MovingHome

Question, just how old is too old to live at home? A whopping 21.6 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 31 live at home. That’s the highest number of individuals to live at home in the last 40 years! Majority of those who live at home are between the ages of 18 and 24, and get this; most of those living at home are male. Who would have thought?

Why are we still at home you ask? Surely, education inflation plays a part. The cost of education has been rising at a steady rate for years. The cost of education actually rises at about two and a half times the rate of inflation for other things. High costs are forcing two-thirds of undergraduates to take out student loans and borrow from the government just to pay for school. Of course, when you finish, you’ve got only a few months before you have to start paying back your debt, which most of us have a hard time doing being that half of millennials are unemployed or underemployed.

If you’ve been anywhere near a T.V. in the last few days, you know that parts of the federal government have shutdown, leaving hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed from their work and millions of Americans and services they rely on like housing, health services, social security, WIC and Headstart, veteran services and other regulatory agencies closed or severely delayed. The U.S. government has a debt ceiling of $16.7 trillion, which we managed to hit in May. The government has been able to borrow from other sources but in less than two weeks, if Congress doesn’t vote to raise the debt ceiling, we’re looking at some trouble when it comes to paying what we owe.

With the increasing cost of education, the current economic crisis and nearly half of our generation being out of work or underemployed, it’s no wonder most of us are taking the opportunity to shack up with our parents. We took the liberty of speaking with some of our fellow twenty-somethings to get their thoughts and opinions their experiences living at home. Read on.

Meet Ren: A 23-year-old female, currently a college senior who has never lived anywhere but home. She’s currently unemployed.

GenTwenty: Why are you living at home?

Ren: Because I’m still welcome to do so and living elsewhere would be an unnecessary expense.

G20: How long do you intend to live at home?

R: I don’t know, maybe another two or three years.

G20: What are the benefits of living at home?

R: You have the opportunity to save more money and to learn things from your parents that you might now have paid attention to in the past.

G20: What are the negatives of living at home?

R: It’s easy to feel like a kid again and fall into a pattern of less responsibility.

G20: What are your thoughts on education inflation?

R: I think it’s detrimental to everyone. Tuition costs should be sensible. If we’re going to say that college should be the way — the ticket — to a successful life, then it should be affordable.

G20: What are your thoughts on the economic climate?

R: The economy is cyclical. It will work itself out eventually, it will get worse before it gets better.

G20: At what age do you think a person is too old to live at home?

R: My initial thought was 30, but I don’t think it’s that simple right now. If an adult is not trying to do anything to improve and just taking advantage of their parents’ generosity, they’re too old to live at home.

Meet Brittany: A 24-year-old female who moved back home three months ago after earning her Masters Degree. She’s recently employed, but not in her field of choice.

GenTwenty: Why are you living at home?

Brittany: I moved back home with the mindset that I would be able to get a professional job. Now it seems that I am at home to save money and because there is no way that I could afford anything else.

G20: How long do you intend to live at home?

B: Until I am more established professionally and financially.

G20: What are the benefits of living at home?

B: I get to spend time with my family.

G20: What are the negatives of living at home?

B: I sometimes miss my space being just my space and being able to leave something somewhere and having it be there when I return.

G20: What has your experience been like moving back home?

B: It’s been fine. Fitting all of the stuff I have acquired over my college years back into my room has been a challenge. I think the biggest challenge is being an adult in your childhood home.

G20: What are your thoughts on education inflation?

B: My education shouldn’t be a debt sentence.

G20: What are your thoughts on the economic climate?

B: It doesn’t look too good.

G20: At what age do you think a person is too old to live at home?

B: I don’t know anymore.

Meet Shaima: A-27-year old female who graduated with her Masters Degree in 2011 and has lived at home her entire life. She’s employed full-time.

GenTwenty: Why are you living at home?

Shaima: Because of my mom, dad and brother.

G20: How long do you intend to live at home?

S: I don’t really have a choice, so until marriage.

G20: What are the benefits of living at home?

S: I don’t have to pay rent or buy groceries.

G20: What are the negatives of living at home?

S: Limited freedom and lack of experience having to survive on my own in the real world. I feel sheltered to an extent and it’s frustrating.

G20: What are your thoughts on the economic climate?

S: It’s pretty bad. I think it has been for quite some time now and I’m grateful that I even have a job.

G20: At what age do you think a person is too old to live at home?

S: It’s a circumstantial situation. I guess it would depend on whether there were any cultural ties or other factors involved. It’s not fair to say one particular age though.

If anything is clear, to twenty-somethings there doesn’t seem to be a set timeframe for when we should get out there on our own. Living at home affords us the ability to save money and live in a comfortable and familiar environment. With the state of the current economy and the continuously rising cost of education, looks like we may see more millennials moving back home. What do you think?

Photo via Flickr