitude toward family.

  12. Joe says:

    I’m at the tail end of the baby-boomers Penelope. I’ve written before and will hopefully be attending TAI in October. Graduated colleged, moved back with parents to work for 2 years. Went to law school, lived at home. Got first job in another city, lived with g-parents for almost 2 years while saving 90% of income to pay for first home. Today, independent, with wife and 2 daughters, own my own law practice, own my home, own my cars, owe nothing. Making good use of family, when available, is just smart advice. The problems are those examples of abusing the opportunity. It should be part of a plan which includes disciplined savings, clear goals/objectives and occasional reassessment.

  13. Shefaly says:

    Ryan:

    You say: “Life no longer goes child-high school-college-marriage. There is a huge gap between college and marriage for many people and that is the time to be self indulgent. It's the time to find a career and it's the time to save some money for the future. It's the responsible thing to do.”

    You know several of my friends have been pregnant and had babies. Each one of them thinks she is absolutely the first one to have a child. The truth is that she is not; billions have done it before.

    The same goes for life and the cycle of the child in school – child in college – productive and independent adult at work and creating his own life.

  14. Nina Smith says:

    I lived with my parents for a few years after college. At 22, I started my own business with a small business loan. When the idea flopped I begged them to let me continue to stay rent-free, work a real job and pay off the business debt.

    I moved out on my 25th birthday… debt-free. Their generosity enabled me to begin adulthood with a clean financial slate. It would have been very hard to get out of debt had I been paying rent in my early twenties. They never offered to pay off the debt nor did I ask, but they put a roof over my head and a meal on the table so I could afford to pay it off.

    The move-back-in-with-your-parents model can be effective, but it works best if there are timelines and objectives in place to guide the process.

    • Ophelia says:

      I’m glad you don’t either. Has it not entered your mind that between you and your theoretical children, that you could be the selfish one?
      How could you ever feel that way about having a child?
      There is no question many people cannot comprehend what a gift it is to have a child. For you to say that a child is considered selfish because society decided that is what is acceptable?
      Don’t you realize that all these stigmas, blanket statements, and stereotypes represent ignorance?

      "Society does not need more children; but it does need more loved children. Quite literally, we cannot afford unloved children – but we pay heavily for them every day. There should not be the slightest communal concern when a woman elects to destroy the life of her thousandth-of-an-ounce embryo. But all society should rise up in alarm when it hears that a baby that is not wanted is about to be born."
      Garrett Hardin

  15. Jim says:

    I’ll accept as fact that 60% of grads move back home. So what? Calling that “responsible” is self-serving rationalization. My first place out of college was a cruddy basement that leaked when it rained. I lived there for a year, because that’s all I could afford. The only difference now is that today’s kids simply won’t tolerate any struggle or discomfort.

    It used to be kids were expected to work their way through college. Later, Mom and Dad were expected to pick up the bill. Now, after doing that, they’re told they should also provide free room and board indefinitely. Glad I don’t have any kids.

  16. banane says:

    I find that the years after college were very important – and if I had lived with my parents, those lessons would have been nonexistent. Living with housemates, making a small budget, living within your means, having to create a code of conduct that you, yourself are happy with- these are all things that you can do in the first three years after college. I lived in an expensive city, and sure, the times I earned 8$ an hour and commuted 1-1/2 hours to work sucked, but I made friends, got skill(z), figured lots of things out. I think this is pretty bad advice, and does foster an infantalism. I don’t think it makes $$ sense, either. You are depriving your parents from a very important transitional “empty nest” syndrome. Also, who could you *possibly* date during that period? So you’re postponing some emotional development on your own side too. Regarding money, I had a far lower standard of living than my parents. Living in a 4-person flat in a ghetto was fine by me. I made financial decisions that made me happy- eating out instead of paying for dry cleaning (for example)- whereas your parents are in charge of the household budget, obviously, in their house. I think you are looking at some minor practicalities. Also- perhaps learning about credit card debt the hard way, initially, is a good lesson, before you buy a car you can’t afford, a mortgage you can’t afford, a spouse who also doesn’t understand a simple budget? Those decisions when I was 23 of “eat out at thai and pay for the train, and pay the minimum balance…” those were hard lessons that I actually experienced, instead of intellectualized. Oh, and I had a really good time. Living with the parents, and commuting in to “fun,” nope, not that much fun.

  17. Flying Squirrel says:

    Salon’s great advice column actually covers a similar topic today — “My son is almost 30 and won’t leave home” — http://www.salon.com/mwt/col/tenn/2007/09/04/living_at_home/

  18. Nicole says:

    I am 24, live in Queens NY in an adequate, safe neighborhood. My parents live 300 miles away. I make $30,000 a year working entry level in advertising. One of my entire bi-monthly paychecks goes to rent and electric. Since January I have paid off $4,000 in debt working Saturdays and living off of pasta and local fruit stands.

    It is possible to acheive good things on your own. It’s very hard, and there’s a reason people can’t hack it here. I would love to live with my parents. The $900 a month I pay for a my half of the living expenses would be much more useful paying off my student loans – which is exactly where it would go if I had the option! I know plenty of other people my age who live with their parents and really don’t what it’s like, but that’s their parents fault – let them deal with it.

    I do think the point is right though. If your parents want you, and you plan to be smart with the money and energy saved, then run home, fast. I’ve been on my own since I was 18 and love the strength it has given me. If you are already one of the determined few, and if the oppurtunity is presented, use it wisely – not foolishly, because in life, that is what will make you great.

  19. Barry Schapiro says:

    I’m afraid I have to agree with most of the criticisms of your premise, that it is “responsible” to move back home with parents. Many of the dubious assumptions have already been pointed out. I’d like to add that when your dream job is located far away from where your parents live, the only realistic way to apply for and get that job is to move to that location. Very few employers of entry level people are willing to shell out relocation expenses. That means being able to support yourself in the new environment before you actually get the job. To succeed at this, you’ll need to make plans in advance, save during college, work at a part time job or a less preferred job to make ends meet, etc. Parents can serve as a back-up during this process, but should not be expected to be the primary support.

  20. Richard says:

    Nice title, I like the linkbait.

    What young 20-something grads don’t know is that life is hard and you can’t have it all. The sooner you get out there and face life the more successful you will be.

    “Moving home for a while enables an appropriate and productive transition”

    No, it only delays the inevitable; growing up

    If your life circumstances mean you move back with the parents fine, do what you gotta do. However I don’t recommend voluntarily moving back because it’s easy.

    Overall poor advice.

  21. Ken says:

    I always felt that avoiding a large expense at a young age could make a big difference to an individual across a normal lifespan. Something like a $10K sweepstakes prize or winning a new car could really make a longterm difference if a person is wise with the savings. I never thought about my parents as the Publishers Clearinghouse Prize Patrol though.

    ********

    That is really interesting. I always thought having an extra $10K after school would help tremendously also. However, I also realize that you need to create your own $10K, it’s not going to fall into your lap. If your parents don’t mind you moving home, you are creating that $10K and costing them absolutely nothing more than they would have spent on their own.

    -Ryan

  22. Jen says:

    I moved back home after college. I didn’t pay rent, but if I wanted to go out somewhere or buy something extra, I had to get it. I looked for a job, and within 2 months I had found a really good full time job.

    Within 6 months of graduating college, I’m now on my own with a mortgage payment. To say I didn’t grow up because I moved back home is just ridiculous. I learned plenty. And for those of you who say you learn more when you’re just thrown out there, give me a break.

    My older sister didn’t move back home. She got an apartment but didn’t learn to budget. She went broke, and she still didn’t learn her lesson. She still parties like she’s in college. She makes more money than I do, but I have more money than she does. So it really doesn’t matter. It’s all on the person.

    Ryan, I totally agree with you. If both sides are up for it, moving back home is a good idea.

  23. Scot Herrick says:

    I’d be more than a little curious to see a study that shows what ACTUALLY happened with 60% of the graduates that moved back home.

    Sure, it’s responsible IF you save the money and IF you make the transition. I just have a hard time believing that’s what is really going on.

    My guess is it’s just like life: some people take excellent, responsible advantage of the situation by paying off the debts, saving dollars for a home, and adjusting to work life. But most won’t. That’s a waste for everyone.

  24. david says:

    Ryan,

    I read this, and I kept thinking: What kind of idiot would come up with or approve of such an idiotic idea? Doesn’t this idiot know that he’s just making it easier for idiot kids to take advantage of their idiot parents? Idiot!

    I kid of course. I this is a really interesting article about some of the positive parts of moving home after graduation.

    It seems like more of the flack is because people (1) hate the idea and hardly read what you said or (2) disagree that it’s exactly responsible. And I would tend to agree with (2), it can be a responsible thing to do, but that doesn’t mean that it always is.

    Some college graduates probably move home because they don’t intend on working at all, or because they want to, as others have suggested, live beyond their means. I don’t think you should be getting flack for this though.

  25. Phil A says:

    Penelope, I hate to admit it, but I actually agree with your premise on this topic. I think one of the biggest problems today is the attitude that as soon as you have that piece of paper from college, you better start being independent. Most societies around the world actually disapprove of “children” leaving their parents home until they are married. My wife came from one of those cultures. While I don’t agree 100% with some of the thinkings of those various cultures, one thing they have in common is a strong family unit. The family unit here seems to be slowly disappearing. I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that when you go to college that you have “moved out”. You simply are going away to school. Most college kids come home between semesters. The possibilites for debt at a young age are much higher today than they were 50 years ago. If there is an opportunity to stay with your parents after graduation, I think you would be silly not to if it is something tolerable. One thing a lot of people forget is that most kids move out because they don’t like their parents’ rules and regs…not because they have this altruistic drive to become an independent person. As long as you are working, have set ground rules (rent, food, etc.) and not a moocher, I find nothing wrong with “moving back” into your parents house. If you are working and being responsible while living there, the worst thing that could happen is you have to tell a date you live with your parents (this mainly applies for the guys). Living on your own in a run down apartment in the worst part of town doesn’t make you a responsible adult.

  26. Victoria says:

    Moving in with my parents wasn’t an option for me after college (it was never something that was discussed explicitly — nor would I have wanted to — but it was certainly bone-obvious that none of the four of us would be living at home during or after college except as a temporary situation with a defined, near-term endpoint).

    Moving in with my then-fiance (now husband), who’s about seven years older than I am, and was rather financially settled at the time, certainly would’ve been an option. But I thought it was extremely important that I get a place on my own, pay all the bills, and transition into the freelance career that I wanted and prove to myself that I could make enough to support myself on my own as a writer and musician before we moved in together. So I got a place of my own, took a random office job for a year, started saving up and started a 401(k), and started freelancing on the side. A few months before we got married I gave up the office job, got some catastrophic health insurance, moved into a room in a townhouse for a few hundred bucks a month, and lived off my writing and music income.

    Best thing I ever did.

    I’d have more retirement savings if I’d lived with my parents, or with my husband, during that year. And I could’ve not driven myself crazy trying to proofread things in my apartment bathroom. Toilets are not good desks. But still — it was a good thing to do.

  27. Grillin' Man says:

    Ryan – please….

    I graduated from college, lived with my future in-laws for 4 weeks before moving into my postage-stamp-sized apartment that was on a bus-line so I could get to work (since I didn’t have a car).

    My new bride and I lived simply. We were excited to find a couple bucks in the sofa and coat pockets so we could rent a movie on a Friday night. There were times at the end of the month the meal du jour was mac-n-cheese or ramen noodles because that is what we could afford. We’d rather do that that whine to Mom-n-Dad that we didn’t have money. Instead we scrimped and saved and were able to put money down on a condo within just a couple years.

    My lifestyle is much different now because in the early days I learned to budget, live within my means, take nothing for granted, and appreciate the few things we had….that and profit in real estate because we didn’t live above our means. Putting food on the table, no matter how it was done through legally obtained work, was not below me.

    When it comes time for my kids to face the real world after college, they will have one month rent-free in my home. After that I will expect a monthly rent equivalent to a one-room apartment in the city that we live in. Food will be an additional expense, and there will not be use of our vehicles. Our family rules will be in full effect for anyone living under our roof. We are preparing them NOW for this reality to come upon them in several years….

    By the time they have graduated college, they will be adults – past the time to start acting like one.

    To help them begin to appreciate the value of money, we have given our older children a budget for school clothes – they can buy the hip, new, brand-name clothes if they want or they can go with the similar-style-but-not-name-brand clothes and watch their dollars go a bit farther (and find they have MORE clothes for the school-year).

  28. Torbjorn says:

    This last comment above mine is ridiculous. As if you’d find yourself scraping the sofa for change then put in a down payment for a condo ASAP. Is that responsible? I sense too much sarcasm mixed with mis-directed aggression in that post.

    I got my sense of ‘reality’ through university. I moved out and had roommates. Learned about work-ethic and the like. AND I moved back home for a year, AND I got back out and now have work and am NOT warped and unprepared like the above post would assume I would be.

    Good post.

  29. Jackie says:

    Living off someone else’s generosity is not being responsible. Period. However, if moving back home after college is necessary, a few months is reasonable. If Mom is still doing your laundry and making your dinner for years after graduation, then you’re a parasite. This is not said with malice, just a factual use of that term. I’d like to know what percentage of that 60% fall into that category.

  30. Kathryn says:

    I think that the 60% statistic is misleading. Yes, roughly 2/3 of the people I graduated with did move back in with their parents, but most of them only moved back for a year or less. The few individuals that I know who moved in for more than a year are foundering in terms of getting out and growing up. But my friends who moved home for under a year have since found employment and are largely self-sufficient.

    I can see where prolonged living with ones parents in a high-cost region is a great choice for new graduates. Entry level jobs typically pay a pittance and new graduates are saddled with more student debt than any previous group. Add in a few thousand dollars of (tsk) consumer debt, and that’s a recipe for a life of fiscal instability. However, the primary savings associated with moving home involve housing and feeding costs.

    In the college town surrounding my alma mater, a one-person apartment cost roughly $600 a month or $7200 a year. (Keep in mind that these costs are also inflated for the area due to the “captive audience” effect.) Making the plausible assumption that these could be median prices for the state, living at home in Alabama would probably not produce a significant enough savings to merit remaining there once employed for more than $35k a year. On the other hand, a one-person apartment in Berkeley costs roughly between $900 and $1,500 a month, or $10,800 to $18,000 a year. Thus it is probably a poor decision for the average debt-ridden recent graduate to live alone in Berkeley unless employed for at least $50k a year. Although the median income for US household is roughly $40k, it is not my impression that the typical entry level salary is enough to pay for a high-cost living area while simultaneously paying off the typical entry level debt. (Here’s the first decent link that I could find: http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2005-03-27-grad-debt_x.htm)

    However, I agree that the suggestion to move back home is only really beneficial to certain groups of recent graduates. Recent graduates who are job hunting, have found sub-par employment, have accumulated substantial debt, or desire to live in the same high-cost area as their parents should consider moving home. But those who can afford to live independently (without resorting to unhealthy life choices such as ramen) and those for whom living with their parents would be untenable… They should consider alternative means of pursuing fiscal stability.

    Ryan, might I suggest that the next time you begin dispensing money-based advise, you try employing some numerical data? I personally find it much more persuasive than generalized statements. I noticed in this instance that most of the negative comments stemmed from people who do not have direct experience with the financial state of current new graduates and thus may not be aware of how costs have sky-rocketed in recent years. You also neglected to mention the health and safety problems associated with impoverished living (i.e. poor nutrition, recourse to living in dangerous neighborhoods and sacrifice of health care).

    • Robyn says:

      Thank goodness someone finally mentioned health and safety problems.

      I’ve been trying to swallow my offense at the comments on this post since I’m aware I don’t represent all 60% of the students moving back home, but I have to speak up a little. Those who bragged about living on ramen noodles to get by their first year– that’s great, but have you thought about those of us who maybe aren’t blessed with your good health? Health really is a blessing in many cases, and quite frankly, you didn’t earn EVERYTHING that was given to you in life- there is always an element of circumstantial luck.

      I’m 23 and finally finishing up my last semester of college after taking a year and a half off. No, I wasn’t “finding myself”- I have a chronic illness that took a turn for the worst, and I’ve been borderline bedridden for a good portion of the last few years.

      I’m finally being treated, I’m moving on, and I hope to be well enough to hold down a job soon, but my POINT is this: I have to have health insurance. And even with health insurance, I have $100s of dollars in medical bills each month from prescriptions, doctors visits, and medical tests. I have an extremely restrictive diet and cannot eat pasta or most of the other cheap, low-nutrient foods recommended above. Quite frankly, I don’t know what I’d do without my parents’ generosity, and I try to let them know I’m grateful. Not everyone has my issues, but more people than you probably realize have health problems that make their everyday cost-of-living more expensive than is mentioned here. In fact, chronic illness is on the rise, probably due to rising pollution rates, negative effects to antibiotics, and other environmental factors. It’s not really that weird anymore for a 20-year-old to be saddled with huge medical bills. So even though I would love to live on my own with all the excitement of starting an adult life, the real way to start an adult life is to start making responsible decisions for yourself. For some people, that means swallowing your pride, thanking your parents, and holding off on some of the social benefits of living on your own in order to save money and be healthy and responsible.

  31. Alison says:

    First of all, I think this premise assumes something faulty: Students should graduate with debt. Sure, they do, but in most cases, it’s their choice to do so.

    I didn’t get much help from my parents (they did buy me a used car before going to college, which lasted me through college, and they did pay for my healthcare and give me a little bit of cash from time to time – mostly for good grades, birthdays, etc) and most people I know get more than that, and I graduated with $10,000 in savings – enough to almost pay for the new car I had to buy when that used car died. I splurged and bought a new car, instead of a “previously owned” car. The balance on that is my only debt.

    I paid for college by working a retail job, and I graduated with a 3.6. Sure, I went to a state school, but I did it because I knew going to that school meant graduating debt-free and I wanted to be a Liberal Arts major, so I knew I wasn’t going to make a ton of money right out of college. In other words: I thought ahead.

    If I can do it, so can anybody else. I got a good job senior year of college, and was already making 35K a year when I graduated. I still had roommates, and I saved more than half of my monthly income. I took freelance jobs. After that, I took a great sales job, crashed and burned, spent way too much money, took 2 months off, and still didn’t go in debt – that’s how much I’d saved.

    Now, I’m one year out of college, working for a little less than I was back then (still over the 30K mark) and doing freelance work on the side. I live well below my means, with roommates, with a nice, new car, in a city (not an expensive city like San Fran or NYC, but a good secondary market) and I’m going back for my MBA. For that, I’ll take out some debt, knowing my car will be paid off by the time the student loans are do and it’ll up my income — in the field I now know I want to be in — by enough to manage the $10,000 I plan to go in debt for it (I can pay for the rest myself).

    The only thing that makes my story remarkable is that I did what was needed to stay debt free, save, and give myself the options (to take a lower paying job, to take some time off to figure out what I want, to go back to grad school) by being smart while IN college. It wasn’t that hard honestly – I still got to be in a sorority, join clubs, do internships, go to parties, and get good grades.

    What holds most people back is (a) lack of goals and (b) lack of neccesity/urgency to achieve those goals. I knew what I had to do to stay “free” (and debt is a lack of freedom, just as moving in with your parents is) and responsible (and I think being responsible means taking care of yourself – or at least being able to), and I had to do it, so I did it.

    90% of the people I know who moved in with their parents for more than 2-3 months (and yes, I think allowing a few months for the first job search is fine) are not becoming productive adults. Not that everyone who isn’t living with their parents is, but at least they are wasting time and money on their own dime… not their parents.

    For the record, my parents have a pretty substantial amount of money. It was never really offered to me (though if I really needed it, they’d give me money) because they EARNED it and they expected I do the same. And you know what? I’m grateful to them for that.

    In situations of extreme need, moving back in with the family is more responsible than going deeper in debt. However, most people who do that could take care of themselves if they just adjusted their lifestyle, planned ahead, and made tough choices. Sometimes you have to take a job you don’t like for awhile. If you had enough in savings or didn’t have debt, maybe you wouldn’t have to, but remember: Nobody makes you go in debt. You got there by choice.

    Too many people think college debt is just a fact of life. It isn’t. I’m living proof – and it was no miracle or special plan. I just sold shoes.

  32. Joe Miller says:

    This article, while somewhat helpful, completely ignores the demographic of recent grads who did not grow up in a suburbs. What are the nuances for those who grew up in the cities, where space at their parents’ apartments is not, necessarily, as ample?

    Do we have a cultural bias towards students and recent grads who are from the suburbs? We have heard of such biases in standardized testing. Do they pervade the workplace?

  33. Ben says:

    Not sure if it was you or Penelope who wrote that basically what makes people happiest is how much sex they’re getting, but regardless of who it was, this advice pretty much goes against that other post, especially for the men who read this blog… Not real easy for a guy to impress the ladies when he’s still living with Mom and Dad.

  34. d says:

    Two months out of college, I bought a plane ticket for a foreign (non-Western) country, and plunked myself down in the middle of its capital. I lived in a crappy apartment (outdoor shower), earned very little money, and had to live completely by my own wits and toughness.

    By the time I was Ryan’s age, I’d scored myself a better apartment, a better job, and a (somewhat) higher standard of living. I’d also made my initial big strides toward becoming fluent in that country’s language.

    In leaping out of the nest (in a big way, at that), I acquired the skills, resourcefulness, and self-reliance that have become the foundation for a respectably successful career. It was really hard going at first, but I made it work.

    Today, I’m in a pretty enviable spot (work hours, salary, you name it). I doubt this would be true if I’d followed Ryan’s Rules, which are really just Ryan’s Easy Entitlement Excuses for Slackers.

  35. Amy says:

    Wow, interesting comments. I didn’t realize this topic was quite so divisive. First of all, in response to Joe Miller’s comment, I think that there is a natural tendency to think of young people as coming from suburbs. I wouldn’t call it a bias, it’s just that a lot of people move to the suburbs specifically to raise their kids, so most kids grow up there.

    I’m 26, so I guess just on the border of gen x/y. I’m from Arizona, where the cost of living is very cheap, so none of my friends moved back home after school, and most of them (myself included) jumped straight into home ownership. Now, a few years out, a few people are back with their parents. Do I think they are failures? Not at all! They had careers they were really excited about, only to find out that the dream job wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Yes, continuing to search for a dream job in your mid-20s is a luxury, but it’s one that many of us (thanks to our generous parents) can afford. Some people can also afford to spend $300 on a pair of shoes. It just goes along with being an affluent country.

    Also, I think the stigma against living at home is mostly confined to America. In Australia it’s very common for kids to live at home throughout college and beyond. Does anyone know if this is true for other countries as well?

  36. LaDawn says:

    This is some of the worse advice I’ve ever heard. I believe this course of action is selfish and self indulgent. Get out and make your own way in life. Sure you might have to do some things you don’t want to do at first, but don’t we all. And living on your own is part of figuring it all out.

  37. Craig says:

    There’s a word that I’m amazed hasn’t been mentioned: Pride. If you accept Ryan’s thesis, you ain’t got it. Pride used to be considered a good thing, a sign of maturity. Now it’s sneered upon as just being stupid. Changing times, indeed.

  38. Recruiting Animal says:

    Ryan, if you live at home till you’re 30, assuming that you are still single, does that mean that you don’t have a sex life or that your parents allow you to bring your girlfriends into your bedroom for sexual visits (day or night)?

  39. Joe Blogger says:

    I find the comments quite interesting – and quite typical of the north american mentality. While I do agree that people should move back with their parents, they should do so for appropriate reasons.

    1. You have found a job in the area, and it’s cheaper (monetarily) to live with your folks. This does not mean that everything is free. You may pay rent, electricity, condo-fees, mow the lawn, clean, cook – whatever – but it’s cheaper than doing it on your own.

    2. You ARE in essense getting roommates – however these are roommates you know, and roommates that are responsible. I see nothing wrong with that.

    3. You actually like your parents. Some kids have a love-hate relationship with their parents. Those, should not move back home – but ones that have a good relationship with their parents should move back.

    4. Fiscal responsability: While your parents are probably thrilled to have you back, they do want you to move out eventually. Work for a few years, save money (pay down student loans if you have any) and save enough money for a down-payment on a house or condo.

    I think that the average north american mentality of kicking the kid out once he is out to college is a pretty bad one. I grew up in a Greek family (both here and in Greece) and I did not leave home in order to go to college, and when I got a full-time job I did not leave home (even though my parents jokingly said that they would kick me out). It was a quid-pro-quo situation. I helped pay the bills, cleanup after myself, help host events my parents setup, and tended to the house when they were on vacation, and in return I got cheap living accomodations and the opportunity to save up money to buy myself a car outright and put enough money in for a rainy day. My parents did the same, since I lived with them, their costs went down and they were able to save more than they had before.

  40. ResponsibleMom says:

    I had my son & got married when I was 19, so I did not have the luxury of exploring and being self-indulgent. (I know, my own choice, no lecture needed. . .I’m a successful 30 y.o. now & still married).

    BUT, I figure if I can graduate debt-free with an engineering degree, a 2 year old, and a husband at age 21, and buy a house 9 months later, it’s not that difficult for your average single guy or gal without the financial strain of having a child.

    Personally, I would be quite embarrassed to move back home with my blue-collar parents and ask my father, who has busted his butt his entire life without the advantage of a college degree, to help me out while I get my feet on the ground. He supported me for 18 years and saved money for my college so he didn’t have to support me after age 22. I guess maybe the families who don’t save for their kids college, and then encourage them to go to expensive schools & accumulate debt deserve to have them move home and mooch for a few years.

  41. Rick says:

    I am always shocked at the rage against Trunk and Ryan’s articles. This is pretty sensible advice.
    Ryan has done a good job responding to these pretty useless comments.

    Yes, it should go with out saying (but I guess it needs to be said) that you living with you parents A)Depends on whether they like you and want you around B) They can afford it.

    The people make some pretty big assumptions that you are not “figuring it out” or “don’t have pride” if you live with your parents. That’s a pretty blue collar mentality. I think Ryan’s point that is a more mature thing to suck it up and live with your parents during the lowest income earning point in your life to save for time when you will need your independance (like when you have you’re own family) is more mature than flushing $700 a month to claim your own “territory” and brag about your studio apartment to your friends.

    Also, does anyone like spending time with their parents anymore? The years after college are a good time get to know your parents as an adult. I think in your later years you will remember fondly the times you just hung out with them, especially after they are gone.

    I am sure its possible to live in NYC on 30k a year and be 100% self-sufficient. I am sure its possible to smoke two packs a day and live to be 100, it still doesn’t mean that you SHOULD do it, or that some how its more noble or even worth braging about. Its pretty clear that Ryan is just advocating sensible finacial planning, not self-indulgence or clinging to your childhood.

    Finally, to d’s comment, yeah I did the whole years slacking off and teaching English thing too after undergrad. Evenually I grew up and got a real job in banking in the US. You are not living by your wits and toughness, obviously you went to Asia, I would guess China. English teachers generally are over paid there relative to the work they do/standard of living. Most foreigners do learn the language fairly quickly. You have to. I recommend doing what D did to truly enjoy their childhood one last time and see the world before entering the real workforce, assuming of course they have the means. Living abroad is MUCH easier than it seems, even in “non-western” countries. Generally I believe its much tougher to make it in the US than a foreigner in Asia, since the US has the most talented and competitive workfore in the world.

  42. Jeremy says:

    Ryan,
    Just a thought – You say, and I tend to agree, that the cost of living (buying a house or renting) and education versus the average income of an entry level grad today (lets say 40k for arguments sake) makes starting out more difficult than it used to be. Any statistics to back this up?

    My 2 cents – I lived at home for a few months between jobs, and it made me lazy and I saved nowhere near what I thought I would. I much prefer living on my own, with roomates, but thats a personal thing.

  43. KAS says:

    I’m sorry, Rick, but when did “blue collar” become a derogatory term?

    Being independent and striving to learn life’s lessons away from the safety of a net is not a class issue (at least it shouldn’t be). But thanks for reinforcing my belief that the vast majority of supporters of this idea have come from very privileged and ignorant backgrounds.

  44. Shefaly says:

    KAS:

    To suggest that “the vast majority of supporters of this idea have come from very privileged and ignorant backgrounds” is itself a statement of prejudice against whom you deem to be ‘privileged’ and by a deductive fallacy ‘ignorant’.

    Some of us, who OPPOSE the idea, have had what you may call privileged backgrounds. But that does not make us ignorant or automatically supportive of this schema.

  45. Ben says:

    My goodness! All of these nay-sayers who believe that everyone right out of college should be mandated to live in dirty apartments as we struggle to pay the bills of the rapidly rising costs of a college education and living. And because why? They had to do it when they were our age. That there is a growing number of recent college graduates moving home to live with their parents is not in itself bad nor good; simply how things are. I did not have a job offer lined up after college graduation. I did however have very supportive parents who were of the philosophy that “if you’re moving in the right direction, you’re welcome to stay as long as you need”. I took the opportunity after my graduation to travel Europe for a month. I was then able to begin a discerning search for an internship, landing me at one of the most prestigious marketing firms in the country impressed in part by my travels. All of this led to my current position working in Chicago with a fantasic company. I will be moving to the city in October. Not everyone moves home so they can live beyond their means at their parents expense. There are some of us who move home because we have the opportunity to travel the globe, further our education, make a discerning career choice, and save $10,000 for graduate school/business ventures/worthwhile hobbies and activities. For all of the people posting here with their stories of “back in my day we had it this way, and everyone should have to go through it”, perhaps you need to see this new trend for the opportunity it offers our nation’s youth to better themselves, their futures, and their communities.

    • Isaac says:

      Wow! Who paid for your college? And that trip to Europe for a month? I would so love to just take a month off and travel. Somebody paid for all that and I am thinking it wasn’t you. No way a student could pay for college and living expenses and still save enough to run around the world. My household income is 27 thousand a year for four people. No way in h*ll I can afford to let my adult children just hang out and travel. Sounds to me that you did indeed live beyond your means and at your parents expense. If they had enough money and wanted to spend it that way, more power to them, but it was and is your responsibility to take care of yourself. It’s nice to have the help, but you should not expect it.

  46. Jeremiah says:

    It seems like everyone is angered by the idea of moving back home. I think it’s a great idea if it’s possible. Most college students leave college with not only loan debt but high interest credit card debt too. Living at home for while to pay that debt down and save some money is something I would love to have done. Unfortunately, I’m from a rural area, so moving back home wasn’t an option unless I want to work the register at Wal-Mart.

  47. Joe says:

    After college, we dream of getting married and move in white picket fence house (you can come up with your own version)

    It is tough to get a decent job that pay well. Thus, with no option, your loving parents let you in.

    What a great idea and you will save money.

    Uh-Oh and you found out that being home insulate you.

    I must said, disciplined person will save money but it delay your ability to learn to live independently. I think being out of home will force you to find a way.

    If there is a will, ther is a way.

    Let’s said, it is better that you go home if there is no luck with getting job or any kind. When you are at home, set deadline and push yourself to get out of the house. Because the longer you stay, and the comfort you become and then you become medicore. The next thing, your parents treat like you are in high school. Fun!

  48. Rose says:

    I am a parent with a 24 year old child who has just graduated. I can not tell you how good it makes me feel to see the comments about teaching your child how to be independent. Thank you!!!! I know times are different. I have been more that financially supportive. However, there comes a point where parents deserve to be independent too. Enabling children is not good parenting – period. It is hard to let go, but in nature it occurs and humans could learn a thing or two from birds etc….Supporting children through college is plenty and more than many young people receive. The sense of entitlement gets old fast and the school of hard knocks is maybe a better eduation than college.

  49. Megan says:

    If, as Ryan states, 60% of twentysomethings are moving back home, does it not then follow that 60% of America’s parents–who, I think I can rightfully assume, are early X-ers and Boomers–are letting them? I find it interesting that members of these earlier generations spend so much time railing against twentysomethings for their laziness and arrogance, and in the same breath, pound their own chests for their superior work and life ethic. Didn’t they raise these kids?
    And for my 2-c, not every recent grad who goes back home is lazy, and not every recent grad who gets the job because it pays well and leaves home is a grown-up.
    Both sides seem to be more interested in firing shots than attempting to unify a generational gap that could help our social and economic systems at a time when we sorely need it.

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