This article first appeared on GenFKD.org
There’s an ugly stereotype that’s largely based on hard statistics: many millennials delay moving out of their parents house, waiting until they’re well into their 30s.
Needless to say, living with the parental units is largely perceived as an economic necessity. In the age of “the rent is too damn high,” living at home for free is a tempting and economically ingenious move for underemployed and cash-poor millennials. Not surprisingly, a few years ago, a Pew Study showed that almost a third of 18-34 year olds were still chilling at their parent’s abode, the highest level since 1940.
Then again, not all of us are completely broke. In fact, a large number of us are thriving in the new economy, and merely choose to live with Mom and Dad for an entirely different set of reasons. Life expectancy is way up, and millennials are approaching adulthood with a much different attitude. Money aside, we simply don’t want to grow up as fast as our parents.
Moving out is the first step that unleashes a barrage of monumental stepping stones like marriage and homeownership. Those life leaps require unprecedented levels of commitment and cold hard cash that we’re simply not ready to wrap our head around for the time being. In order to delay the inevitable, even if we have the money to abandon the premises, you will find us holed up in our childhood bedrooms for as long as humanly possible.
From the Wall Street Journal:
“We may be witnessing a restructuring of the life course: As the length of lives gets extended, the stages of life are likewise being recast. Social scientists have heralded the advent of an entirely new stage of life between adolescence and adulthood, often called “emerging adulthood.” The reasons that young people are taking longer to acquire the trappings of adulthood—marrying, settling into careers, buying a home later—can be attributed to developmental shifts as much as anything else.
The MacArthur Foundation’s research group on transitions to adulthood found that, “A new period of life is emerging in which young people are no longer adolescents but not yet adults.” This “stretched out walk to independence,” as it’s been called, may be giving young people and parents more – and better – time together.
Our graying parents hold a great deal of adoration for their kids despite their “failure to launch” their adult lives. In fact, the millennials today are more likely to say they’re close to their parents than past generations. As we’re all living longer, we’re enjoying living in the same spaces, breaking bread together, and are fundamentally altering the parent-child relationship.
Naturally, these new research findings don’t negate the significant economic differences between our generations. Baby boomers remain much more affluent than their children, and living at home definitely takes the edge off of the cash-sucking existence that is modern adult life.
There’s a reason we’re called GenFKD, and it’s not too hard to figure out why we’ve earned that moniker. While the economy has been getting better recently and incomes are finally starting to rise, that doesn’t compensate for the horrendous era in which most millennials came of age. Stagnant incomes, terrible job prospects, and surging cost-of-living expenses stifled our existence, and forced many of us to live out our nascent adulthood in the same place where we spent our pimpled teenage years–our childhood bedrooms.
But it all hasn’t been terrible for the all-American family. Millennials and their boomer parents have built stronger bonds amidst an economically and culturally shifting world. If many of us were to corner our parents and asked how they really felt about their boomerang kids, they probably wouldn’t change a thing, as they’re grateful to be graced with our presence.
GenFKD is equipping millennials with the skills and education necessary to create and lead the “new economy.” To learn more, head over to GenFKD.org.
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David is the Editor of Bold. He's especially passionate about millennial economic empowerment. A former local news reporter, David is originally from the Little Havana area in Miami, and later became a pioneer resident of the Disney-inspired town of Celebration, Florida. David holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Founded in 2013 as a financial literacy organization, GenFKD is growing into an organization that’s revolutionizing American higher education. Through skills-based training and student-first reforms, GenFKD is advancing a system of “new education” focused on improving post-graduate outcomes in areas of gainful employment, financial preparedness and entrepreneurial readiness.