Moving in with parents after college a rational, economic choice

There’s no shame in moving back in with mom and dad after you graduate.

Not only are there benefits for people who live with their parents, but also more adults live with their parents now than ever.

A government census in 2011 found that 5.9 million young adults 25 to 34 years old live with their parents; that’s 14 percent of adults in that age group. The number of people living with their folks shot up by more than a million people after the recession.

The recession hit our generation hard. Fewer jobs were available to college grads, and the job market is still recovering. In 2014, nearly 30 percent of young people did not have a job, according to the Institute of Education Sciences.

In addition people who did get a job may not make enough money to pay off student loans while living on their own.

So if you’re a recent UK grad or you’re going to graduate this semester, the extra room at mom’s place could be the responsible decision. The socially accepted age when children become independent (living on their own and financially supporting themselves) has evolved since the twentieth century. Many of the baby boomers grew up with the understanding that 18 was when you moved out and pursued a job or education to sustain yourself. Over time the age has been pushed back, whether it is because of increasing competition in the job market or families becoming more socially dependent on each other, to after graduating from college.

Stigmas against living with one’s parents paint our generation as lazy and incompetent, and could encourage college graduates to live in poverty to forgo receiving help that society deems shameful.

Young people and parents may also be concerned about how living together will affect the family relationship.

A Pew Research Center poll showed that almost half of young adults living at home said there was no difference in the family dynamic. About a quarter said it had a good impact, and another quarter said it had a negative impact.

And it’s important to note that just because people live with their parents, it doesn’t mean they have to. Moving in with mom and dad is the rational choice for some people, not the last resort. There are a number of cultures that encourage children to live with their parents into adulthood to take care of each other’s financial, and sometimes physical, needs.

That being said, about 8 of 10 Pew survey respondents said they don’t have enough money to live the way they want to. But taking a year or two to get their financial sea legs could make them more likely to succeed in the long run.

Students are weighed down with too much debt and too few jobs as it is to be putting each other down for living at home.

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