Moving back home with your parents is a good career move

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In the list of what’s hot and what’s not, blowing all your money on an overpriced apartment is out and sleeping on the twin bed at your parents’ house is in. Bobby Jackson is a senior at Williams College who will graduate this June. He will load up a moving container, head back to Washington, D.C. after graduation, and look for a public relations job from the comfort of his parents’ home. Jackson typifies the remarkable shift of inter-generational attitudes when he declares, “I love hanging out with my parents.”

According to market research company Twentysomething Inc., 65% of college seniors expect to live with their parents after graduation. The job web site MonsterTRAK reports that 50% of the class of 2003 continues to live at home. “Boomerangers” is what analysts call the twentysomethings moving back home, and the consensus among researchers (who grew up in an era when moving back was a sign of failure) is that being a boomeranger is a strategically sound way to head toward an independent life.

Neil Howe, author of Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation says that moving back with parents is a way to avoid wasting a lot of time. According to Howe, when it comes to careers, “Boomerangers want to get it right the first time.” If you don’t have to worry about paying rent, you have more flexibility to wait for the right job and to take a job that feels very right but pays very poorly. The rise of the prestigious but unpaid internship intersects perfectly with the rise of the boomeranger.

Today it’s almost impossible to become self-sufficient on an entry-level salary, especially in coastal cities like Boston, where rents are skyrocketing. Barbara Mitchell, professor of sociology at Simon Fraser University and author of the upcoming book, The Boomerang Age: Transition to Adulthood, says, “Most entry-level jobs won’t be permanent or stable,” so saving money is difficult. Twentysomethings have to manage the costs of rent, college loans and insurance premiums all of which are rising faster than wages.

With these economic factors, it’s hard for a boomeranger to leave again, and according to Mitchell, many underestimate the amount of time they’ll be staying. Jackson, for example, estimates that, “Most entry level jobs pay thirty thousand dollars, so I’ll stay at home for six months and save ten to fifteen thousand.” This plan would work only if he didn’t buy work clothes, go out with friends, or pay taxes — at least not with his own money.

And this is where the problems start. Boomerangers who think their time with mom and dad will last fewer than seven months are statistically delusional, and setting themselves up for emotional crisis. The typical stay is so long that researchers don’t even count someone as a boomeranger until they’ve been home four months.

Elina Furman knows this problem first hand: She ended up living with her family until she was twenty-nine, and she does not describe the time as a constant joy ride. In fact, she says, after the initial thrill of college graduation and the return of home-cooked meals, boomerangers find themselves in the midst of crisis — usually financial or relationship-oriented — and suffering from feelings of isolation and loss of self-esteem.

As a veteran of boomerang life, Furman supplies methods for success in her book, Boomerang Nation: How to Survive Living with Your Parents…the Second Time Around. She recommends making changes to your bedroom so it reflects who you are now. Otherwise, it becomes a “permanent purgatory” of high school trophies and reminders that you are not where you want to be. Also, “Do your own laundry and cook for yourself” because it’s more empowering than reverting to living like a seventeen-year-old. Chapters on financial planning and exit strategies belie other dangerous pitfalls of boomerang life.

And Furman warns, “The stigma is more than people realize.” (Which explains why the only people willing to be interviewed for this column are people who are just starting or have made it out of the house again.) Older generations are often stuck in outdated attitudes about the transition to adulthood, and they ask grating questions like, “You live where? At your age? What’s wrong with you?”

But in fact, moving back home is probably the first step in the post-boomer revolution of the workplace. Expectations for work are higher than ever — it should be fulfilling, fun, and accommodating to a substantial personal life. The logical way to meet such revolutionary expectations is to start out on a revolutionary path. So hold your head high as a boomeranger, but don’t leave your dirty dishes in the sink.

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  1. Mary Webb
    Mary Webb says:

    For the most part, Generation Y is becoming less and less productive because they live with their parents. It sounds great, living rent-free and not having to pay for much. Yes, this is a good way to save money, but it seems like so many more college grads are just staying at home and becoming less productive in society. While in college, students should be utilizing their money and saving up for when they do actually graduate. Therefore, when the graduation day comes and goes, they can be productive, self-sufficient adults in the world and they don’t have to go running to their parents for money.

    • Allison
      Allison says:

      Saving money while in college? My books alone cost between $1000 and $1700 a year, my tuition was 20,000, room and board another 10 grand. I made 8.75 an hour at a job where I could only fit 20 hours a week in between my 9 am to 6pm daily classes. Pray tell, what money was I supposed to have been “saving” during this period? there was not a single year I hit above the poverty line… BEFORE you subtracted my school expenses. That is a ridiculous concept.

      • Catie
        Catie says:

        I agree with Allison. I was lucky enough to go to a good state school with low costs, and I was able to do it without taking loans. But it took me an extra year to graduate because I was working so much, and there was no chance in hell that I’d have been able to consider putting anything in savings.

  2. Quizshow
    Quizshow says:

    Not sure if I count as a boomeranger, since I never left home to go to college, but I’m working my continued home time as practice for after I leave the nest. I pay on the rent, pay a couple of utilities, do own laundry, own food, etc. People shouldn’t assume that all boomerangers are leeches. each circumstance is different. No one should feel ashamed for taking their time to leap into the world and or taking a step back to assist their family as I did. And I know I’ll be a lot better off for it.

  3. Quizshow
    Quizshow says:

    If my comment is unclear, I did attend college and earned two degrees, graduating magna cum laude.

  4. Thomas Gerling
    Thomas Gerling says:

    Mary Webb, are you out of your mind? Consider the cost of college when you suggest saving money for what happens after you leave. Then consider this. With Wages for American workers flat or in decline, we have starter homes going for $300,000 and the cost to rent over $1,000 per month. Gas prices here in California are about $3.45, while the cost of our food in this state as gone up 5.7% since the start of 2007. There really is nowhere left for the middle class to turn in America. The rising cost of food, insurance, shelter and transportation to go with declining wages, I don’t know how young people are going to make it.

  5. Kate Lewis
    Kate Lewis says:

    Thank you Thomas for backing us up. As a recent college grad in California, I can assure you that saving up for after graduation while still in school is a nightmare. I struggled to pay the $17,000 a year tuition along with the $600 monthly rent (not to mention the utilities and food) by holding two jobs while still an undergrad… and I should mention that I live in a small college town. My friend who goes to school in San Francisco is working hard right now to pay her tuition and rent… I can’t imagine living in the city with what I’m making. $1500 a month for a one bedroom condo is a terrible reality in places like San Francisco.

  6. Persuasion
    Persuasion says:

    Getting a condo for independence while studying is overrated.

    Sure you can enjoy all the booze and snooze but imagine the dent it makes on your savings.

    Yep, I stayed with my folks all the way till my Ph.D. I ultimately saved and earned enough to start a few businesses even during my studies!

    Saving is smart.

  7. John Dobbels
    John Dobbels says:

    I am 27 and living in an apartment building owned by my father. It has taken me a long time to get back on track after dropping out of high school, and working in dead end jobs from 2000 until 2004. I earned a 2 year degree in 2006, but decided that I needed more education to fulfill my dreams. I am two weeks away from finishing my 2nd-to-last semester, and am very glad to be ALMOST finished with my BFA. I am worried that finding work with a degree in Animation won’t be easy, however I am glad that I will finally be a “real-college” graduate, and ready to (finally) live a real life.

  8. Dave
    Dave says:

    It depends on circumstances I guess.
    I lived with my parents and moved in and out due to costs, but the commute was pretty much the same as the rent. Costs weren’t too bad those days. But things are more inflated nowadays.


  9. Laura
    Laura says:

    I’ve lived with my boyfriend in an apartment in the city in New York for 3 years now and need to move back home. We have reached a point where saving for a home is impossible while still living in manhattan and need to cut costs to do so. If anyone has any experience moving back home at 27 after living together for years, having independence and so forth, now having to beg to move back home please advise…

    • Jason
      Jason says:

      Hi Laura, i know this comment is really old, but im just hoping that maybe this website will reach out to you. Im about to experience the same thing you wrote about, except im the guy and my girl and i are about to bail on nyc because we are broke from student loans and the cost of living. Did you find any advice or experience to your(our) problem?

  10. Susan
    Susan says:

    I’m a “Boomeranger,” and while returning to live with my parents helps me financially, it in no way makes life “easy.” The rules I live by are the same as those of my high school days. Curfew and complaints of “too much socializing” are a two examples. In addition, I’m expected to keep up two or three jobs, spend time with the family, keep the house clean and yard maintained, and keep up with my accelerated post-baccalaureate degree. It really is helpful to not have to pay for food or rent, but it’s detrimental to my self-esteem to not feel comfortable or welcome in a place I once called “home.”
    Any other “boomerangers” out there going through the same thing?

  11. Konferens
    Konferens says:

    I’d say blowing all your money on an overpriced apartment is out and sleeping on the twin bed at your parents' house is in. When I was a senior at College I moved back to my parents place after graduation and looked for a public relations job from the comfort of my parents' home, and I saved so much!!

  12. Karen
    Karen says:

    If you are in a situation where money is really tight and you have a chance to move back home, so you can save up and hopefully find a better job, your better off doing that. It will be a positive opportunity to better your situation.

  13. Barbara75
    Barbara75 says:

    Amsterdam: John Benjamins Lakoff, George — Mark Johnson 1999 Philosophy in the flesh: The embodied mind and its challenge to western thought. ,

  14. Enviro
    Enviro says:

    Honestly, I think you are pretty smart in this economy to humble yourself and move back in with Mom and Dad as long as they are ok with the move.

    I think most parents have got to understand how tough it is right now in the workplace…

    I say go for it…as long as you can keep everyone happy. :)

  15. jaxson
    jaxson says:

    I just turned 27 and have lived on my own since I was 18 and moved away to college. I lived in an array of rental homes and apts throughout the years. This last year was horrible. I lost my job and my roommate started sleeping with my gf-therefore he moved out and I had no place to live. So I was left with no job and no home. I was forced to move back in with my parents-it is the most humbling, depressing experience of my life. To make matters worse, my parents live way out in the countryside. It is a 1.5 hour commute to the nearest city. Its been 4 months since I worked, and all my savings is now gone. I am, however, thankful, that my parents have been so nice and understanding of everything. It is a sad sign of the economic times – and no good end in sight.

  16. kb
    kb says:

    yup, moving back in is brilliant. especially when you’re parents live in an expensive/boring suburb outside a depressed and continually spiraling downward city. in a great community that has 300+ apply for one janitorial position.

    moving back in works if there’s a market for you to expand your skill set and actually find a job that will lead to a future career.

    living at home and working as manager the same place you worked when you were in high school is not the exactly a “smart career move”.

    it’s more than just saving money when you look to the future.

  17. Chris
    Chris says:

    I might become a boomeranger. At 29 years old and quickly approaching 30, I have been laid off 3 times the past 2 years due to lack of work. Anyone that is an Architect, Engineer, Landscape Architect will know my pain. If you’re working in fields related to construction, ouch…
    I haven’t lived at home since I was 18, before heading off to college at Ohio State University.
    Luckily I do have a fiance who makes great money in Arlington, VA, but the lack of meaningful employment for me, has really strained my relationship with her.
    I may end up breaking up with her and going home. Everyone keeps saying, ride it out, but honestly I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  18. Dan
    Dan says:

    I’ve been working in the corporate office at high interest loan company since early 2008 (NOT my dream job). Watched the economy spiral down, watched the job market tank, watched my chances of changing jobs diminish. Almost every day I dread going in to work.

    I do this all so I DON’T have to live with my mom or my dad (parents are divorced). That’s so far down on the list of desirable options I can’t even begin to explain.

  19. Stuart
    Stuart says:

    I do not know a lot but as a 25 year old who has now been working as a nurse for a year i know that it is almost impossible to make ends meet after college. Nursing school is intensive and expensive you spend hours in the clinical setting caring for patients without pay. I worked all through school and had to finance my education and some of my living expenses. Even after working about 36 hours a week and having the assistance of my parents i still came up short every month. Now the only way i can save money to begin an independent life is to move back in with the family. It is absolutely ridiculous for people to think you can save money in college and then make it all on your own after graduation. I work two jobs about 70 hours a week now so that i can save a minimal amount of money. This is no way for young people to live i commend those people who have swallowed some pride and moved back home i am not far behind yall

  20. Joey
    Joey says:

    My girlfriend(28) works as a nurse for NY prepbyterian cornell hospital and i(28) work for con edison electric company of nyc. We’ve been living on our own in an apartment in brooklyn,ny for the past two years. As a couple we make $126,000 a year,but after living expenses rent,food,car and tuition for her masters..its impossible to save money to buy a home..My parents asked us to live with them till we gather enough money to leave a big down payment for a house…im happy to say we both agreed..and are able to save about 15 grand a year. in another 2 years were moving out as home owners…in my family this is what parents are here for to help us on our journey to becoming self sustaining adults.what a feeling our parents will have knowing we’ve reached our goals and they helped out. I cant wait till i can help my own children. so if your a new grad or not..if your parents are willing to help out..accept it ..a lot of other people out there would kill for an opportunity like this. don’t delay…

  21. zak
    zak says:

    I am about to become a “boomeranger” in a couple of weeks. I have been living on my own without the help of my parents since i was 17. 7 years later, and ironically while my hourly pay has reached the highest it’s ever been, I am deciding to move back home. my parents are not thrilled, and neither am I. I would love to be at the point in my life where I can think about buying a house, a new car, afford health insurance. you know. things MY parents could afford in the 80’s MAKING ABOUT THE SAME MONEY I MAKE TODAY!!! Lets face it. Moving back home is the smartest choice us “kids” can make these days. When I look around at everyone else i know who has moved back home (and it’s many) I see they get to breathe easier, travel, HAVE SPENDING MONEY, not worry so much about bills and rent. Every paycheck I am spending about 2/3 sometimes 4/5 on bills and rent. I haven’t been able to buy a new pair of shoes in over a year, and my feet are killing me!! My car is an oil change away from dying on me, and every other week, i’m reaching into my change jar so i can actually buy breakfast. I don’t see myself getting ahead any time soon, so time to set up the twin mattress at the parents house.

  22. Aaron
    Aaron says:

    I’m nearly 31 and facing a similar crisis that many of the comments above refer to. Thanks for your words ands your thoughts — they were definitely supportive this late Saturday night, coincidentally my last night in an apartment I’ve had for over two years. Tomorrow will be the first day back with Dad, and while I’m thankful for the opportunity to move back into the house of my childhood, being the youngest of 5 with parents (one deceased) who bred into their 40s I can say that I’m fearful of what disagreements I will likely face as a 30-year-old moving back into his 74-year-old father’s home. Dad is set in his ways, pretty inflexible, and sees this as an opportunity to have a cook and a maid on standby more-so than giving his child a fresh start. It’s scary out here today. In the tech world, contracting seems to be the new norm and its lack of unemployment offerings and self-taxation are a necessary evil which leaves those of us who are forced to abide by it in ashes when it’s all said and done. I worry about the state of my peers — everyone I know, including me, is in mounds of debt, own nothing, rent, have junker cars; and those who do have their feet on the ground seem to have gained it by attaining random large sums of money through some sort of inheritance in the last 5 years. I worry about our children. If our parents of the 80s had everything for 1/4 cost, and we seem to be struggling by with nothing, what will I have to say when my child comes to me in 20 years to find out that there’s nothing to offer except an old futon in my one bedroom apartment…

  23. Paul Plato
    Paul Plato says:

    Wow, not a single comment from parents?? I have a 21 year old in 4th of 5 years Water Resource Engineering, a 19 year old in first term of Electrical Engineering and a 16 year old in grade 11. Since we had our children later in life (I just turned 52), I’m not thrilled with the idea of them moving back in after they move out. We are helping each of them with tuition with the goal of them paying us back and avoiding bank loans.

    I remember when I was growing up, our parent’s generation criticized us for wanting everything quickly (car, home, etc.) that they had to work years for, sounds like a familiar refrain.

    I sympathize with those living in expensive cities, consider sharing an apartment as you save. There are so many ways we can save money (no cable, land line instead of cell, cook at home, etc) but it takes tremendous discipline.

    I hope my boys don’t have to move back, we are looking forward to our “golden years” but won’t turn them away.

  24. Louis
    Louis says:

    I bought a condo in San Jose in March 2009 when I was 24. I had help from my stepdad and mom ($15k from each for down payment). It helps that I majored in a technical subject from an ivy league school, but that’s why I stayed up until 2-3AM in high school studying for exams.

    I’m lucky I could get the down payment and that I found a really cheap condo. But bottom line — I’ve worked my ass off so that this would be my future. I saw a lot of people majoring in literature and art. My college would’ve been a lot more fun if I’d done that and taken classes during the summer instead of working 48 hour shifts in a clean room.

    The first thing I did after graduating was move across the country and secure my independence. I lived in an attic with a 6 foot ceiling at the triangular center. Crawled around and had a mattress on the floor. The kids who lived in the house below would climb up the ladder and throw my stuff down. But it was $500 a month and allowed me to keep my independence.

    The economy is bad, but if you work hard, there’s no reason a person of average intelligence needs to live with their family. People have unrealistic expectations about how hard they need to work, I think. That’s a cultural problem.

    Google can provide a huge amount of free education.

  25. Jen
    Jen says:

    Living at home isn’t necessarily a result of inadequate entry-level earnings. I’m in my mid-20s and my friends are about evenly split between those who live with their parents and those who don’t. We’re all making enough to support ourselves, so those who chose to live at home are there because they’re pursuing post-grad studies, or are saving up to start a company, or to go travelling next year. Pretty awesome plans, if you ask me, and there definitely isn’t much stigma associated to them.

    What’s interesting, though, is that among all the different reasons my friends are saving money, none are doing it to start a family. In fact, I only know one guy who’s doing that — my cousin, and he’s definitely in the minority. Penelope, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this trend in a future article!

  26. Jeff
    Jeff says:

    I would only suggest staying with your parents if you have a good relationship with them. If you hate them, it is not worth it.

    After college graduation I moved from Oregon to Minnesota. I moved because I hate Oregon with a passion. Oregon has pretty muched chewed me up and spit me out. I never had any really good friends here. My family has always treated my like an outcast and has never taken me seriously. Moving away from family was the right thing for me to do.

    I lost my job 3 1/2 years ago and have been on countless interviews for just about any job I could get. I never made very much money, but I was able to live comfortably on $32,000 a year in Minneapolis. My parents pretty much just flew out and started packing my stuff and didn’t really let me decide to come back to live in Hell with them. I wasn’t just moving back into their house; I was returning to my childhood. For the last two years I have been haunted by the memories of my abusive childhood. I was bullied all throughout school and my parents were emotionally distant and neglectful. They are still that way. Most days I don’t say a single word to them. I was hard enough when they would visit me for a week in Minneapolis. I keep wondering if it would have been better to stay back there and live in my car if I couldn’t get a job. Moving back in with my parents has set me back ten years and probably taken ten years off my life. I am truly surprised I haven’t yet shot myself through the head right in front of them.

    • Nancy
      Nancy says:

      I’m in the same situation. I have a degree and a college diploma and can’t seem to get ahead. I’m now working towards a masters. Three years ago I decided to come home to help my father die gracefully and with some humour as my mother is emotionally abusive. I thought I’d be able to pay off debt while living at home, which I have but because they live in a rural area it is very difficult to find a good paying job or any job for that matter. When my father passed in January, my mother begged me to stay and I now feel stuck. I would love to move to the city but I can’t afford the rent and damage deposit. I took a job at the local daycare and my mother loves to ridicule me about it and tell me I’m an embarrassment after all the schooling I did. She quickly forgets that I sacrificed my life and work to move home and help out. I told her I’m studying hoping to get my masters and she belittles me about that as well. I, like you, feel I’ve gained 10 years on my back having to deal with this woman, who I call my roommate. I’ve never really fit in with this family. My friends have always said so. I’ve now decided to use this situation to my benefit and try and block out her nasty words. So, those of you lucky to have the Beaver Cleaver family, move home and save money, and for those of you like myself, good luck!

  27. Jackie
    Jackie says:

    I’m a “Boomeranger.” I’m living at home while working toward my masters degree. I work a lot of odd jobs, but I hope to secure a more stable job next semester. I must say, I am in the minority of all my friends. Most are either married or living with their significant other (and I’m only 22!). I made my choice to live with my parents because I want to travel. I know I have the choice of living on my own and barely making enough to survive or live at home a few years, save money, and travel. That’s what I want. And I don’t see that there’s anything wrong with it. As for compensation, I loan my parents money (oddly enough) and take care of my little sister. I take care of my own meals and pay for my gasoline. It’s not what I’d imagined growing up, but I think it’s the right thing for me at this point in my life.

  28. Didi
    Didi says:

    I think that whether or not moving home can be a responsible and/or growing experience depends on the individual. When I graduated last May, I moved to New York to do a summer internship and find a job. Come August, I had found a job and with two roommates way out in Brooklyn, cooking at home and taking the subway I was doing alright. I was even able to pay off all of my credit card debt that I had accumulated during my year abroad in college!

    However, three months into the job I was suddenly cut from the budget. During the summer, I had known my employment was limited and had worked really hard to find a job before it ended. This time, I had had no idea I was going to lose my job and hadn’t been looking for something new for at least a year and a half! I found out I was not eligible for unemployment benefits because I had not been working long enough, and was in a real bind.

    I asked my parents if I could move home with them while I looked for my next job and they said yes. After moving in, I immediately found temp work in the area so I could pay all of my own bills and save while job searching. I’m still looking for my next full-time job, but moving home has been a really great experience for me. It has been incredibly humbling to ask for help and to receive it graciously. I work hard to be a productive part of the family, helping with cooking, cleaning and rides. During this time I have improved my relationship with my parents and siblings very, very much and appreciate my family so much more than I ever did.

    Rather than being an entitled experience, I have found moving home to be incredibly humbling and I am grateful for my time here. I look forward enjoying and appreciating my family so much more for the rest of my life because of this experience!

  29. Lily
    Lily says:

    I am 28 years old, after two summer breaks in college of living at home with my parents I vowed never to return. I went to a private University in a major city on the West Coast, and graduated with about $20k of debt. (In hindsight, I have regretted attending a Private college rather then a State school due to the debt, but it’s too late to change that now!) I believe my income on my tax return for the year I graduated was a little over $12,000. Sometimes I wonder how I managed to survive – I worked 40 hours a week at a low-paying entry level job, also booking nannying jobs in every spare minute to make extra cash. Bought my clothes at Buffalo Exchange or on sale at Nordstrom Rack. Lived in a cold, dark daylight basement apartment with a roomate for $350 a month, close to downtown to be nearer to work. I did not go on a expensive vacations, or eat at trendy restaurants. I had a $1700 Saturn, but took the bus as often as possible to save on gas. Worked my butt off to get promoted, and increase my income. Flash foward 5+ years and I see friends my age who are living with their parents in the suburbs of a major city because they claim they cannot afford otherwise. They do not want to live with roommates. They drive expensive cars, eat out frequently, go on Mexican cruise vacations, shop at Nordstrom. They drive to work instead of taking the bus when gas is at $3.50 per gallon. It is absolutely their choice to spend their money in these ways, no question. However, I sometimes feel that these people value comfort and convenience over independence.

  30. B
    B says:

    I’ve been leaving a bunch of negative comments on this site lately so I thought I’d balance it out by going back to an article I like and leaving a positive one.

    This article is great, not only because it’s encouraging, but because it offers advice that is relevant to the unemployed and underemployed, who, we can all assume, make up the majority of the people who read this site.

    I want the old Penelope back, not the right-wing corporate cheerleader who has taken her place.

  31. amber
    amber says:

    If you are moving to or from an apartment, it requires lots of consideration specially in budget and of course the things to bring and not to bring to lessen the load and the financial agendas! yet we can deal with that!

  32. J.
    J. says:

    I had to live at home while I went to college, since I relied only on grants and work study. I did get a loan my last two years, thankfully I only borrowed a little. When I graduated, I had a hard time getting a job. I couldn’t relocate because I didn’t have a car or the money. I wound up working from one crap minimum wage job to another for nine years. I finally got a job in my field, bought a car, and moved out. Sadly, I am being laid off, and can no longer afford my apartment, so I am being forced to move back home.

    I am still pretty upset about the whole thing. I now have to try and find another job, but my prospects look pretty bad.

  33. Viviann
    Viviann says:

    Financially, moving back to your parents’ home makes sense. but it truly too depends on your relationship with your parents. If you are going to be constantly harangued by one or both of them, the situation becomes very stressful. This was my experience the two or three times I tried it.
    I have spent most of my 40 years possibly as a pre-adult as you have coined the phrase in another article. And for 40 years my father has done nothing but criticize my personal and career choices.
    Living at home will not work for everyone.

  34. Kate
    Kate says:

    I think this is a really interesting subject. I graduated in 2009, and to avoid living at home I worked an almost minimum wage job for a year before returning to community college and getting an awesome job there. Sadly my job was temporary. I have just moved back home with my mom, and it could definitely be better. I personally worked very hard in college, and graduated with student debt. My mom and I do not get along at all, and I also get anxiety- this combination is really bad. But, since I started my job just a few weeks ago, I hope to save up some money to get a vehicle and pay off some of that debt. I will not be buying any luxury items.

  35. Al
    Al says:

    I like this article – I too have college debt and am moving back to my hometown to live with my dad and hopefully get a job in my field where there is less competition and more caring people.

    I’d just like to point out – I lived in South Korea for a year teaching ESL, where I saved up about 10,000 dollars, all of which went back into school, and I still ended up 10,000 dollars in debt.

    In South Korea, and much of Asia, it’s not only NORMAL to live with your parents until you get married, or decide you want to move out, parents there encourage it. It’s not really financially feasible to move out in South Korea as you have to have “key money” to put down on an apartment, generally between 10,000-50,000 dollars.

    I guess what I want to say is I don’t think moving back in with your parents is a failure – and besides, I think it fosters something we are missing in much of our “independent” culture in the west – and that is interaction between the generations on a daily basis. I mean, living on my own, I talk to my parents about once a week, and I get the highlights. But, really, you can’t be close with someone unless you’re in each other’s life. Those are the people who count – the people who show up and continue to show up. I like my parents, and I know that I have a better relationship with them then when I left for college – because we can connect as adults.

    I think it’s attitude of people that makes “boomerangers” feel like children again. But we’re not children at all, and in fact moving back in with parents so that the rest of the world will treat us as adults – in terms of employment and allowing time to pursue dreams instead of just settling is not a failure at all.

    I think people need an attitude adjustment, and to look at the reality of starting out as a young adult today. If you haven’t walked in those shoes, made sandwiches or cleaned hotel rooms when you have a BA, well guess what? Maybe you should try it and see how you like living a life where there is no family, no connection, and your hours make it impossible to see beyond your next paycheque. Middle class kids living in poverty when they don’t have to is madness.

    I’m not vouching for a free ride, but I am saying that sometimes you have to fall back in order to rally the troupes. And honestly, I know that I love being around people that I love and respect. And when I’m in a better position, I will move out.

    Life is so short. Why waste it being away from the people you love to do work you hate?

  36. Tusk-King
    Tusk-King says:

    Al, I 100% agree with you, there is nothing wrong with moving back in to get your life in order, sometimes its needed, there’s no shame in it.

  37. Kat9997
    Kat9997 says:

    i am about to graduate in 2012 and im torn between moving in with my bf at 22 and continuing to live with my parents. i spent college commuting from my parents house to school. although it has been a very big advantage for me not having to take out loans for a dorm room im itching to move out. but parents are a very good financial crutch when you are starting out. 

  38. Jay
    Jay says:

    I’m surprised that this is such a big issue in the western world. Most people in India live with their parents, often even after getting married; the only exception is if you have to move away for work. Having done it myself (briefly, during my first job out of college), it’s not too bad and not disempowering at all, if you contribute to the household expenses and/or pay rent. It saves you a lot of money and is great for the environment (every boomeranger is one less separate household contributing to the emissions problem). And strong, cordial family ties are good for everyone in the long run. If you act like an adult (pick up after yourself, pay for stuff, take responsibility), you will/should be treated like an adult, no matter where you live. 

  39. Jww7
    Jww7 says:

    I have been stuck with my parents for the last 14 months.  It was the worst mistake I ever made, barring going back to school.  I have lost all my self-esteem and have pretty much given up.  It was deteriorated my relationship with my parents to the point where I honestly hate them.  When and if I ever get out, I’m never coming back.  It may make financial sense, but the wear and tear on you emotions may make it more costly then starving on your own.

  40. the not me
    the not me says:

    I am almost 33 years old and have never moved out of my parents house. They do charge me rent because I have a job, but it’s a job that goes nowhere. I graduated college 8 years ago, but I still don’t have enough money to move out. The rising cost of everything has forced me to stay put. Until the cost of living stops increasing and starts decreasing, there is no way I will ever be able to move out of my parents house. My college degree is a four year degree in art. But now there’s no art jobs to be found. I’m screwed.

  41. Realtor
    Realtor says:

    I too had to move in with my parents for two years. I was sick of my job, in television decided on a change. I spent all my savings for a graduate degree, and moved back in. It was fun living with my parents, of course I had to sacrifice privacy. However, I dont think anyone can achieve anything without a few sacrifices.

  42. Olivia
    Olivia says:

    Interesting comments, really got me thinking now. I’ve only just moved to another city for study, three weeks ago, and i’m missing home so badly, regretting the decision to come here. It seems to be the thing everyone in Perth (and all around Australia) does at my age (23), move to Melbourne, for more ‘opportunities’, but honestly, it’s so hard to get a job, and they pay less here.
    I’m wondering if it’s all worth it, whether I should just go back home and study there.
    Plus, I get along well with my parents.
    I keep looking at one way airfares……

  43. Christine
    Christine says:

    I actually lived at home during college, and was strongarmed to do so given that the university was located in the city they lived and paying for rent would be illogical.

    At around 24, I moved out for the first time ever, and got myself a small room, and then upgraded to a 1 bedroom. A year after this, my parents actually asked me to come back home, because 1. My mom felt lonely 2. To pitch in financially. They actually want me to buy a house with them, and pool our resources so we can get a nice one (As a future investment). Although living at home can be a nightmare, I can’t live in good conscious knowing my parents could be better off with me living at home.

    Just a perspective for those who have families who can really benefit from their help (financially and emotionally).

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