Adult children living with mom and dad in search of a launching pad to adulthood

Published: Thursday, Aug. 2 2012 7:00 p.m. MDT

While statistics show that more young adults are taking a slower path into self-sufficiency, Barbara Ray and Richard Settersten, authors of the book "Not Quite Adults" said having a little more time at home can be a good thing.

"What we found in our book is that a slower path into adulthood is often a path into a more secure future," Ray said. "There are fewer jobs and it's hard to get started and rents are high, and college debt; they are graduating with some debt and they're not getting a job so it makes sense to move home," she said of the growing number of young people in their family homes.

She said young adults used to be able to take the first thing available and meander their way into a career. But with a slower economy and fewer jobs available having a parent to help makes a difference.

"What parents are providing by allowing their kids to move back home is a launching pad so you can make some smarter decisions because you're not feeling the financial pressure quite as much if you have to pay rent," Ray said. "This allows you to be a little more strategic and get a good step in the right direction with that first job."

Ray said that kids that tried to get out the door quickly are at higher risk of being in difficult financial situations.

"They leave home, maybe they are skipping education, they want to really just get a job because now they have to pay the rent and be responsible," she said. "That pretty much sends you right down the path to a low paid service sector type of job."

She said today's economy is much more competitive and young adults have to be strategic, and a stint with the parents could be the solution. 

The research released this week also found that metropolitan areas that were hit the hardest by the recent economic downturn also had proportionately more young adults living with parents.

Of the top 100 metropolitan areas the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area in Connecticut had the highest percentage of young adults living with their parents at 34 percent. The Provo-Orem area was ranked 91, with 12 percent of young adults in the sample age group living at home.

Twitter: @FinleyJY

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