Young Adults, Bearing Brunt of Recession, Live at Home in Droves

Young Adults, Bearing Brunt of Recession, Live at Home in Droves

40%(!) of adults aged 18-39 are moving in or have moved back in with their parents.

As much as we love our parents, this probably isn't our idea of a good time (or theirs).

But hey, drastic circumstances call for drastic measures. And there's a good reason so many are leaning on their folks right now: The unemployment rate for people under 25 is 18%—more than twice the national average.

This is despite the fact that the American unemployment rate has dropped to its lowest point in the last four years. 

The Facts

According to a recent survey by the National Endowment for Financial Education, 40% of American adults ages 18-39 either live at home or did so in the recent past ... and that's not counting students.

Meanwhile, according to The Wall Street Journal, young people are bearing the brunt of economy-wide wage decreases. Their pay has dropped steadily for the past decade, and men have suffered more than women: The average inflation-adjusted hourly wage for male college graduates ages 23-29 dropped 11% in the past ten years, as compared to the 7.6% decrease for women with the same criteria. In contrast, average hourly wages for the workforce overall have risen slightly in the same time period (although that may be simply because the workers with the lowest pay have left the workforce).

"New college graduates have been losing ground for ten years," Lawrence Mishel, president of the Economic Policy Institute, a center-left think tank in Washington, which compiled the report, told The Journal.

This isn't great news for young adults, and it's having a negative impact on their parents too: Perhaps the most horrifying figure is that 26% of parents have taken on debt to support their grown children.

How to Handle Your 'Roommates'

If You're Living at Home With Your Parents

Let's say you're unemployed. Or your entry-level job is paying you less than you expected. Or you're operating out of your childhood bedroom. What do all three of those situations have in common? You're not the only one in any of them.

40% of young people living at home? An 18% unemployment rate? These are huge numbers, and they mean that not only are you not alone—it's downright crowded where you are.

Sometimes, the responsible financial decision, whether taking an underpaying job because it could lead you to better places or sparing yourself rent by retreating to your high school bunk bed, can seem like anything but. In fact, making the hard choice now for your finances is an admirable, difficult thing to do. And we're proud of you for it!

Also, remember that the situation is temporary. Life won't always be this way, but by buckling down now, you are accruing less debt than you would otherwise and setting yourself up for a future of financial success.

Another way to set yourself up for financial success is to education yourself ... starting with LearnVest. We have:

These free, 10-day programs come straight to your inbox and WILL help you achieve your goals.

If You're the Parent

"Make sure that from the day your children move back in, you sit down and talk about finances," says LV Financial Planner Mina Black. "This is absolutely essential to not only help your child understand where things are with you financially, but also to set guidelines and expectations on both of your parts."

She recommends discussing how the children will contribute to the household—financially or otherwise—as well as setting a deadline. Will they pay rent? Will they take over certain chores? How long will your child live with you? It is of course easier to decide when they should leave once they have a job and can save a certain amount of money, but setting expectations immediately will help reintegrate them into the household.

And when tensions rise, remember how sad you were when they left in the first place.

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