Moving back home to live with parents after college no longer carries a stigma.
Boomers housing boomerang kids is the new normal, says blogger Mary Quigley in a recent AARP.org feature on the subject. Quigley cites one survey that found millennials believe it’s acceptable to live with parents for up to five years after completing college.
Mary Dell Harrington, another blogger featured in the AARP story, says the recession made moving home a necessity for unemployed college graduates, many of which continued to return to their folks’ homes after the recession receded. Harrington believes there’s a “great practicality” to moving home, especially in high-rent urban areas.
I fall under both boomer and boomerang kid categories, having been born in the ’60s and returned to live with, care for, and eventually take on my parents’ pride-and-joy historic home. Boomers tend to re-establish independence once children leave the nest, so the prospect of welcoming back one or more “boomerangs” may be daunting.
Blogger Christina Newberry, also featured in the AARP piece, urges boomer parents to have an honest discussion with their adult children before they return or soon thereafter, as well as to draw up an actual contract about expectations. (A contract template is available on her website, AdultChildrenLivingatHome.com.)
Among the points for discussion, says Newberry:
Curfews and Privacy – Will he/she come and go as he/she pleases? Will you keep tabs on where he/she’s going? What about overnight guests?
Expenses – Who pays for food, especially if the young adult wants a vegan, organic or other specialized diet? What about cell phones, cable TV, dry cleaning and gas?
Financial Contributions – If the grad has a job, will he/she pay rent? If not, will he/she get part-time work while looking for employment to pay rent and/or living expenses?
Length of Stay – What’s the expectation—a few months? A year?
Responsibilities – Will he/she help with cleaning, errands, laundry or carpooling younger siblings?
The end goal, Newberry says, is not to kick them out as soon as possible, but to get them to the point where they’re ready to leave.
For more resources on boomerang parenting, visit AARP.org