‘Rent-Free’ at Home: More Than 20% of Millennials Still Living with Mom and Dad

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Top Tier Gear USA


With millennials now the largest generation in the United States, a look into their economic standing is warranted. Using New York City as a proxy, we learn that millennials are now making 20% less than the generation before them, and have incurred tens of billions in student loan debt. Faced with these facts, they are searching for ways to cut down on expenses in order to make ends meet, and one common sense way to do that is to move back in with mom and dad.

The Chicago Tribune helps us understand how all of that is working out. To start, more than 20 percent of millennials are living with their parents, even after obtaining a college degree. Even if some are fortunate to move out, often times they boomerang back to their parents’ home by age 27.

As such, stories such as the one from 34 year old Meghan Kennihan are becoming the norm, even in today’s economic “recovery”.

“I had an apartment in Chicago,” said Meghan Kennihan, 34, a running coach and personal trainer who lives in her folks’ finished basement in La Grange. “It was tiny and expensive. I was miserable. I moved back. Now, I have a bedroom plus an area for my scrapbooking hobby and another for my exercise equipment. It’s like having my own apartment except I have more space than I can afford to have in an apartment.

In order to move out on her own, Meghan cites the need for an employer who can help cover her health insurance, something all of these newly created waiter and bartender jobs aren’t able to do.

“To be able to buy my own place, I would need to work for an employer that would cover insurance for me”

Not only is there more space, but the price is right. Millennials have been able to save on rent, and are just trying to chip in other ways around the house where possible, as 24 year old Dean Pearce explains.

“My parents have done so much for me, and now they’re letting me live here rent-free, so I try to help out. I pick up my sister from school, do the dishes or whatever chore needs to be done. My mom makes dinner. We all work as a team.”

As a matter of fact, the trend of kids living at home with their parents has gotten so strong that home builders are now designing homes with just that in mind. “One out of six buyers have or plan to have a grown child at home” said Richard Bridges, Chicago division sales manager at David Weekly Homes. For a mere $35,000-plus, Richard says the plan can include a bedroom/bathroom suite in a finished basement to accommodate the kids who inevitably will be returning home to live.

Chicago area builder PulteGroup says in their new models, kids can enjoy a bedroom/bathroom suite with a kitchenette and separate living space. “Our NexGen option is the greatest in housing since indoor plumbing.” said Jeff Roos, western regional president at Lennar Corp.

In summary, it looks like things are going well for kids who are moving back home, all things considered. Rent is affordable, and now parents are even taking it upon themselves to buy houses that have the look and feel of one’s own personal apartment for their children to return home to someday. It is safe to say that this is quickly becoming the new American Dream for current and future generations.

The likelihood of this trend reversing course any time soon? Not likely. As Lennar Corp’s Jeff Roos points out:

“It could be a while before the millennial makes enough money to leave”

Related Reads

24 Reasons Why Millennials Are Screaming Mad About Our Unfair Economy

7 Harsh Realities Of Life Millennials Need To Understand

More Young Women Are Living at Home with Mom & Dad Now Than During World War II

Video: Student Loans Are Like STDs (Everyone Is Catching Them)

AMC Theaters Plans to Allow Texting During Movies Because “You Can’t Tell Millennials to Turn off Their Cellphones”

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  • 36XYZ

    This is a very good thing, other than the college debt incurred. We have all been brainwashed to believe that we should be independent, which in reality just made us slaves to the capitalist system. Strengthening family and community ties is the only way to break free from the economic and social wreck that the US has become. Watch Aaron Russo on youtube who tells it as it is – one of the main objectives of the NWO/PTB was to destroy the family.

    • Anyone who has been a slave to the capitalist system died a long time ago, after slavery was abolished. Indentured servitude is all that remains of that, and it is always entered into voluntary if stupidly. If you aren’t smart enough to defend yourself, it is cowardly to blame your ignorance on those who don’t know you. Those of us who have no living family members are the most independent survivors on the scene.

      • Heather Gonzales

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  • Abe

    This was the norm during the depression too. Even 3 generations living under one roof.

    • But the roof was on the farm, where the majority of Americans lived at the time. We’ve moved uptown since then, into the cities that will become concentration camps with the relocation of a few jersey barriers and the addition of DHS troops.

      • Abe

        I’ve spent half my life in small towns, the other half in cities like Norfolk VA, Mpls MN, Phoenix AZ, Lakehurst NJ, Providence RI, and Seattle WA. What I learned as a kid and a young man in the 60’s, was you didn’t want to be in the city when all hell broke loose.
        Race riots, Vietnam riots, Kent State, the 68 DNC at Chicago. Ever recently New Orleans should of been a big clue.
        I didn’t care how far I had to drive for work, sometimes it was 150 – 200 miles round trip.

        As far as the student debt goes, I guess we can thank Jimmy Carter for that. Giving loans for collage to kids that weren’t very bright to start with. By the time a kid hits 11 or 12, there IQ is pretty much set in stone. Collage wont raise it at all.

        • The government does not give the loans, it just insures them. Getting a student loan is very easy, and no banker worth his mettle would ever avoid letting a loan that can’t be dismissed in bankruptcy.
          IQ is an arbitrary number that is based on the assumptions that the person who wrote the test made about the cultural beliefs of the takers. The best way to get a high score on an IQ test is to know the answers to the questions or the cultural assumptions of the writer.

  • Frank

    Something else to consider is the types of degrees or advanced education that the Millennials are choosing to specialize in – I will call them “Post-Industrial Age” professions. These professions are, in many instances, entirely dependent upon a large portion of the population having a large amount of Disposable Income. These days, Disposable Income is an elusive being, so those careers are just as elusive. These jobs/careers and “industries” that only provide a personal service, as opposed to jobs that produce a Good or physical asset, will always be very transient and the first to get cut from individual budgets as economic conditions decline. With the Liberal Socialist movement to demand a higher Minimum Wage despite market, industry, or economic conditions, the Me First attitude will only exacerbate the scarcity of Service industry jobs as businesses increase automation over human labor. The cost-benefit is being tipped towards automation – and the elimination of the need for human workers (examples: McDonald’s and Walmart are already cutting positions and replacing people with machines). When government policies incentivize the off-shoring and out-sourcing of labor-intensive production jobs, its just one more thing adding to the decline of the nation.

    • Disposable income that isn’t saved may as well be disposed through a toilet.

  • Tabbytha

    Interesting that they are trying to break up families and yet the offspring are too poor to move out. Those parents that allow their young adults to stay must have strong family bonds. People who make fun of adults “living in mom’s basement” keep forgetting that the economy of the country they are in is increasingly FAILING. in fact, the very act of that meme shames those who have strong family bonds…. living with family in a time when families are being encouraged to break apart may not be such a bad thing… it’s far better than the streets and the strain on shelters is lessened. Also how can one judge where a person lives based on an argument online? This meme really shows only lazy thinking on the part of those making it… including ignorance in what is happening to their own country’s economy. Like shaming the homeless/ jobless when the economy is tanking and more and more jobs (even companies) are being dropped (such as when a person is laid off) or moving overseas. Expectations do not change according to the reality and people are shamed for things beyond their control.

    Also, I don’t really understand why a person’s argument on a subject is invalidated based on whether they live “in mom’s basement” or in their own home? The content of what was said is what is important, that is what is being discussed… sometimes people that are assumed stupid or immature based on societal factors can be more insightful than one might expect. We get tripped up in our expected parameters and miss the real gems in front of us…. like uncut gems, diamonds in the rough. The information being discussed is the key in all debates, as that is what impacts people in what is decided.

  • Airb0rne4325

    Everyone knows the unemployment rate is -4%. Matter of fact here are so many jobs out there some people have 2 or 3 just because of demand for employment!!!

    • Only negative people can be unemployed when the unemployment rate goes negative, which is similar to negative interest paid on a saving account.

  • Eric Blake

    Who would have ever guessed spending thousands of dollars on a degree as a physical trainer or language arts degree would yield a job that doesn’t pay much?

  • Since it was usually mom and dad’s silly idea that they go to college and take an unmarketable curriculum, it is only fair that they provide room and board for the degreed professional that resulted.

  • Ken, Megapolis

    I am not trying to be funny but moving back to parent’s home post Uni is the wrong wrong WRONG move. I thought a higher education taught one independence anyway.
    Little did I know this at the time but I experienced regression into a state where in no uncertain way it was as if I had never been away. My mental age never progressed beyond 16.
    Now can I tell you something of vital importance? Your parents will one day die. Yes DIE. I, post 50, live alone in a caravan park in Scotland with only my iphone for company. Told Global Warming is going to cook us but it is freezing and snowing end April. I can only make ends meet by spending my savings because a £7/hr shop wage is not enough to cover living expenses.
    I would pay any price to have chosen a different path during my early 20’s.
    And I mean that.