A Wall Street Journal article examines Rep. Paul Ryan’s statement that college grads shouldn’t be moving back in with their parents, noting that some financial experts say it’s a great move.
“College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life,” Vice Presidential candidate Rep. Ryan said at the Republican National Convention this week.
I get what he’s saying: in an ideal world, young adults would all have jobs that pay well enough that they can choose to live on their own or not. But the thing is, multi-generational homes are kinda great.
When my husband was in between jobs, we–me, my husband, and our four kids–lived with my parents for a few months. Despite being used to a very quiet life, my dad and step-mom opened up their three-bedroom home to us during a rough patch, and we made it work. And it was awesome.
Because my parents were divorced, I never actually lived with my dad while I was growing up. And although I had spent lots of time with my dad and stepmom, this was the first time I lived with them. We had a great relationship going into it, but we definitely became even closer. And my kids, who also had a great relationship with their grandparents going into it, developed a closeness that was a sight to behold. The day-in, day-out intimacy of living together is very different than just seeing grandparents at Thanksgiving.
Ultimately, my husband got a job, and we moved out. But I’m grateful to my parents for those months. Not just because they helped us out financially, but because we have such great memories.
The neighborhood I’m in now is very diverse, and lots of our friends live in multi-generational homes. It’s both a financial thing and a cultural thing. I have friends who are single moms who live with their parents, and friends who are married whose parents live with them. It can be a great way to raise kids.
I also have friends who lived with their parents during their 20s until they were married. And you know what? They saved up a ton of money. Even with contributing financially to their parents in the form of rent and utilities, they still spent way less money than they would have if renting their own apartments. Those people all have significantly less mortgage to pay off now, because they were able to plunk down huge down payments on their houses.
So while young adults living with their parents may be a growing trend–The Wall Street Journal cites a study titled “The Boomerang Generation” that says one-third of 25-34 year olds are living with their parents–I’d argue that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
(Photo Credit: iStockphoto)
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