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Failure to Launch: More Young Americans Living at Home

A recent study came out showing that more and more young adults today still live (or moved back in) with their parents, likening them more to twentysomethings in the early 1900s than their parents' generation.However, unlike our grandparents and great-grandparents, today's young adult isn't staying at home to help the family out, but the opposite — they are living at home to save money in a weak economy and using 10 percent of their parents' annual income. ScienceDaily reports:

In the post-World War II boom, high-paying industrial jobs were plentiful, and a prosperous economy enabled workers with high school degrees (or less) and college degrees alike to find secure employment with decent wages and benefits. Since then, downward trends in wages and economic opportunities can be directly linked to young people staying at home longer, returning home later, and postponing or even forgoing marriage and children.

Many of you said you wouldn't mind moving back in with your parents if the need arose, so do you think this is "delaying adulthood" and/or taking advantage of parents, or is it a sign that today's young adults are just trying to save money and are close enough with their families that moving home is a viable option?

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hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 6 years
That's very true AnaMC. Being half Mexican I do see that in some of my extended family. It's simply part of the fabric of life in Latin and Asian cultures. However here in America where capitalism and career status are all about what make you a successful adult or a flop society sees it as a big deal.
AnaMC AnaMC 6 years
It depends a lot on the person but as someone who lives in Latin America, where living with parents/family until marriage or financial stability, isn't unusual and frankly, I don't the big deal of it. Most people still live their own lives despite living with their parents. It's a financial security plus most people I've met are really or close to their family.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 6 years
That's a good point kohina, older people are working longer. As far as I'm concerned unless I have a nest egg where I can live in comfort and do some traveling I'm going to work as long as my body will carry me. Why sit around at home and wait for pity visits from friends and family I'd rather stay out there and live!
kohina kohina 6 years
spacekatgal is spot on. I would also like to ad that many older people just aren't retiring which is making it even harder for young people to find jobs. I have an uncle that's 60 who is still working as a longshoreman and believe me he doesn't need the money. He just WANTS the money. I'm sure there are older people that need the money too but it's still depriving young people of jobs when they don't retire. Babyboomers are really screwing us over. Anyways as to not to derail from the topic.. I'm living at home because I could barely afford rent at a retail salary and decided to go back to community college so I could potentially make more money. I'm really worried that will never happen though if the economy stays like this.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
Hypno, I wondered about that, too. I'm thinking maybe part of that is food consumption? Or I wonder if they are dividing energy consumption evenly among all of the residents of the house? Of course having an extra person is going to lead to having slightly higher energy usage, but it's not going to increase it that much. I'd be curious to know more about that.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 6 years
I moved back in with my parents for about 3 months after I was done with college, but that was the end of it. I couldn't imagine doing it now unless it really was my only option.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 6 years
I'm sure that in some cases parents are taken advantage of and in most cases young adults return home because they genuinely need the family support. I don't know why they're using 10% of their parents income though. If it were my child I wouldn't charge them rent so they can save money but hell if they're getting my money, lol, apply for unemployment. Well I may make them a loan or two and in any case while they're staying with me they'd better have a fire under their behind trying to get back out into the world.
chloe-bella chloe-bella 6 years
When I graduated from college at age 21, there was no way I would have ever moved back in with my parents. I enjoyed being "on my own" and didn't mind having to adopt a more frugal lifestyle. However, now that I'm 26 and fully supporting myself, I'm nostalgic for how good I had it in high school when I didn't have to worry about paying bills, doing laundry, or cooking for myself. I wouldn't want to go back to being in high school by any means, but I'm definitely more appreciative of how convenient living with your parents can be.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 6 years
I haven't move out because my mom depends on me and I have to support her. Once I graduate I still plan to stay with my to help her out. It just doesn't make sense to move out when I can stay here and help my mom. Nonetheless, my mom is all alone and the only company that she has in this country is me. Once I can afford to pay an apartment for my mom and myself, then I will move out. But it's not like I'm living out of my mom, I will never do that.
sourcherries sourcherries 6 years
I'm with lilkimbo--it depends on the person. However, I am hoping to see a more open attitude towards multi-generational families. It is the norm elsewhere and I think it can bring families closer together.
dexaholic dexaholic 6 years
I know lots of people who chose to live at home with their parents. I considered moving back home (but I work in a completely different city and the commute would have been awful). I don't think there is anything wrong with it, as long as they aren't taking advantage.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
I think it really depends on the person. I've known people who lived at home as young adults and used the time to save up money and buy a home instead of throwing that money into renting. (I'm a renter now, so I have nothing against renting, but it does kind of suck up money that could be saved instead.) Most of these people also helped their parents out to some extent, either financially, around the house, or both. At the very least, they weren't drains on their parents' incomes. Of course I also know people on the other end of the spectrum who have perfectly respectable jobs with decent incomes, but who live off of their parents (as opposed to living with their parents) and buy ridiculously expensive "toys," whether they are shoes or electronics. And then there's a third group. I know people who had difficultly finding a job right out of college who lived with their parents and worked part time, but probably still wound up costing their parents money (in food they ate, etc.). So anyway, like I said, I really think it depends on the individual. And I don't think there's any shame in living with your parents as a young adult if you can't afford to live on your own or if you really want to save up money for a big purchase, like a condo.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 6 years
I think it really depends on the person. I've known people who lived at home as young adults and used the time to save up money and buy a home instead of throwing that money into renting. (I'm a renter now, so I have nothing against renting, but it does kind of suck up money that could be saved instead.) Most of these people also helped their parents out to some extent, either financially, around the house, or both. At the very least, they weren't drains on their parents' incomes. Of course I also know people on the other end of the spectrum who have perfectly respectable jobs with decent incomes, but who live off of their parents (as opposed to living with their parents) and buy ridiculously expensive "toys," whether they are shoes or electronics. And then there's a third group. I know people who had difficultly finding a job right out of college who lived with their parents and worked part time, but probably still wound up costing their parents money (in food they ate, etc.). So anyway, like I said, I really think it depends on the individual. And I don't think there's any shame in living with your parents as a young adult if you can't afford to live on your own or if you really want to save up money for a big purchase, like a condo.
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