A few weeks ago I posted a blog about a relatively new trend: Our adult children--college graduates and/or employed adults in their 20s--have been moving back home and staying there for longer than, say, we would have at their age. Since my children have long grown and flown, mine was an observational piece about economic pressures as a possible cause.
More recently, Michelle Singletary, the Washington Post's "Color of Money" columnist, put a more personal face on the phenomenon. Her 20-something children, she writes,
"all live at home, and, despite it being the smartest move in a high-cost area, they often feel the need to explain their living situation to avoid the twisted lips of condemnation that they should be more financially independent."
As a parent, Singeltary wonders if those twisted lips are pushing young adults too hard to meet certain money milestones. AS part of her argument, Singletary notes that in a previous column addressing financial tips for graduates, she had laid out the path as she saw it for reaching financial independence. Hers was an unhurried one. The more recent column carries readers reactions to her tips. Several wrote to disagree with her suggestions, which ranged from holding back on buying a house and tackling college debt before putting money into savings to realizing that debt can be destructive if overused.
Singletary closes out the back-and-forth discussion with a quote from a 28-year-old reader:
"From my perspective, it's helpful to hear the wide-ranging perspectives folks have about these hot-button topics. I have always thought of personal finance as very cut-and-dry as if there was only one right way to do things. But there is a laundry list of learnings of what's not the best idea. Finance isn't always so cut-and-dry."
And neither is the decision for a young adult to move back home till they've got the wherewithal to move out and on.
painting: Pierre Bonnard, "The Conversation."