The Boomerang Effect


So you’ve become an empty nester, or have you? Parents who have prematurely converted their kid’s room to a home office know exactly what I’m talking about. Enter the “boomerang generation.” You saw your kids off to an ivy league college with dreams of them landing the perfect job only to find them at your front door, suitcase in hand.

You’re not alone. Statistically, 1 out of every 8 young adults in their 20’s and 30’s find themselves back at home despite earning a college degree. What’s fueling this epidemic? According to the Institute for College Access & Success, the average student loan debt in 2013 was around $30,000. This figure is significantly higher for post graduate and doctorate degrees. When it comes time to repay these loans, many students find themselves unemployed, or not earning enough to support their cost of living AND a loan payment. If parents are willing to take in their adult children, it can be an advantage that allows them to pay down their debt before becoming independent again.

Unforeseen circumstances such as divorce and job layoff can mean a financial crisis for your adult children. Whether or not they move back in, you might find yourself supporting them financially. Living with mom and dad temporarily may not be all bad. With rent, and real estate prices on the rise, this can be an opportune time to save enough for a future down payment.

If it’s seeming like Johnny is overstaying his welcome, only sticking around for a hot meal and clean laundry, give a deadline. Let him know your checkbook will be closed for business, and you won’t be offering any more housekeeping services. Giving an “eviction” date doesn’t mean you love your child any less, you’re just equipping them for the real world.

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