Article by Alan P. Weiss, CFP®
Published in the June 5, 2016, New Haven Register
Parents used to fear they may never see their children after college. Today they fear their children may never leave.
A recent study by the Pew Research Center showed the percentage of young adults, ages 18 to 34, living with their parents is now higher than those living with a spouse or partner. As a result of this trend, people are now finishing basements with bedrooms, bathrooms, and even kitchenettes to accommodate having a grown child live at home with them.
One possible explanation for this dramatic change in society is the exponentially increasing cost of college and rising student loan debt. A study by The Institute for College Access and Success (TICAS), an independent organization that works to make higher education more affordable, found that the class of 2014 graduated with nearly $29,000 in average student loan debt. The TICAS report also showed Connecticut has had a 57% increase in average student loan debt from 2004 to 2014.
States such as Delaware and Maryland topped this list with triple-digit percentage increases of 129% and 118% respectively over the 10 years. No wonder why more young adults are moving back home after college.
While living with your parents again may seem like a step backward in one’s life, there are many benefits. Live in a house for little or no cost can help greatly in paying off student loan debt. This path also provides a lot of freedom with exploring possible careers and allows graduates to take unpaid internships.
If graduates do decide to move back home, having a plan is important. They should make a list of career and financial goals and set a timeline for achieving them. The last item should be your move-out date; to not overstay your time is crucial. Remember that, by living at home, you increase your parents’ everyday expenses. Even if your parents don’t ask for it, you may want to pay a portion of the utility and food expenses.
Director Steven Spielberg, in his commencement speech this year at Harvard University, ended by saying, “I hope you…for your parents’ sake, maybe every now and then, just like E.T., ‘Go home.’” That could apply later to all those temporarily living back home now.
Alan P. Weiss is the president of Regent Wealth Management Group in Woodbridge. He is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Readers are reminded that certain investments and investment strategies may not be appropriate for them and that all investments involve risks and uncertainties. Consult an expert of your choosing if you have questions about investments. More information is available at www.regentwealth.com.)