Kick That Adult Kid Out of the Basement

With key numbers at a 75-year high, the 'failure to launch' for kids means a 'failure to retire' for parents

Put fresh sheets on the bunkbeds, Mom, and set another place at the dinner table — the number of adult children returning home to live with you and Dad and the dog is at a stunning 75-year high.

On the other hand — maybe it’s time to take drastic action.

An analysis from real estate company Trulia found that nearly 40 percent of young people were moving in with their parents, siblings, or other relatives in 2015. That’s the largest number of adult children living at home since 1940.

The percentage of those between 18 and 24 living in the family home has been on the rise since 2005. Before then, just one in three young adults returned home to live, noted Trulia.

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The thriving economy that President Obama promised Americans never materialized, and culturally, parents have shifted from pushing for their children’s independence to making life easier for them at every turn — and to their detriment.

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Related: I Will Not Be a Helicopter Mom

“These kids are the basement generation,” said a Reading, Massachusetts, mom of four. “I want to enjoy time with my husband after raising four boys, so the work I do now in letting my kids stumble, fall, and get up again will show them they can make it out in the world. We are not spending our retirement babying adults!”

Stagnant millennials negatively impact the economy. There is less demand for housing — and the services and purchases that go with home ownership. While the number of adults under age 30 has jumped by 5 million since 2006, the number of households inched up by a mere 200,000, according to the Harvard Joint Center for Housing Studies.

Census data indicates that younger Americans are getting married and having children later in life than previous generations.

Related: Enabling Our Young Adult Monsters

The Trulia blog offers some tips for kicking the adult kids out of the basement. An easy start? Charge rent.

“Cut off the free ride. Yes, it sounds harsh, but you may be doing both [yourself] and your kid a favor,” said one blog post. “Managing money and a monthly budget is something that is not learned in school, and it is certainly not learned hanging out in your parents’ converted attic for free.”

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