Have you ever thought about moving back in with your parents? This past weekend the LA Times published an article detailing the number of Californians age 50-64 who are doing just that. You heard that right. Middle-age adults (and their kids) living back at their parent’s home, perhaps occupying the same bedrooms they had as teenagers.
The big details of the study are this:
“For seven years through 2012, the number of Californians aged 50 to 64 who live in their parents’ homes swelled 67.6% to about 194,000, according to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. That jump is almost exclusively the result of financial hardship caused by the recession rather than for other reasons, such as the need to care for aging parents…”
It’s not all that uncommon for adult children to live with aging parents. My aunt has been doing that for years with my now 100 yr. old grandfather, and it’s been a beautiful situation for the family. This arrangement most often happens because of a health issue or the desire for the elderly parent not to end up in a nursing home. So, parent and child come together again in a single home and the child serves as caregiver in their parent’s later years.
According to the study, these middle-age kids are moving back in with their parents because of hard economic times. They lost their jobs as the economy collapsed and are now finding it difficult convincing employers to hire them. They have exhausted their savings and simply have nowhere else to turn.
Questions on Moving Back in With Your Parents
I have all sorts of thoughts and questions after reading this news:
1. How emotionally tough must that be to approach your parents and ask for this arrangement? I’d imagine it would be very humbling.
2. There must be huge levels of frustration to moving back in with your parents. Probably feelings like being a failure or not being able to make it on your own. I think this would be especially pronounced for men who may pride themselves on being the breadwinner of the family.
3. What effect is this having on grandma and grandpa’s retirement? Are they dipping into their savings to pay for the additional monthly expenses?
4. Who sets the household rules and schedules? Is this another “You’re under my roof and I’m paying the bills, so you will do as I say” situation? I don’t think most in their 50s would like being dictated to.
5. How long are the elderly parents allowing these arrangements to last? Are the middle-age kids getting comfortable in their parent’s home again? Or are they eager to get back out on their own? Is there a deadline being set for the kids to get a job or get out?
6. Are the elderly parents bitter about helping their kids again or is this just a case of family helping family and doing what needs to be done?
7. How are the elderly parents being affected emotionally and maybe physically by their children’s stress levels?
The biggest lesson I learned from reading this is the continued need for perseverance with your finances, even when you hit your 40s. By then, many are living comfortably, with well-paying jobs, getting debt under control and accumulating investments for retirement. It could be easy to step off the gas a bit, relax and lose sight of what got you there.
We have to remember that life can change in a heartbeat. One job loss or other cataclysmic event could reverse or at least put a big dent in our financial fortunes. Staying disciplined and focused on our plan is key. It may just save us from moving back in with our parents at 50.
Questions: Has anyone experienced this scenario of moving back in with your parents? What was it like? Would you ask your elderly parents for this arrangement if in a drastic financial predicament or would your pride get in the way? Do you think your parents would accept you back at 50? What other thoughts or questions does this raise?