Many grads moving back home

More and more 20-somethings have to move back in with their parents. It's not just you.

By Donna_Freedman Jun 3, 2011 8:55AM

Hey there, June graduates: How many of you are discovering that heavy student loan debt + weak job market = moving back to your old room?

You're not alone.

According to an article from The Charlotte Observer, plenty of people between 20 and 29 (and older) are moving back in with their folks. Such a move "protects them economically," according to Kathleen Harris, director of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

"They're less likely to have the material hardships of not having a phone or having their utilities turned off," says Harris, a professor of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Between 2008 and 2010 the number of adults living at home went up 5%. That's another 1.2 million grown men and women who might be told to get home by 11 p.m., because after that the sound of the front door opening will wake Mom up. Post continues after video.

Seriously, though, it's not necessarily a bad situation. In some cases an intergenerational household solves two sets of problems: The adult son or daughter can save some money, and aging parents get some much-needed help.

Worried that you'll be treated like a kid again? It could happen. Old patterns die hard. Psychology Today addresses this and other concerns in "10 tips for moving back in with parents."

The first two, I think, are particularly valuable:

  • "Remember your parents are doing you a favor."
  • "Develop an exit plan early and let your parents know when you hope to be able to leave."

In some cultures it's not unusual to remain in the nest until you marry and get a home of your own. As more U.S. adults return to their families of origin, perhaps there will be less stigma attached to the idea.

If returning home feels wrong, don't do it just yet. Look for another solution, such as sharing a place with a bunch of other new grads, or becoming a part-time nanny or a professional house sitter.

And if you do decide to bunk with the 'rents? Use those Psychology Today tips to make the experience as harmonious as possible.

For a bit of comic relief, see "How to get girls if you live at home with Mom & Dad" at the Financial Samurai personal-finance blog. But don't actually try any of his suggestions -- you might be sent to your room without supper.

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Jun 3, 2011 3:46PM
Each of our three children have moved back in-periodically- as they left college and before they found substantial jobs. We have loved having each of them back and missed them when they moved on. That's what FAMILY is all about...helping each other and enjoying it! 
So with the proposed and even actual cuts in medicaid, the older people will move back with there grown children, and the younger 20 year old college grads will also be moving back, under the same roof. Three generations under one roof. Might be time to start thinking and doing a little research, and vote the politicians out, that caused all these problems. . .
Jun 3, 2011 5:24PM

Two and three generations living under one roof is the direct outcome of no real job creation and a double dip recession CAUSED BY Presidents' (Bush and Obama) and Congress' (Democrat and Republican) total mismanagement of the USA national economy by: 1) Not collecting enough taxes on the wealthy (inviduals and corporations) so that there's not enough revenue [allegedly!!] for the government to invest in job creation in the PUBLIC SECTOR (which is where real job growth for Americans potentially exists); 2) Bush and Obama's $700 billion bailout to corrupt banks (paid for by tax payers) instead of to middle and working class Americans who should've received the bailout for dealing with the affects of the corrupt home mortage/ foreclosure scandal caused by these SAME banks and Wallstreet (when the Clinton and Bush administrations allowed it to happen, and Obama rewarded them with $350 billion---and now here comes the double dip!! That's real "Hope" and real "Change"); 3) Paying for/ running up debt on (paid for by tax payers) useless/ unwinnable wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya (with tax payer dollars handed over to private military contractors that lobby Congress!!); 4) Democrats and Republicans taking the Public Option off the table so that there will nothing but insanely high insurance premiums and deductables--for horrible private health insurance coverage....5) Income inequality in the U.S. is the worst it has been since the 1920′s !!!  The trends that have led to  today's  inequality of wealth and income are the result of how the federal government's (Dems and Repubs) policies have de-invested in the public sector,  subsidized corporations (corporate welfare!!) and have distributed income/ wealth in ways that favor the super rich (who save/ horde wealth or invest overseas and not in USA job creation/ growth)...

Jun 3, 2011 5:30PM

I like my kids, they are decent human beings, and if they want to move home great, that is why it is called home.

Jun 3, 2011 6:01PM

I would never move back home, instead my brothers and I decided to live together and chip in. I love my parents, but having to listen to their christian crap day in and out would drive me insane.

Jun 3, 2011 6:19PM

Majors that require applied brains (engineering, computer science, et al) actually provide grads with skills that they can sell for real money.


Do all the communications majors really think that the world is lacking in communicators?

Jun 3, 2011 5:15PM
I never moved out after I finished living on campus.  The solution to a smooth lifestyle is simple--I was part of the family so my pay, which wasn´t great, went into the family account, one hundred percent.  My family wasn´t rolling in money, and I knew it, and my parents let me know it from the day that I could understand what they said--age one.  Family finances were no secret from anyone in the house.  Did I lose anything from the whole experience?  I don´t think so.  I learned that although I never got exactly what I wanted, what I did receive was honestly given to me because they wanted the best for me that they could afford.  And this was the prevailing attitude up until the 1960´s when psychology became the official religion of Americans.  My friends on the place up the road from us had a policy for all five of their kids--whatever one got had to be divided five ways, and they never deviated from that principle.  Those kids all turned out to be pretty good citizens, which is more than I can say about most kids now days.  Only one had a failed marriage, and their mother was never in want as was the case for my mother also.  When my parents became sick, there was never a question about what I was going to do, and that was true of most children of blue collar parents.  This is not nostalgia, and it wasn´t always agreeable to us; but it was our duty, and we did it.
Jun 3, 2011 6:42PM
I moved back in after having my own apartment and it's been nothing but a blessing for me and my parents.  Do I want to live here?  Not really, but I got laid off from a good full time job in the IT field that outsourced, I was waking up at 3am and driving an hour and a half to get to.  We live in a very small town far from any big cities.  There are no hiring signs anywhere and I can't even get a call back from Walmart, the gas station, or mcdonalds (and it's the same for other people). Both sides are at fault in this political game because that's exactly what it is for them, a game, they squabble like children with nothing in mind but what they want for themselves.  In the mean time a lot of people are left in less than ideal circumstances and no one gives a crap. To those people out there saying we're nothing but a bunch of babies with no back bone . . . come back when you lose your house and your job and then see what you have to say.  You talk about doing what one has to do to get by well, we are.  It's what family is for.
Jun 3, 2011 6:31PM

Yep - and some of these (teen boys)  come with an obligation to pay child support.  Which the parents end up paying to keep the son out of jail.


Maybe the religious idiots should be working on heterosexual marriage values and laws - and - stop focusing on gay marriage.

Jun 3, 2011 5:53PM
Not a chance, go and find a job and rent your own place.
Jun 3, 2011 11:26PM



I'm curious too.  What kind of engineer makes 11 dollars per hour?  Just what kind of degree do they have?  I personally find it incredible that a real engineering grad can't find a good job pay $50k and up.

Jun 3, 2011 8:07PM
Well I did it for a while until I landed a contract gig related to my field, soon afterwords I moved out.  The problem today is less companies are hiring entry level workers and those who are lucky enough to get a job related to thier field of study often end up working contract gigs through an employment agency making just above mimimum wage with very little benefits.   Kind of hard to live on that long term, espically if you live in a higher cost of living area.  Case in point 4 or 5 of my co workers are recent within the past 2 years college grads from highly ranked Engineering schools and have been contractors for over a year making about $11/hr. with no benefits.  
Jun 3, 2011 8:33PM
Well the position is not a true Engineer position more of a skilled Technician position which they took because thats the best that they could find at the time.
Jun 3, 2011 8:19PM
@ libertarian 100

What kind of engineer makes 11 dollars an hour?

Those words should not be in the same sentence.

Jun 3, 2011 5:12PM

Todays kids are all Mome and Dade kids. I was out of the house by 19. And did not come back..When things got hard, you do what you do to get by. Notrun home to mom and dad.

No back bone today. The kids are just babys. And can't make a go of it. Like the 30 year old down the street. Paying 500 a month for a car. But cant pay for a Apt. Ha! ha! get real...

Jun 7, 2011 2:09PM
I, guess, that my generation and the one before it knew that we, when of age would move out, I opted to join the Air Force as there were no student loans in that era. So at the afe of 17 I left home for the wonders of military life and I enjoyed every minute of the 33 years that I served.  I feel as thugh these college babies are just that babies, when it gets rugh they don't get going they run home to mom and dad.  I hate to think of what is giong to happen when the next big one,war that is, comes down the pike, these babies will all run to Canada, that is if Canada doesn't have a draft itself and there will be no Jimmah Cahtah to pardon them.  My youngest son who is now a VP at a very large bank, decided that he didn't want to go to the Air Force Academy although all the paper work was amost complete, two of his teachers had brainwashed him nto thinking that he wuld have to kill people all the time and he wuld be regarded as a monster, that is with me only out of the service for four years.  So I told him then if yu want to go to college get a loan and go, I am not paying a cent for it, he did and needless to say I am very proud of him. He never whined or complained just di what he had to and he never had to live at home. He made it on his own hook.  So as I said most of the ones moving back in are still suckling.
Mar 23, 2012 1:56PM

I find that more young men move back than young women and that more young men stay at home than young women.


I personally know a man that has 2 boys in their 20's whom he supports: he's outright paying their car payments, insurance, food, etc...



Jun 3, 2011 4:18PM
Thanks to Bushonomics and corporate greed!
Jun 3, 2011 6:39PM

The problem is Libs like you always look for someone to blame instead of finding a solution.


Sounds more like a description of a conservative - especially religious idiot conservatives.  They always blame problems on a lack of religion in schools.

Jun 6, 2011 4:43PM
Take it from experience.... do not let them back without ground rules and a "leave date". What a generation we have created. If it weren't for Mom, they could live in a box in the park for all I care. If they need 4 jobs to survive, that what they do. We did.
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