A Man’s Guide to Moving Back in with His Parents…While Maintaining at Least a Little Dignity

by Brett & Kate McKay on June 27, 2012 · 128 comments

in Relationships & Family

“I’m back……”

Continuing to live with your parents after you turn 18, or moving back in with them after graduating college…isn’t that the antithesis of manliness?

That’s certainly how the regular spate of “What’s the matter with the menz?” articles portray it. The fact that the number of 25-34-year-olds who are living with their parents has doubled since 1980 (it now sits at 22%), and that more men in that age group than women have moved back home (22% versus 18%), is often used as evidence that young men are willfully refusing to grow up these days, and have gladly traded their manly independence for a chance to play video games in mom and dad’s basement.

While there are definitely cases of 20 and 30-something men living at home in order to prolong their adolescence, to say all men in this situation are lazy moochers is to paint the picture with far too broad a brush. The reasons for the increase in the number of young men moving back in with their parents are much more nuanced and complex, and include both cultural and structural changes:

  • Higher education costs. Back when your Baby Boomer parents were in college, a semester of school cost just a few hundred dollars, and it was easy to graduate with little to no debt. But since 1980, college tuition has increased between 1 1/2 and 2 times the inflation rate each year. Today students can graduate $25-$100k in debt, double that if they go on to graduate school.
  • Dismal job market for young people. Since the 1970s, real income has declined for young people, and the job market has gotten more competitive. The current recession only made things worse. The first decade of the 21st century constituted one of the toughest job markets for young people in recent history. Today just 54% of adults between the ages of 18-24 are employed. The recession also hit the paychecks of young people more than any other age group.
  • Increased education requirements. Fifty or sixty years ago, a man could get a decent paying job with just a high school education. Today’s job market typically requires candidates to not only have a college degree, but often an advanced degree as well. Because schooling is now both more expensive and lengthier, it’s taking young people longer to become financially independent.
  • Increased housing costs. On average, your parents and grandparents probably spent only 1/3 of their income on housing. Today 1 in 4 Americans are spending more than half of their income putting a roof over their heads. With housing costs up and paychecks down, getting a place of their own has become much more difficult for those in their 20s.
  • Decreasing generational gap. The rift between Baby Boomers and their GI generation parents is the stuff of pop culture legend. Boomers and GI’s often had completely different tastes in music, dressing, and values. Boomers couldn’t wait to leave home, and their parents were glad to see them go. These days, many of the Millennial generation get along great with their parents and consider them friends. Parents and children listen to the same Jack Johnson songs and sit down to watch Boardwalk Empire together. And because many Boomer parents worked full-time when their kids were growing up, they aren’t sick of their offspring yet and like having more time to spend with them.

So suffice it to say the phenomena of young people moving back home is more complicated than “Young men today are lazy and unmotivated.” And as we mentioned in our series on the history of the bachelor, far from being the recent anomaly the media has made it out to be, living with your parents well into your 20s was the norm for young men for much of history. It was in fact the post-WWII period, with its flush economic prosperity and robust governmental housing and educational subsidies which allowed young men to strike out and settle down early, that was the real aberration. It should also be noted that multi-generational households have long been, and continue to be, the norm in many other countries and cultures; the peculiar American fixation with having your own homestead is in many ways a function of our frontier history.

Now all of this isn’t to say that it’s always a good idea to move back in with your parents and that you should feel comfortable living with them indefinitely. Or that living on your own isn’t a very worthy goal. Rather, it is to point out that stigmatizing a young man’s decision to move back home as always unmanly is misguided. Like many things in life, if you do it for the wrong reasons, and you do it immaturely, it’s unmanly, while if you do it for the right reasons, and in the right way, it can be, if not overtly manly, at least dignified. What are those right reasons and behaviors? Read on.

Friendly Advice on Moving Back in with Your Parents

Have a good reason for moving back in. This is numero uno in importance when figuring out if moving back in with your parents is the right decision for you. You should have a specific, sensible reason as to why you’re returning home (or haven’t yet left). Your reason shouldn’t be vague like “I need time to get my life back together.” How do you know when you’ve gotten your life back together so you can move out? Vague goals lead to vague results. Most American parents don’t mind housing their adult children so long as it’s furthering an important life goal for them. If you’re trying to save money so you can go to school, great! If you’re trying to save money so you can backpack through Europe, not great.

Don’t let standard of living trump autonomy. Another of the reasons sociologists give for young adults returning to the nest in greater numbers is that today’s young people value lifestyle over autonomy. It was the opposite for young adults in previous generations; while young Baby Boomers and Gen Xers were willing to slum it for a few years if it meant living independently from mom and dad, today’s young person seems more willing to sacrifice privacy, freedom, and autonomy if it means they can still buy new clothes, own expensive consumer electronics, and eat out instead of subsisting on ramen noodles.

But I believe becoming a man still means seeking autonomy over creature comforts. So related to the point above, this means your reason for moving back home shouldn’t be to use the money you save on rent to maintain the lifestyle you grew up with. That’s a recipe for thwarting your journey to becoming a man; having to live frugally, budget, and make sacrifices helps you grow up. If you’ve got money for video games and drinking at the bar, you have money to live on your own.

If you can get by with a very modest lifestyle on your own, then do it. Only move home if it allows you trade less autonomy in the short-term for more autonomy in the long term. Live as frugally as you’d have to if you were on your own, and put the money you save on housing costs towards things like education, health insurance, starting a business, and staying out of/mitigating debt. Especially that last one; some say living with your parents isn’t manly, well, going into debt isn’t manly either! Going deeper into debt for pride’s sake isn’t manly, it’s just dumb. I lived with my in-laws for three years in law school – the debt I incurred from tuition was large enough that it seemed foolish to add to it if other accommodations were available — and I’m not ashamed I did it. The arrangement wasn’t ideal, but it set me up for greater autonomy; besides my house, I’m now entirely debt-free.

Treat returning home as a privilege. In most states, as soon as you turn 18, your parents have no legal obligation to take care of you. Any support they give you after you’re 18 is a privilege and gift. Show some gratitude and humility and don’t act like you’re entitled to room and board. You’re not.

Treat your stay as temporary and have an exit plan. Before moving back in with your parents, establish a specific date when you’ll leave; you might even consider signing a contract with your parents to that effect. If you go in with an open-ended timeframe, you’ll never leave. Create a plan on how you’ll get the money and resources to move out by your established date, and share this plan with your parents.

Don’t fall into old habits. It’s easy to revert back to familiar family roles when you return to your childhood home. You’ll want to be taken care of, and mom and dad (especially mom) will want to take care of you. Nip those habits in the bud as soon as you move home. If you want to feel like a grown man while still living with your parents, you need to do as much as you can for yourself. Do your own laundry, buy your own food, clean your own room, and take care of your own problems. Your mom shouldn’t have to leave a post-it note on the counter to remind you of your dentist appointment. If you notice your parents trying to do stuff for you that you’re capable of doing yourself, kindly but firmly say: “I really appreciate your willingness to help me out on this, but I’d rather do it myself. I hope you understand.”

Redefine the relationship with parents from vertical to horizontal. One thing you can do to avoid falling into old habits with your folks is sitting down with them before moving in and having a “define the relationship” talk. For most of your life, your relationship with your parents has been vertical — they stood atop the family hierarchy, guiding, directing, and dictating how you lived your life.

Now that you’re an adult, your relationship to your parents needs to change to a horizontal one. Instead of engaging with your parents as a child, you need engage with them as fellow adults and on terms of mutual respect. Share your expectations and ask them what they expect from the new living arrangement and fight any urge to cry out “That’s not fair!” If what your parents expect is different from what you want, then you’ll have to find another living arrangement.

Once you’re back in with your folks, maintain that horizontal relationship by taking an active role in the household. Don’t expect your parents to take care of you, and do what you can to proactively contribute to your family. Speaking of which…

Contribute to the household. We’ve talked about it before. Men produce and boys consume. If you want to feel like a grown man, even while living with your folks, then actively contribute to your parents’ household instead of passively consuming their resources like a leech. Understand that moving back in with your parents will have a financial impact on them. Discuss with them how you plan on contributing to the household and mitigating some of the financial pressure.

If you can afford it, volunteer to pay at least a nominal rent. Not only will it help your parents offset the extra costs of having another person in the house, it will help instill some financial discipline in yourself. If your parents refuse the rent, you can still pay them a sum every month, so you get in the habit of doing so, and they can save the money to give to you when you move out to help you get on your feet.

Even if you can’t pay rent, there are lots of things you can do to contribute to the household: mow the lawn, clean the house, buy the groceries, cook dinner, run errands, etc. Take the initiative on this stuff. Don’t wait for your parents to ask you to do it. Oh, and you should still do those things even if you’re paying your parents rent, and you shouldn’t expect effusive praise. Think of yourself as a roommate in your parents’ home. Just as you’d share chores and food costs with your apartment roomies, you should share them with your parents.

Don’t take advantage of the situation. Even though your folks are also unofficially your landlords, the fact that you’re their kid, and not just an impersonal tenant, puts them in a tough position; if you don’t follow the agreed upon rules, they’ll be loathe to call the cops to evict you and they can’t ground you anymore. This leaves them with little enforcement power, so they’ll be relying on your sense of integrity when it comes to following through with what you said you’d do. Keeping your word is good practice for mature manliness.

Respect your parents’ views on conjugal visits. If you have a significant other in your life, respect your parents’ views on couples sleeping together before marriage and/or under their roof. You might think your parents’ are old-fashioned and being unreasonable by not allowing your lady friend to share bunk beds with you, but again, it’s their house and they can set any sort of conditions they want. If you don’t like them, you’ll have to get busy somewhere else, perhaps in the backseat of your car; a few of these vehicular groping sessions may be just the thing to motivate you to get your own place.

Keep your parents abreast of your schedule out of courtesy. You’re an adult now, so you’re under no obligation to let your parents know how you spend your time outside their home. But as a courtesy, let them know what your schedule looks like. It will help them plan out their week, and they’ll know where they can find you in case of an emergency. If you’re going to be out late, let them know so they don’t freak out when they hear someone rattling the front doorknob at 3 AM.

Think of yourself as a guest. If you’re not sure of what you should or shouldn’t do now that you’re living with your parents again, simply ask yourself: “What would a guest do?” Always ask permission to use and eat things that aren’t yours, and do what you can to make your presence interfere as little as possible with your parents’ regular routines.

Don’t live in limbo. Living with your parents may make you feel unsettled, leading you to put off getting your life together until it “really starts.” But life is going on right now, bud. Whatever you need to work on personally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, educationally…get to it. Your 20s are a terrible thing to waste.

{ 128 comments… read them below or add one }

1 neal June 27, 2012 at 2:26 am

I think pretty much all of the “friendly advice” offered here is excellent, and it includes things I try to do and things I still need to work on.

But I think something missing is also the potential positives to each side having family live together. You touch on it almost as an aside when you explain that multi-generational living has been a norm until very recently. But we might ask ourselves, why? The first answer is obvious – because it’s cheaper. Economies of scale. Less consumption, more people sheltered. If there’s something that could be described as efficient (even ecologically responsible) living, it would be filling the empty space so often left in empty-nester’s houses with bodies again, instead of having those bodies go out and buy or build identical shelters that will also end up mostly empty except for a decade or two of child-rearing years.

But beyond that obvious answer, living in multi-generational homes can provide additional support for families and mothers (obviously fathers can be caregiveres too, but it’s still out of the norm) with young kids. I feel a lot of compassion for mothers who live thousands of miles from the support of their families, who end up home alone with the kids while their husbands work insane hours to provide the funds for a home that they maybe can’t afford. It’s a recipe for depression, and you’d logically figure that that kind of scenario can put a big strain on a marriage. And even if a family can afford a home and lifestyle, if you’ve got both parents working, you still end up with kids cared for by day-cares rather than with family that they can form lasting bonds with. Obviously not a lot of parents want to become nannies. But there’s a lot of different kinds of support that come far short of that, and that can make a young family’s life a lot easier. It’s something that I think our society has lost a bit of with the idea that it’s “manly” to leave home, get your own place, and increasingly, to get jobs far away from your parents or extended family.

On the other side, as parents age, having kids in the home can provide aid that could never be duplicated by a professional caregiver. There are certainly situations where family needs to let professionals do something they’ve been trained for…but another concerning trend in our society is the idea that kids no longer need to care for their parents…they just need make sure there’s money for someone else to do it. So like, it’s not manly to nurse your parents or grandparents as they leave this life? Bull crap.

Now, having said all this, there clearly needs to be a lot of dialogue, a lot of transparency, very clear boundaries and expectations, and a really good relationship between generations. To be honest, I don’t think I could make it work with my own parents. We might kill each other. And that’s unfortunate, and it’s partly my fault. But I do currently live with my in-laws, and it’s working out pretty well for my wife and daughter and I. They love their grand-daughter, and cherish the fact that they get to watch her grow up, where otherwise they might only have been able to see her once a year or something. I honestly believe that all parties are benefiting, and will continue to benefit, if we continue to think about and practice the kind of advice you offer above.

2 Travis G June 27, 2012 at 3:33 am

Neal mentioned some things I feel are important. I finished my M.A. last summer and spent the last year teaching in China. When I return I’m a little embarrassed that I will be moving in with my mother, and I likely won’t be moving out soon. This is mainly because my mother’s health is getting worse every year. In the last month the basement of her house flooded due to serious rain, and not only could she not hire help to extract the water from the carpet in the basement, she couldn’t do it on her own either. If I were there the carpet may have survived this ordeal. In addition to this. Because of her bad health she cannot work. As a result, my older brother is the title holder of the house and pays the bills. He is getting married in the fall and I may be inheriting the title and payments in order to keep my mother living a comfortable life. Unlike my brother, I likely won’t be able to manage both house payments and apartment payments, so I’ll likely be living there, with my mother, for a while.

3 Michael June 27, 2012 at 4:37 am

People forget that in many traditional, family oriented cultures men stay home with family and extended family after high shool and college only to leave when they find a woman to live with and marry. I don’t think it’s un-manly at all.

4 jason June 27, 2012 at 5:08 am

I was of the generation in North America who definitely thought that a young man in his mid-20′s, and older, living with his parents was to be forwned upon. But this article has rid me of any such notions. Neal brought up some very good points. Travis, there is absolutely NOTHING to be embarrassed about in your situation. In fact, I salute you. And Michael, I can confirm what you are saying. I now live in the Mediterranean and I can confirm that that is the cultural mindset.

I think one of the most ‘manly’ things a young man can do these days is to learn to think for himself, hold his head high with his beliefs and refuse to fall prey to mainstream media/cultural notions that degenerate them and which, most of the time, all not well thought-out.

5 Alimuddin Zafrullah June 27, 2012 at 6:40 am

I have to agree with @Michael, as I am from Malaysia it is somewhat normal for most man to live with their parents at least after few years of working and/or getting married. Nonetheless, it is still considered un-manly and frowned upon when the man is living with their parents and yet they are not working at all.

Reading this article made me realise that I should be thinking and planning to live apart from my parents in a couple of years to come (after graduation). I don’t know if my peers realise this though.

Good article indeed.

6 Pietro June 27, 2012 at 7:23 am

I cannot say that I understand the Anglo-Saxon obsession with autonomy and moving out at the earliest possible opportunity.

I stayed at my parents’ while I got my BSc, then I moved out in order to pursue grad school in another country; and my brother, who is arguably more successful than I am, stayed there until just a few weeks ago – working, of course, and helping out, obviously. Now he left his parents’, but only because he got a cool job offer in another city; but if he – or I, for that matter – happened to return back to our homecity, quite obviously we would move back at our parents’. I mean, we get along with them, and we can help each other out, and neither I nor my brother is married for now: what possible reason could we ever have to give money to some tenant for some dingy apartment somewhere instead of giving money to our parents in order to hang out in our old rooms, with some of our favourite people?

My parents are part of my family. I can certainly understand not wanting to be a drag on family resources, and give back as much as one can; but why in all heavens would I even *want* to be independent from my family?

7 Danny Zawacki June 27, 2012 at 7:26 am

This article is a great reminder for me of the things I’ll need to keep in mind when I return home from the Peace Corps in November.
People ask me where I’m going when I return to the States and I tell them ‘home.’ Their follow up question is almost always, ‘How long are you going to stay there?’ I usually tell them that I ideally want to move out as soon as I can for obvious reasons.
I’ll be happy to be at home with my parents, catching up with life but it’s nice that this article has laid out some exit strategies and rules for a successful execution for occupying my parents’ home.

8 Roy June 27, 2012 at 7:44 am

Times change. In the area I live, it used to be possible to decide to drop out of high school, get a local factory job, and still have the means to raise a family on just one income. Now almost everywhere, you can drop out of high school, but good luck finding a living wage. You can get a degree, but good luck finding a decent job before you have experience. You can get a Master’s degree, but good luck paying off those loans. If you have an advantage in life, like being able to stay at home for many years, you better do it in this economy. Save your money and don’t worry about being cool. Who knows if social security will be there in a few decades?

9 Colonel June 27, 2012 at 8:01 am

I agree that there’s nothing wrong with moving back home for a little while; I’ve done it myself a couple of times during some tough life transitions. You can learn new things from your parents at different stages in life and while I didn’t always like it, I think I took something away from it each time.

Along those lines, I taught in Japan for a few years where it’s still common to have three generations living in the same house and I could generally see a marked difference in the kids who lived with their parents and their grandparents; they were generally much better behaved, more respectful and infinitely more studious.

10 Frank June 27, 2012 at 8:24 am

Brett, any tips for living with the in-laws? I had an unfortunate medical emergency overseas and we’ve been here for six months while I’m getting back on my feet (literally). It’s killing me, to be honest! Thanks for the article.

11 Kevin June 27, 2012 at 8:34 am

I’ve had to move back in with my parents a couple of times in my life due to financial reasons. It has become increasingly more difficult to make a living over the past few decades. Good advice here–have a clear plan and make sure living with mom and dad again is a temporary thing.

12 James June 27, 2012 at 8:36 am

@Colonel- How long ago did you teach in Japan? While it’s true that it was a tradition for three generations to live in the same household, sons that lived at home were at least getting married and contributing to the parental household.

Today, Japan is freaking out about their young adult shut-ins who aren’t leaving home. Instead of starting their own families and assuming adult responsibilities, Japanese young adults are continuing to live with mom and dad well into their 30s. Consequently, Japanese birthrates have been rapidly declining. Add to that fast growing graying population and you’ve got a societal disaster. The Japanese welfare state, economy, and culture are all threatened by young people living at home for too long and not taking on adult responsibilities.

It’s not just Japan that’s freaking out about young adults still living at home and starting families of their own. Europe is too for the same reasons.

13 Hartmann June 27, 2012 at 8:42 am

I completely disagree that saving up to travel is not a valid reason to live at home for a while. Given the high cost of housing, no one can afford to maintain an apartment in the US and pursue an extended international trip. Last year I took a later in life gap year (I’m in my 30′s) and backpacked around the world. The downside of this was that I had to give up my apartment, and spend two months living at home. A close friend had to do the same to finance a two year trip around the MiddleEast. At the end of the day, the time spent travelling made us better people. I consider it an act of personal enrichment, not personal indulgence, and a very good reason to temporarily move in with your parents.
All you really need to survive time at your parent’s house is some good beer and good books.

14 Brent R June 27, 2012 at 8:52 am

I lived home for exactly a year after my college graduation. Wasn’t too bad! I immediately started putting money into a savings account to have a few months of rent put aside in case of a tough couple months after moving out. Had some great times with my parents, and my girlfriend really got to connect with them. I intitallly felt in masculine living with them again, but I came to the conclusion quickly that it the manly decision is to do what will set me up for long term success, and not live out of my means.

15 Cliff June 27, 2012 at 8:52 am

@Hartmann- Oh brother. For most of humanity, even folks living in the first world, international travel is a personal indulgence. Care to explain how that trip will help you get a job so that you can finally become a contributing member to society? I mean if you were helping organize relief or doing important research I can see how international travel can be beneficial for a young person. Good job confirming that today’s young adults are narcissistic, entitled, and out of touch with reality.

And a gap year in your 30s? Come on man! That’s what 18 year olds do. What have you been doing with your life? Get it together!

16 J June 27, 2012 at 9:03 am

Hi all,

Long time reader, first time commenter. I felt quite strongly about this article.

Just wanted to share what I think is a common British experience. It’s interesting that the word ‘dignity’ is used in the post title.

In England it is still culturally “looked down upon” to rent a property rather than own it. Only home ownership is seen as dignified. So, someone could live in a mansion, but if it were rented, they would not be accorded the same respect or sense of achievement someone would be given who lived in a shoebox they’d bought. Sounds crazy but true.

Also, there does not seem to be the same desire here to keep moving between different cities which makes makes renting more common and culturally acceptable in America. Everyone in Britain has it drilled into them that they must own (purchase) their own home as soon as possible.

Ask an English person about their home owning status and if renting, they will certainly say “I’m JUST / ONLY renting it”, the implication being renting is inferior. There will typically be a small embarrassment after this has been ‘revealed’. This ‘social embarrassment’ at renting only increases if you are past your 20s, because you ‘should’ have bought something by now, or so British culture tells us. You will frequently see articles in our mainstream newspapers about people in their 30s ‘caught in the rental TRAP’ as if renting is the most undesirable thing that could happen to you.

Ok, so what is my point!

The economics have completely changed for our generation, but society’s attitudes towards moving out and home ownership, as quickly as possible, have not.

As an example, currently in Britain, to buy a property you need at least a 25% deposit to get your first home. Average UK house price £160k (approx 220 USD, I think) The issue becomes a real problem to many young people, because if you do not have wealthy parents to give you money towards a deposit, if you do decide to move out early (rent) you will never be able to afford to BUY a property because all of your wages go on renting and just general subsistence as a young person. So we have the situation, where particularly young men, will stay at home longer than they had to a generation ago, to save a deposit. It doesn’t help that the older generation who could afford to buy early now bemoan those of who live at home in the current generation who cannot afford to buy in our 20s.

The other interesting thing we see here is that you will frequently see young couples who don’t really have much in common, quite openly speeding the relationship along towards buying a place together, but not wanting to get married interestingly enough, (you could never afford to buy by yourself in a British city in your 20s at the moment unless you are very wealthy/parents) simply because they want to own a property, not because the relationship is ready for that.

Appreciate that in an ideal world, we would all have perfect jobs straight out of university, and be able to afford to move out, which in Britain actually means buying somewhere, but it is definitely not a perfect world – I guess my overall point is that it seems quite harsh to tar those men who live at home as not dignified in some small way. If someone is making plans to establish themselves with solid foundations for their life ahead, while at home, I think that is a good thing to be commended.

Thanks for the thought-provoking post.

17 Darren June 27, 2012 at 9:12 am

Echoing what Cliff said. International travel is a luxury. Anybody who tries to claim otherwise is trying to rationalize their behavior so they don’t feel like an entitled mooch.

18 Jordan June 27, 2012 at 9:17 am

After high school I joined the Army. After 6 years and 3 tours overseas I got out and regrettably moved back in with my parents while I went to school full time and worked full time. I paid for groceries and expenses and helped with the yard work and various other things that needed to be done. While I understand that it is necessary in some cases especially in this economy to move back in and in some cases beneficial to both parties involved, we should NOT aspire to this. I feel some of the readers are using this article to justify backpacking around Europe and how cool it is to live in your own room with your parents. We are men! We should want better for ourselves than an eternal childhood.

19 Paul June 27, 2012 at 9:17 am

Great article! I am currently 26 and living with my mother and sister, having lived and worked in Japan for 3 years after college. I think I can fortunately say I follow most if not all items on your list, but would like to highlight your last item, “Don’t live in limbo.”

For various reasons (like not having a car and not really knowing the area that I moved back to, plus working from home for several months), it took me almost a year to start living my life by joining social groups and regularly leaving the house.

20 john June 27, 2012 at 9:23 am

As the father of three grown men who are living at home for various reasons, I’m disgusted by these comments. Your generation really are a bunch of whiny little bastards!
No one yet, has said flat out “just don’t do it.” You fawn all over yourselves making excuses, and justifications to come back home. Hell, you even have to bring up other cultures to ease your minds.
Here’s the deal. Your parents didn’t raise you to stay. They didn’t raise you to leave and come back. They raised you to be men and live your own life, so go do it and quit crying about life being hard. Grow up, get out, and stay out! When you come back, you are stressfull, burdensome, and very expensive. In our later years, we don’t need that. You see, it used to be all about you. Now it’s time to return the favor.

21 Roy June 27, 2012 at 9:28 am

@Cliff – There will be thousands of people with gap years since there are millions unemployed. IMO, it’s better to have a gap year here and there while you’re young and/or middle age instead of no breaks and waiting until you’re 70 to enjoy life without work. That is, if you can afford it. If a guy has 2 or 3 kids and a 6 figure student loan, it’s obviously not possible.

22 Justin June 27, 2012 at 9:40 am

Great article. When I finished my first year of college last semester, I had planned to stay at my parents just for the summer while I saved up some more money and studied an 8-week calculus course. But after realizing that I wasn’t making as much money as I thought, and that studying engineering wasn’t a piece of cake, I had asked to stay home and my parents don’t mind.

I enjoy it more than I had thought, and it feels good to actually help around the house and do work for my parents. When I was a kid, I felt so entitled and never wanted to help or pitch in. Now that I am an adult, I know better and do whatever I can to earn my spot in the house.

23 Gabriel June 27, 2012 at 9:54 am

Unfortunatly some of us do not have t
He luxury of parents who are fair and sane, I am one of 6 siblings , and as soon as each of us was able to move out on our own we fought were all willing to fight tooth and nail to aviod ever going home again, some family situations are not the american dream friendly. Some people dont have parents to benifit from and or are already supporting their parents.

24 Jamiel Cotman June 27, 2012 at 9:57 am

I like what he said about the contrast in between our two generations. Baby boomers valued independence over luxury and comfort, meaning they were willing to live off of noodles and rice for a while, if it meant moving away from parents. Today, we value luxury and comfort over independence, meaning we are willing to live with relatives if it means maintaining a way of living.

25 Shawn June 27, 2012 at 9:58 am

The post says “These days, many of the Millennial generation get along great with their parents and consider them friends.”

Where in the world is THAT happening? I ask because I seem to find myself surrounded with tons of teens and young adults who despise their parents. Particularly girls. It’s increasingly uncommon for me to see, say, a Facebook status saying “I love my parents,” than it is to see some passive-aggressive statement about how much they suck.

26 Tim June 27, 2012 at 10:01 am

I got married and moved out when I was 21. I spent my honeymoon driving to TX to find a job and a new life. My degree was incomplete and worthless–I left it back in PA, but kept the student loans for another two years until they were paid off. I’m sure we struggled those first few years, but we both had good creative minds and a determination to make it work. Neither one of us ever wanted to move back home, but, should the day come that our parents would need looking after, we would readily TAKE them into OURS.

Being determined to build my own home and love my own wife and raise my own children and pay my own bills and make significant personal sacrifices has enriched my life more than I ever imagined. The benefits of hard work, pressure, fervent praying and pushing myself to extremes for the love of family, independence and faith have givn me immeasureable satisfaction. It also brought immense honor and dignity to my parents. I would rather die than take any other path.

27 Peter June 27, 2012 at 10:12 am

First time posting here, but this article really spoke to me. I lost my job in the 2008 crash and had to move home, but that’s a story for another time.

It took years of hard work, but I eventually got my career back on track. I now live in a New Jersey apartment complex, with many (very) elderly 1st-generation immigrants from continental and Eastern Europe.

Many of my new friends don’t understand why I don’t live at home with my family. In their cultures, multi-generational homes are the norm, and creating a dynastic system is something to be proud of. My friends lament that their homes in Macedonia or Poland once had 4 or 5 generations of family there, all helping one another…and now they live alone in an apartment.

To them, the shame comes from moving away from your family. I’ve been asked if I did something bad, or married the “wrong kind of girl.” The idea that I’d willingly “abandon” my family is shocking to them, and their language is telling. To them, a man sets aside his personal ambitions for the health of the family unit.

Personally, I’m far too independent to live at home permanently. However, it’s obvious that many of these elderly people are hurt by their new situation. Victor, from Macedonia, told me that since he was “too old to do anything”, he used to help teach young children how to play games, how to do work around the house etc. He would also help the young working men with their various life issues. Now, he has “no purpose.” It was difficult to hear that, as these are issues my parents are probably dealing with as well.

My takeaway from all this is that there is no shame in living at home…only in living off your parents’ largess.

28 Dan June 27, 2012 at 10:34 am

I recently found myself back in my parent’s home in April of this year. My wife passed away so I had no choice, as I could not afford our house by myself. I am trying to sort my life out. I would assume this constitutes a valid reason for returning home, but I really miss being away with my wife.

29 Russell June 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

I’m sorry, but I completely disagree with the article. There are very few reasons that men should be moving back in with their parents. Travis G mentions one, but there are very few other reasons. I would suggest that most of you who say that you “had” to move back in with your parents should be saying that you chose to. While I don’t claim to know every situation, I believe that the love of lifestyle over autonomy that Brett mentions is the primary reason that you have adult kids at home. Match your lifestyle to your income and learn to take care of yourself. Parents – you are not doing your kids a favor by letting them back in. I know that it is hard, but the best life lesson that is hardly ever taught anymore is that living within your means is a life-long requirement and just because you are employed does not mean that you can afford everything you want or that your parents have.

30 Tom June 27, 2012 at 11:01 am

I moved in with my parents in the early 80s but as soon as I was stable and had a job, I moved out. There is nothing wrong with it if your parents are willing. Russell, I think your assertions are ridiculous. I’m also a huge proponent of community college education and that going to an expensive 4 year university is a colossal waste of money. Community colleges prepare people to enter the work force in 2 years and as long as you don’t take something that requires a Masters Degree, like social work, you’re good. Or, if you aren’t college material then take up a trade. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with moving in with Mom and Dad as long as you don’t take advantage of them and work towards total autonomy. We are no longer living in the 50s so get over it.

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32 Colin June 27, 2012 at 11:17 am

I recently went through a transition where I moved back from living out of state and faced the prospect of having to move back in with my parents. Fearing the slip back into the old relationship roles, I choose instead to move in with my girlfriend’s family, while she and I looked for work and a new apartment. Days feel like weeks when living with parents again, but it serves as great motivation to look for work and a new place to live.

I still think it is something to be avoided. While I would not mock someone who has chosen to move back home, as I’m more concerned with my own choices, I would not advise it.

Go out live on ramen if you must, sleep with roaches if things are that hard, but more over work hard and learn to provide for yourself.

If you cannot find your own place…get a roommate, or three (they’re small). You’ll benefit even more from living with others paying your own way than alone, or with your parents.

33 Brad June 27, 2012 at 11:32 am

I think the problem is having a job in the first place. Why anyone would want to work for “the man” is beyond me.

We need to see a resurgence of entrepreneurs that start small businesses. The days of counting on working for a company for 40 years and retiring are long gone. Depending on yourself by having a business is more stable.

34 EBL June 27, 2012 at 11:42 am

There is nothing good about this. You are rock bottom. Living on the streets would be more manly (living in the woods would definitely be more manly). The only “manly” thing you can do when moving back in with mom and dad is buckle down, save some bucks real fast, and get your own place as soon as possible.

A real man faces reality.

35 Peter June 27, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I feel saying some words in defense of my generation here. People like Cliff, John and Russell are slagging us as being lazy, shiftless moochers. Some are, of course, but that could be said of every generation.

I graduated with 6 close friends in 2007. We all got good jobs, worked hard, got our own apartments and our own cars. We were immensely proud of what we earned with our own labor. One of us even got his own home and started a family. Then, about a year after we graduated, the bottom fell out of the economy. All 7 of us were out of work within a month.

I remember all of us sitting in my friend’s living room. We were all thinking of the same things: our student debt, our car loans, our apartment leases. For many of us, our parents were cosignors…they could still be on the hook if we couldn’t make our payments. This colossal failure could bring them down with us. One of us had rich parents…he was bailed out. The rest of us had a choice: bankruptcy or moving back home. So yes, we CHOSE to move home, but it was the responsible thing to do.

We sold our cars. We sold our computers. We cancelled vacation plans. Some of us lost our girlfriends. It was hard, because although we had been given much by our parents, what we were losing now was the stuff we had EARNED. But we made the hard choice…we did what was right. As much as it smarted, all 7 of us moved home.

We got new jobs. I worked 80 hours a week at two minimum wage jobs. I was the only degree-holding auto lube technician in the entire state of Oregon. We would get together on Fridays, covered in motor oil, reeking of french fry grease and roofing tar. We were too proud to not work. Too proud to be taken care of again. We paid our own debts and bills. We did not move home because we wanted to…because it was convenient or fun. Living at home was humiliating and emasculating. However, it saved us from financial ruin. Having that option gave us the opportunity to save our future.

Within 16 months, all but one of us had moved out. All but one, who couldn’t handle real life. We were scraping the bottom of the barrel, but it was OUR barrel. 5+ roommates, 70 hours a week at minimum wage and no overtime, spaghetti with “out” sauce and shutting off the heat in winter. We did what we had to do.

I later worked in an office with 50 other young men, and we were all in a similar situation. We had all moved home for a spell, and were trying to regain our independence. Our pride. Just like the cars we had to sell, we were now proud of our ramen noodles and crappy apartments. They were OURS. We EARNED them. It was all we had.

So, all these young, lazy bums glutted on an easy life of pleasure? I haven’t seen it. In fact, I’ve lived quite the opposite. I see a generation of desperate young men trying to keep what dignity they have and survive in the teeth of economic ruin. I’d wager that for every self-entitled 20-something hipster living on their parents’ money in my hometown of Portland, Oregon, there are a dozen other young men like myself and my friends, quietly trying to put our lives back in order.

If we had to move home for a year to do that, then so be it. We won’t be shamed by people like you.

36 Sam June 27, 2012 at 12:08 pm

@Frank (comment #10), after college I moved in with my (soon-to-be) in-laws for several months until we could afford to buy our own place. I think the advice laid out here holds true in the case of living with your in-laws as well. Just pay a bit more attention to respecting her parent’s wishes when it comes to rooming/sleeping together. Of course, it helps a great deal if you have a good relationship with your in-laws. If you don’t, you may be in for a rough ride while you’re staying there, so take advantage of the opportunity and grow your relationship with them.

37 Cliff June 27, 2012 at 12:19 pm

@ Roy- “There will be thousands of people with gap years since there are millions unemployed.” How are you supposed to take a gap year and trapse around Europe when you have no job to make the money you need to trapse around Europe. Mom and dad are supposed to pay for it? Pathetic.

@ Pete- Men like Hartmann need to be shamed. Moving in with your parents so you can indulge in international travel for “personal enrichment” is self-centered and narcissistic. You on the other hand seem to be doing things right. You moved back in so you can get your independence and become a contributing member to society, just like the article suggests is a good reason to move back in with the folks. Don’t get defensive because some in your generation are spoiled. Instead shame them for giving men like you a bad rap and demand they get their act together for the benefit of society.

38 Travis G June 27, 2012 at 12:31 pm

Peter- I think this post was dedicated to a specific type of young man moving in with his parents, and I think you described it to a t. It is easy to judge all those living with parents as lazy. I do ask, which is less dignified? The one who mooches off tax payers during times of hardship, or those who return home temporarily during an emergency? As for Peter’s circumstances, it takes a lot of humility to go back home. And since when is blind, stubborn pride manly?

39 Todd - Fearless Men June 27, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I really wonder if the generation gap is closing. I had always thought of it widening. Young people seem to be less loyal to their parents now than 50 years ago (of course, I didn’t live 50 years ago). It’s also eye-opening to hear that shared interests with parents is INCREASING. I’ll have to look into this more…

40 PASunter June 27, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I think the stigma regarding intergenerational households has changed. I did not move back home after graduation from either of my degrees. However, my mother and I had a serious talk about it.

Unlike @Russell or @EBL’s pre-conceived notions about the supposed shame of living with parents, the facts do not support their contention. First, being homeless is a vicious cycle. Not having a permanent (or semi-permanent) address basically excludes applicants from job considerations and school loans.

Second, it’s been almost 100 years since the Great Depression, where a man could hop on the back of a pickup and float around the country in search of work. It simply does not work that way. Employers look for applicants that are stable and loyal. Not having an address on a resume is a good way to get circle filed.

I must also further emphasize that it’s pretty difficult to pull yourself up by the bootstraps when you don’t have any bootstraps. Jobs are not aplenty. Unemployment is not an indicator of laziness or lack of motivation. There are circumstances where the ends to not meet (I’m sure the concept of a living wage is foreign to such upstanding members of society like @Russell and @EBL).

The point Brett is trying to make (which was apparently glossed over by certain readers) is that moving in with the folks is not a shameful option and does not disqualify someone as a shiftless layabout. There are dirtbags who live with their parents. There are also deadbeats who own homes and live by themselves.

They key is that living with your parents is a special circumstance, not quite autonomous, but not under their thumb either. This is a decision where both parties need to come to amicable terms. The man has no right to impose on his parents, and the parents have every right to refuse him. Both sides are adults and expected to act as such. You do not forfeit your manliness moving back in with your parents, so long as it is done with full knowledge, in a respectful and open manner, and the man makes improving himself a continuing priority in his life.

There is a pillar of manliness called humility. It is not throwing in the towel; it is putting your ego aside, accepting the cards you have been dealt, and considering which options are best for the situation.

41 julian June 27, 2012 at 1:15 pm

All these comments are great. Im 2, in school and living at home. My father was 23 when he got married, he got my mom pregnant and did what he had to do. He quit school got a job on the Chicago Fire Department and raised his family. My dad was born on the tail end of the baby boomers generation and holds the “pull your self up by your boot straps” sentiment that a lot of men in there mid 40s and up have.
I am in school have two internships, and a part time job, but my father is still on my ass, he tells me constantly that I only have a few years to get it together and move out, because thats what he had to do. I think that he is hard on me for 2 reasons the first one being jealously. When a lot of older men were coming of age they did not have the acess that we have to everything, and for the most part did what was expected of them, and a lot of older men are sore about this. 2. I think he sees me as a pretty lazy kid. There is some truth in that, I am in no rush to take on all the facets of the “adult world”. I also feel like I work, and contribute, so I do not know what the problem is. I think that there is a gap in ideology between our two generations, and that we both need to reconcile. what do you guys think?

42 julian June 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm


43 Dean June 27, 2012 at 1:55 pm

As a 50 year old father of two adults, I feel I can chime in here too.

My 24 year old son just moved back in with us. He originally moved out when he was 18, and got a roommate (male co-worker). He “tried out” college, and decided that it wasn’t “his thing.” He was out on his own (if you can call having a room mate being on your own) until last year when he asked to come back so that he could “get his life together.” He went from working full time for crappy wages, to voluntarily cutting back to 2 days a week at the same crap wages. He doesn’t want to bust his hump just to make someone else rich, and said that he cut back his hours in order to be able to work for himself.

Newsflash: Killing zombies in a video game is not what most of the world considers being self employed!

He also makes a few craft items that he sells, but it isn’t even enough to cover his gas costs.

He was going to wait for his girlfriend to graduate at the end of the year and then they were going to move in together, but she and her mom are being evicted because the house they were living in is up for sale. They were hoping to be able to live off her income as an accountant when she graduates, but now they will have to move in together just to survive.

Time to shut up, nut up, and be a man!

When I was his age, I had already bought 2 houses (which I signed over to the girls I was with at the time rather than fight over them), and I was working my way through school. My parents didn’t have money, and I didn’t have the credit to get loans, so I had to pay my way through.

The first apartment I got was in such a slum that you could literally hear the winos puking behind the place. It was a very small efficiency, with no insulation, but I was on my own!

There were times that I was between jobs with no where to live, so I lived in my car. (One time for three months in the Arizona summer heat.) I never even thought about moving back to my mom’s house and putting the added burden on her!

When I was 25, I got married (we still are). When I was 26, I got my first Ph.D. – without debt! When I was 27, my son was born, so I had to take whatever job I could find to be a man and support my family! I couldn’t take the time to wait for the perfect career opportunity to use my degree. I took the first full time job at $4 an hour that I found, and raised a family.

(I promised my wife before we were married that I would be a man and support her. I told her that she would never have to work unless she wanted to. She never has had to get a job, even though there were times that I had to sell blood to get food for my kids!)

A year later, I bought us a house. Nothing fancy, but we had a home. (Yes, still at $4 an hour.) A few years after that, our daughter was born. By then I was making $5 an hour.

Get creative and work out some deals. You may not get some fancy house, but you can get something of your own! Quit waiting for someone to give you something…Santa doesn’t exist! (No, Obama isn’t Santa!)

I wasn’t able to use my degree over the years, but I was a man, and I did whatever I had to do to take care of my family!

Now, I’m at the point in my life that I don’t want to support adults! Most of your parents don’t either, whether they’re willing to admit it or not! (My daughter is 18 and has never had a real job, but she can beat a lot of games, and can text a lot faster than I can type!)

It’s time for my wife and I to start living the life that we had to put on hold for the child rearing years. We didn’t have the money for vacations, let alone bumming around the world!

(My pay has dropped to less than half of what it was when my son moved out, and he cuts his pay voluntarily?!?!)

Don’t leech off your parents so that you can have extra money to play, or see the world.

I don’t care how they live in other countries, this is America…Get out there and be a man!

44 Sean June 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Moving back in with your parents is absurd, I’m sorry.

There is nothing manly about it at all.

For those of you griping about the economy, hard financial times blah blah blah, please remember financial hard times have hit this country (and others) before, and have been much worse than what is happening now.

During the Great Depression, people didn’t give up and move back in with their parents. They moved, they WORKED ANY JOB they could find.

Staying with their parents added to the financial burden, a lot of men then would never live with that.

If the economy is so bad that you have to consider moving back to your parents house, should you consider how the economy has hit them?

Be a man, get a job, get room mates if you have to, the last thing a date would want to hear is “Sure, we can go to my place, let me call my mom and see if it’s OK.”

This smells more of entitlement and, as others have said, narcissism than of manliness.

45 Andrew #2 June 27, 2012 at 2:15 pm

Regards moving in with your parents:

I graduated at 15 and moved out at 16; I was self supporting in the trades in Canada, which means i was doing very well.

Fast forward. Married at 20. The bottom fell out of my health and the job market a year after. We lost everything. I’ve had to retrain over the past four years.

We had to rely on our parents to survive. Now you’ve got these narrow, jealous dogs talking about “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps” and it’s completely bogus.

Making it by yourself is thoroughly honorable and gadding around on your parent’s dime is lame. However, life is a little more complicated than that.

The vast price increases and disparity young people face is almost entirely the fault and problem of the policies and procedures of the very parental generation they now need. Increased access to debt, ridiculous union strength, overreaching municipal regulations all protect the comfort and lifestyle of older, wealthier people, and create massive barriers towards success in youth. It becomes very, very difficult to bootstrap.

Criticize if you’d like and tell me I’m not a man. I was working for a living logging and fishing before you left highschool. I’d created a fresh career and left the old one behind before you got your bachelor’s. I’ve eaten dandelion greens and rabbits. I have a wife and a baby, no cell phone, and no life. But that’s what life is sometimes.

Jackassery and nonsense “this isn’t manly” speech is narrow, arrogant, and bound to come crashing down eventually. Fact is, life happens. Living with your parents or under them is hellish but sometimes necessary.

46 Sean June 27, 2012 at 2:19 pm


You are the man. Thank you for your post. :)

47 Dave June 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Wow, Sean, shows a complete ignorance of American history. During the Great Depression, yes, people did move back in with their parents if they weren’t already living with them. Multiple generations of family living in sometimes a one room apartment was normal, a young man living alone was very abnormal. Everybody worked and contributed to trying to keep the family afloat. It didn’t add to the family’s financial burden, it helped them, just as it can now. If young men left home, it wasn’t to live alone, but to work in one of the government provided jobs in the Civilian Conservation Corps camps. Geez, take a basic American history course before spouting off ignorant opinions.

And just in case you don’t believe me:


“”They all had gardens, and they moved in together,” recalled Pratt, who maintains his Fairfield home. ”Married couples lived with their parents. Everybody lived under one roof. That was one way they kept the wolf from the door.”

Extended families living together might have been common in the 1930s. That might be more of a challenge for people used to their independence today.”


“There was a time when multiple generations living under the same roof was as normal as horse-drawn buggies. In 1940, about 25 percent of the population lived in a household with more than one generation.”


“We haven’t seen anything like this since the Great Depression,” Frances Goldscheider, a sociologist who studies families told the Post.

48 Sean June 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm


take a look at 39

also the great bit about the kids working the railroad.


take a good look at the “migrants” most are nomadic Americans who’s families were ripped apart.

I’m not a fan of revisionist history.
My grand parents were a part of the depression.

I’ve done a lot of work for a lot of museums. The Eisenhower Presidential Library for one, NMAI for two.

49 Dave June 27, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I’m sorry but I don’t see how the things you cited prove that young men during the Great Depression didn’t move back in with their families. You are not equating husbands abandoning their families because the stress was too much for them (#39) with young men choosing to live by themselves to be independent, are you? And why would you equate families ripped apart by having to be nomadic, with young men choosing to live by themselves as a lifestyle choice? And migrant families often were nomadic together (see: The Grapes of Wrath). Yes, some young men went off from their families to find work, because they had to and sent the money back to their families (it wasn’t as if they thought it was more manly to live alone in a migrant camp), but that doesn’t negate the fact that many moved back in with their parents.

50 Kate McKay June 27, 2012 at 3:25 pm

I just wanted to add my two cents as someone who has taught US history at the college level in saying that Sean’s assessment of living conditions during the Great Depression is simply not factually correct.

During the Great Depression 25% of households consisted of multi-generational families. Today that number is 16%. Young men staying at home longer or moving back home during the Great Depression was as common or more common than it is now. As Dave points out, they did leave home to find jobs to support their family, but they did not leave simply because they wanted to live by themselves or because it was the “right” thing to do. The number of multigenerational households started to decline in the 1940s as the economy picked up, and continued to decline until the 1980s, when the percentage began to go back up as the economy slowed. The number of multigenerational families always expands during hard economic times and shrinks during boom times. This is as true for our forebearers as it is today. Well more true for our forebearers actually. It’s interesting to note that in 1890, 60% of young men lived with their parents, while that number is 22% now. And I don’t think the young men of the 1890s were particularly “entitled” or “narcissistic.”

The idea that moving back home puts a financial strain on one’s parents is not necessarily true either. In fact, because multigenerational families pool resources, they have a lower poverty rate than those who live alone or as a couple. Of course, this only holds up if each member of the family contributes, but that mindset is what the post is all about!

51 Ken June 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm

It is interesting that so many of the wise men and women in history put such an emphasis of the importance of the family unit, usually multi-generational, and it’s place in society, yet today so many of us are so eager to break it up at the first opportunity. A system refined and working for thousands of years replaced by an idea brought about by short-term, localised opportunities.

I wonder what effect that’s having on us, at both the personal and social levels?

52 Moeregaard June 27, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Glad I’m not an outlier here. Short story, I finished college in 1987 and found a job as a machinist with a reputable aerospace research firm. This was when real-estate prices in southern California were on the upswing, and dragging rents up with them. Even a one-room apartment would have been a stretch for me–and I had all of my tools to store as well. (Anyone who thinks teaching is non-lucrative should try the R&D game for a year.)

I hung out with the folks until I was 30, paid rent, and helped with household maintenance. I also saved every dime I could, and when property values dipped in the early ’90s, I had enough cash for a hefty down payment on a nice place in town. I have friends from high school who couldn’t get out of their folks’ houses quickly enough, and many of them are still renting 30 years later. My point is that staying with family is not a bad thing unless it’s used as a path of least resistance. I had a goal of owning property, and this enable me to do so without needing a six-digit income. I should also add that 20-and-30-somethings living at home isn’t all that rare; it just isn’t discussed openly. I’ve been to three high-school reunions in the last 30 years, and there were always those who moved back in with their folks, or never left. All had their own reasons for doing so. There were the ones who just “failed to launch,” but others had ailing parents to take care of, or did it for the financial well being of the family.

53 Dan June 27, 2012 at 4:08 pm

Dean, you’re my hero. Thanks for working so hard as a young man. That’s a model that has been lost on my generation, and I’m trying very hard to get past the laziness I allowed into my work ethic. I believe I am a hard worker, but it pales in comparison to the generations preceding mine.

54 The Desert Rat June 27, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Seriously? Move back with your parents? My parents and I have a wonderful relationship, but I would never move back home. Once you are ready to leave home, you’re gone. Real men do not impose upon their parents – get a life. Make it on your own. If you can’t afford your bills, get a second job. If you can’t find a job, be prepared to take a job (or two) at a lesser skill level and salary than you desire. No excuses guys (poor economy, bad luck, expensive higher education, etc) – real men take care of their parents, not the other way around. Perhaps the only exception is a serious illness, other than that, MAN UP.

55 Michael June 27, 2012 at 4:45 pm

I had to move back home due to a long term illness, and I just want to say that I’m deeply grateful for the care and support my parents have provided me. I want to second the idea of contributing with chores and errands if the finances aren’t happening. Life isn’t simple, and not everyone gets to follow the default path. Make your expectations clear, keep the lines of communications open, and be grateful that you have the opportunity to be good to one another.

56 Brock June 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Two things:

1) Most of the comments who say this is wrong, offer no reason for why this is. It’s just their emotional feeling. It’s not right! Why is it not right? Because it isn’t manly? Why isn’t it manly? Because it’s not right! There are some things about manliness that are totally culturally predicated and this is one of them. Who says when you need to be out of the house? Who decides that? It’s just a cultural thing. In a lot of cultures, it would be weird to not be living at home in your 20s. Are those cultures not manly? In some culture, you become a man at age 10, are they more manly? It’s like if there was an Art of Manliness in an polygamous African village. And there was an article about how marrying only one woman was okay, and people would say, no way! You need multiple wives to be a man. There’s no “eternal” standard here.

2. What’s with the praise for Dean? Okay, the guy worked really hard several decades ago when school was cheap and the economy was better, but, um, if he’s this paragon of manliness, than why did both his kids turn out to be lazy deadbeats? Isn’t a marker of a man’s success his ability to pass on his values to his children? Not trying to be a dick, I’m just saying that I wouldn’t go around putting myself up as the paragon of manliness and telling other people how to be manly, if my path didn’t exactly produce the best results, you know what I mean?

57 Dean June 27, 2012 at 5:16 pm


So you say you’re not trying to be a dick? I guess it just comes naturally then?

The economy was better in the 80′s? 22% interest rates, and higher unemployment than it is now.

School was cheaper? Dream on! The local college here is a lot cheaper now than the ones I went to in the 80′s!

Don’t talk unless you know what you’re talking about. Get some facts instead of talking out your backside!

Maybe my kids didn’t turn out perfect yet, but neither did you, and at least they show more respect than you do!

I didn’t put myself up as anything. It was just a bit of a rant against the way that modern society is pussifying everything, and I guess you fit right in!

You know what I mean?

58 Peter June 27, 2012 at 5:53 pm


Sorry if I came out swinging in my first posts to TAoM. I don’t get defensive when people call out the moochers of my generation. I get defensive when my entire generation is derided because of them (I’m looking at you, Dean and Sean).

I’m happy that some people have the luxury of always being able to make the “manly” decision. Some of us don’t. Some of us have to make uncomfortable, painful decisions because it’s the right thing to do. I didn’t want to move home, and neither did most of my friends. I didn’t want to work two lousy minimum wage jobs at the same time. But most of us did.

When faced with choosing bankruptcy or “manning up”…whatever that would entail in our situation, we decided to suck up our pride, pick up the pieces and start over. Even if it meant living with our folks for a while.

On a positive note, living at home for a year gave me some really good time to bond with my parents. My grandfather died before he could become friends as an adult with my father, so this was really important to us. We’d cook and share drinks after work. He introduced me to film noire and flyfishing. I introduced him to rugby. I gardened with my mother. Although we had fun together, they knew I didn’t want to be there. I knew they would rather have their home to themselves. What was important is that when things got tough, we stood by each other as a family. There will come a time when my parents will need me, and I will not think less of them for it. Just as they don’t think less of me for needing there help a few years back.

59 Jas June 27, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Nonsense. Men do not move back in with their parents. They get a job, live independently, are responsible for themselves and act like MEN. Period.

60 Rafael June 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm

I just wanted to stop by and say thank you to everyone who has been honest in this thread. It’s quite refreshing to see some honesty and vulnerability in these conversations.

61 Kevin June 27, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I am 27 years old and have been entirely independent of my parents since I was 17. I worked 40 hours a week and went to college full-time in order to be on my own. I didn’t borrow a dime and didn’t receive any money other than from an employer.

Before I left, I was a loser and a boy. After a few weeks of fending for myself and real “trial by fire,” I became a man.

I’m not trying to overtly disagree with anything said here, but there is no denying that there are benefits to making one’s own way. Furthermore, I see plenty of childish males in today’s society that NEED to go through a period of independence, during which they have to provide for themselves and not continue to rely on others for care.

62 Victor June 27, 2012 at 9:35 pm

Listen up educated men (dean, sean) with a completely non biased opinion of “your” generation and an ability to entertain new ideas.

I have earned what is considered an excellent accounting degree with solid work experience. I have applied to 200+ jobs and cant lock down a reasonable salary. I just got home from a 13 hour day doing labour you may have worked on the hardest day of your life. I have 3 hours before I dive face down on my bed (for a 6 hour snooze as I commute an hour each way). Tomorrow we do it all over again.

I graduated university about a year ago and can do nothing but chip away at my substantial (school related) debt that I was led to believe would lead to a satisfying career and a valuable lifestyle.

My work ethic is unmatched.

Financially, I have no option but to live with parents. Forget your romanticized notion of days gone by. Step down from that pedestal. This past year has been the most challenging period of my life and all you stand on in suggesting my lifestyle is unmanly is ignorance.

63 Dean June 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm

Just to set the record straight, I was referring to those that sit around their parent’s house all day, not contributing.

If you are doing something with your life, or at least trying, there is no shame in being at your parent’s house as a temporary situation.

Full time mooching on the other hand, is very unmanly!

64 Average June 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm

The advice from people over 50 years old is pure bullshit. It was easy to pay for college when jobs were plentiful. Try moving out into the real world without any real skillset at the age of 18 and let me know how far you get.

I’m not surprised that this pseudo-macho attitude is coming from the baby boomers. They’ve had it the easiest, they’ve sold out the country, and on top of that, they get to lecture the younger generations on how it’s reasonable and possible to rent an expensive apartment with six other men i who work in low wage jobs in order to prove “independence.”

Let me leave you with a few questions. Who is behind the national debt that the U.S. is facing? Whose retirement money is closely linked to corporations that offshore jobs that men have traditionally done and replaced those jobs with feminine service jobs? Who is profiting the most from high tuition and falling u.s. wages? I’ll give this one away for free, it’s the grey haired men and women who run the schools and who have stock in Sallie Mae.

65 Peter June 27, 2012 at 11:25 pm

@Average – Taking cheap shots at millennials or boomers isn’t going to help anything. We can’t lay the current economic situation at the feet of any one generation or person.

It really sucks when my diligent, hard-working friends and I are thrown under the bus with the moochers, just because we had to move home for a bit. I’d guess that boomers also don’t appreciate it when we slag their entire generation for today’s rotten economy.

I think it would be good for us to remember that the situation that wrecked our job market (and sent us home) is the same situation that wiped out our parents’ retirement. We’re all in a bad place, and we can’t afford to have each generation at the throat of the other.

66 Tank June 28, 2012 at 1:22 am

It would seem many of you are putting entirely too much emphasis on the the domicile in which a man chooses to live. I choose to live at home because I refuse to pay some landlord who I do not know or trust any sum of money. It is much better for both myself and parents that I rent from them. I don’t think paying them $700 a month, buying my own food, paying for my utilities makes me any less of a man. When the time comes that I feel I can plant roots somewhere I will do so. In fact, I would question the manliness of any man who passes judgement on another. To each their own, you live your life and I will live mine. Good day.

67 Steve June 28, 2012 at 1:41 am

Very nice post. I’m about to be 25 and still haven’t moved out yet because of my student debt. This inspires me to figure the costs of living on my own and my income. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I passively continue my role as the son because I’ve gotten comfortable. However, I will start acting more like a grown man.

68 Bill June 28, 2012 at 3:07 am

Lots of irrational behavior being promoted in the comments. There is no doubt that living at home is the most efficient way for a man to live – he saves money, parents get some financial help, effort spent on upkeep and maintenance are pooled. If a man CHOOSES to live at home for these reasons, I don’t see why anyone has a problem with it or why it would be a worse choice than living with roommates. Of course, he needs to contribute financially and otherwise but I assume that is generally the case.

69 Rob June 28, 2012 at 6:06 am

Wow great article! To me though the 54% employment rate stat for 18-24 year olds is slightly misleading. If 54% are employed, that doesn’t include the many that are still in full-time education I think. The unemployment rate for 16-19 year olds in America is c. 25% (similar to UK). If the unemployment rate for 18-24 year olds was 46% (i.e. 100% subtract 54%) that would put it at one of the highest in the world, similar to Spain! Bad times.

70 Andrew #2 June 28, 2012 at 10:28 am


Agreed. Living with your parents in many ways defines the essence of Capitalism: pooling resources for greater efficiency and competitiveness. It’s like getting a bank loan or a business investment.

71 EllisonMaude June 28, 2012 at 11:39 am

just as Daniel said I cannot believe that a stay at home mom able to profit $6581 in four weeks on the computer. have you read this site (Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/iElv1

72 Stephen June 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm

@ Peter

I just want to thank you for the polite, well written posts. When visiting the Art of Manliness Website, I would expect more of the comments to be as informative and actually providing substance, not just derision. You used your posts to show your moral character and unwillingness to allow other commenters to “slag” not just our generation, but the generation before us as well.

Also, in your response to Cliff you mention that other folks have the luxury to make the “manly” decision, while you made the uncomfortable and painful decision. I think, and would hope others do, that the resposible decision (since many responsible decisions are uncomfortable and painful) is the manly decision. No man should ever make a decision on what appears manly, but focus on making what is the right decision. In a time when we are spending more in one year of college than we can reasonably expect to make as our first year of salary (and then doing it at least 3 more years in a row), it sometimes the right decision to choose a path that allows you to save money, remove debt, and build a savings so that when your family (either wife and kids, or your parents) need to rely on you, they can.

73 Leb June 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm

It’s funny that this article should be posted at this time. I’m 18 years old and I had been living on my own for about 11 months before moving back into mom and dads house last week. Neat coincidence.

74 AC June 29, 2012 at 5:53 am

Certain passages in the article several generations of a family under the same roof arrangement as equivalent to housesharing with a stranger (ask for permission before taking something, really?) as well as angry responses such as John’s confirm my view that, for all its constant hammering of “family values”, “family activities”, etc the Anglo-Saxon world is very low on genuine family values, and those mantras are nothing but plastic substitutes.
Of course, as I said in previous comments, I’m strongly against the current perpetuation of childhood, but there seems to be something else here. There seems to be something in Anglo-Saxon cultura that’s conductive to intergenerational war. There is this unhealthy attitude between parents and children, something we could call politely disguised spite. I think it partially has to do with the individualistic, commercially-oriented character of said cultures, which means anything but the self is viewed as a strange body, even a toddler, and relationships are ruled by a “what’s in for me?” spirit.
One can also see this in other aspects like the intolerance towards children in any other environment than very specifically designed theme-park-like “children activities”, the enclosing of the elder in “old folk ghettoes”, the prevalence of “prenups” and the cynicism that rules relationships in general.

75 Adithya June 29, 2012 at 11:44 am

being an Indian, i call tell you that in the subcontinent, joint families of huge magnitudes were the norm till recently. the recent economic success has done much to change that. but in india, living with your parents is not a shame, or an affront to your manliness. cultural differences i guess. anyway, good advice.
P.S. i am right now doing my postgrad and in the college dorm, but i still live with my parents in holidays. its great to take a break from all the hassle of university life.

76 Core June 29, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I read this article, and its pretty interesting.

In Japan, I believe I read young guys and women live with their parents up into their late twenties? And its not big deal.

With the way things are going in the US, lack of employement for people my age, expense of school… It will not surprise me if living with ones parents becomes more common. As much as I’d love to be independent from my one parent who is alive, my dad..(I do live in my own house) I took a calculated risk to better myself in life to be a heavy equipment operator. But that hasn’t panned out like it should have. No one’s hiring entry level, and I was .. doing odd jobs to make ends meat. But that hasn’t been enough and he lent me some money to help with utilitie bills.

*Sighs* Its one damn frustrationg situation to sum it all up. As anyone who has jumped from a different trade, its no easy thing.

77 Colleen June 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I am continually reminded why I love this website. Thank you Brett & Kate!

78 Benny Hill June 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm

When I made the decision to move back in with my mom, It was to benefit both of us. Helping us to pay down debts. Enabling both of us to have a better life style. Prior to moving in with my mom, we made a verbal agreement with a witness over the telephone. Regarding rent and bill payments, food and cooking and cleaning. We both understood that this was temporary arrangement to commit to two years. Our relation in this arrangement is working out well and we are both pleased with the situation.

79 Mihai June 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm

why do people make such a tragedy about living with their parents?
why it is so important to leave the house? Reading this post, and after seeing other people situation , i realize i have (just from my point of view) the best parents in the world.
I lived with my parents until i was 24. I never planed to move out. I did my studies and I have spent their money on booze, girls and gas for my motorcycles until 24. And i don t regret it. Around 24 i finished my studies (at 24 i got my master diploma). I got a scholar ship (not working while still a student meant i could concentrate in my studies and i had , i know i m modest, very good results). I continued my studies, but i was away from home. 2000 miles away. After a second master i worked in research for some years. I decided research was not for me (or at least not forever) so i started to work for a software company. I got my freedom. I have a decent salary, i live alone, and i plan to buy an apartment before 35 in cash. According to everybody around me i have a good life, my parents are proud of me, the parents of my girlfriend are proud of me, bla bla bla….

and me ? sometimes i get home, tired like hell, and the thing i miss the most is going with my father in the kitchen, drink a beer or two, smoke a few cigarets, and play chess for one or two hours. I miss spending a weekend with my father in the garage working on a motorcycle, i miss drinking a coffee wit my mum, i miss picking up the guitar trying to play the classical music she is listening to, i miss dressing up and going out for dinner with my parents. I also miss my mother’s face in the morning when she meets a girl she doesen t know, after a second she smiles as asks if we join them for coffee. The time i had with my parents was better than the time i had living with other students, with friends, sharing an apartment with people i don t know or living alone.

my sister just moved with her boyfriend. She lives 30 minutes walking from my parents. They go to visit my parents a few times a week and spend many weekends together in the country side. And they enjoy it. It happened to me to give a phone call to a friend i did not see for a lot of time and to find out he is just having a beer with my father. I don t think it is just me and my sister , lots of our friends truly enjoy my parents’ company and visit them even when we are not around.

i wrote all this because i have read in the article something like “it s not a good reason living with your parents just to save money to go backpacking through europe”. My parents always told me: while you are living with us, better study and save money to go back packing. My parents always told me to go backpacking. My mum always said no, followed by “whatever you do we support you, and remember that you don t have to always take our advice”.

As long as i don t have children i would not mind living with my parents. And even when i ll have children i d like to know my parents around because i really appreciate the job they did with my and my sister. But i live 2000 miles away, i can t see them to often , i have a good job, i live alone.

I really think that a lot of problems could be solved if we are more human, if we understand the needs of the other (i m just talking about family here) and if we truly love our family. There is nothing better than having the family close so my advice is : enjoy it as much as you can.

any way , if you are 30 and you play video games in your parents’ house, you don t have a job or you don t invest in your future, you should do something with your life…. and fast.

80 andres June 29, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Hi all.

Right now this post is perfect for me, I just to end a short relationship with a girl that is older than me, and really she is very different to me about independence concerns. Briefly, while she live without her parents, -just with her brothers- I still living with mine, or while, she has a job I am looking for a job. Also of the uncomfortable situation for me when we were going out, There was a hard situation when we want to pass the night together because if we want or need to stay here in my house it wasn’t as comfortable as in her house.

When we was out on the cinema or having a dinner, always it was my mom called me to know when I was, and really she didn’t like that. I was feeling like a boy and although I am no old (I am 21) but I am not too young either to be in these situations.

Today when It have passed more of one moth since we finish our relationship apparently by problems unrelated to my lack of independence (and by this way lack of manliness), she said me that right now she came back with her 25 years ex boyfriend which now has a good job and live alone. Hit down for me and good experience for still learn about the life.

Now I just to end my college and this is the just time to begin my way to the really independence from my parents and in the long term from a job, Yes, I don’t want to depend of a Job or any stuff that tie us and doesn’t leave to be really free.

Sorry about my English, greetings from Colombia

81 I June 30, 2012 at 1:49 am

@Peter – Cheap shots are not cheap when they are true. We most certainly can lay the current economic situation at the feet of the generations who elected the politicians which have incurred the debt. We most certainly know which unmanly generations ran up the debt. I envision you could preach about manning up and the importance of paying taxes to support a social safety net in the same breath without acknowledging the hypocrisy.

If we want to talk about manning up, these debt loving generations need to man up and accept responsibility for their crimes of theft. These generations have supported unsound currencies, debased the currency, built an American empire, embraced fascism, and have abandoned capitalism.

When the social safety net fails because it is already bankrupt let the fixed income criminals man up by their bootstraps or become homeless. Let the people who were suckers to believe you can get more back than you pay in and debase the currency pay the price for their own stupidity. No bailouts for these stupid generations. They can man up by their bootstraps.

82 Bryan June 30, 2012 at 2:27 am

It’s interesting seeing the debate between staying out and being a “man” and going home and still being a “man”. The logic can be argued all different ways, but here is what I know:

Every person that I know that moved out before they had stable employment ended up right back at home for a stint. Because of the economy in the last decade having TWO resessions (this last one being closest to the GD when people moved back in with their families) and all the other issues, it’s not surprising. Sure, most that stayed at home never grew up and are now 30+ yo children.

However, one friend that I had that stayed at home and did not immediately move out saved enough to buy a house and new car in cash.

The real moral I think is that there is a right way and a wrong way to do anything. So if you are going to either stay at home or go back, get your shit together.

Personally I have the opposite problem. My father is a complete screw up and now lives with me and completely subsides off of the family. I always believed in helping family, but the older I get, the longer this continues, the more I realize you can’t help people who won’t help themselves.

They complain that Millenials are self-centered, all I have to say is that we have fewer hippies than they do. We are rebirthing the GI Generation values, rebuilding families, and have dealt with more difficulty than they have ever had to. We didn’t create the current state of affairs, they did. So if they aren’t happy with it, they only need look in the mirror.

83 Anon Zak June 30, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I’m just finishing university now and moving back with my parents for a couple of years to help save for my masters. When I’m finished, I plan to work overseas.

Coming from Asia, it’s normal to move back with your parents after university. Most of us moving out only after we’re married. I think the important things to consider is that you to help contribute to the household in someway (ie paying some of the bills), have an adult relationship with your parents (ie no mooching) and that you are genuinely happy to be with each other.

84 Caleb June 30, 2012 at 5:22 pm

I have found the comments on this article very interesting. I have lived at home since graduating college in 2011. I pay my own phone bills, pay my own car insurance, clean my own bathroom and do my own laundry (the last one I have done since before leaving for college). Could I do more? Yes. I also am not sitting around wasting time playing video games. I have had three jobs since then, one being a contract job that ultimately lasted a month, a seasonal job that lasted 1 and a half months, and my current seasonal job that I have held since January that goes through August. Trust me, I have applied for around 300 jobs and have had interviews with a few places. But I’m not sitting around doing nothing. I want to be on my own.

85 Ateve July 1, 2012 at 7:03 am

Moving back with one’s parents may best be termed a necessary evil. I tried it once when I was 30. I did it to help them as much as help myself given their aging and ailing health. First changing the relationship from vertical to horizontal is impossible. I was an ER physician working 60 hours a week mostly nights. During the day my parents would parade friends through the house where I had a quiet corner room to sleep. Their friends would comment on why I was sleeping “all day” and they would just say “what are you going to do.” My parents use my staying with them to become the celebrities of their social circle. They would ask me to intervene for their friends medical needs etc. It just got worse from there on. As an employed physician with high student loan payments money was often tight yet I helped out financially. At first they were sheepish then felt entitled. It became cheaper to move out. this may work for some people but my advice is to get a roomate or just be careful. No one can convert a relationship with their parents to a horizontal one.

86 Puzzled July 1, 2012 at 10:06 am

Interesting to hear my generation referred to as self-centered. I might note that my generation didn’t run up the debt that we will be expected to pay. We aren’t receiving SS and going nuts when anyone suggests that we stop trapping kids in this stupid system.

That said, I don’t really see the issue. Are people incapable of living in the same home as their parents without being dependent? My parents recently asked me if I wanted to move back – I had mentioned that I’ve been thinking a lot about becoming a nurse. As they said, why should I try to go to school and rent a room while they have an empty room just sitting there unused? Why is that ‘manly?’

Seriously, I consider it rather less manly to do the American thing – live as if you have more than you do. Disown your parents as if family were an embarrassment.

87 aaron July 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm

totally great article

88 rmschaff July 2, 2012 at 3:20 am

For any angry parents posting here about their lazy kids moving back in and then staying in the house doing nothing:

Take a good look at yourselves, friends. You’re the ones that raised your lazy ass kids. The job market and debt rates are awful right now. I believe if an adult of any age is working and somehow contributing to the household in a way which pleases the parents, this is completely fine, and simply living in a shared house hold does not define you as an adult or ‘man’ in any way.

But if your kids are sitting on their asses playing video games? You’re the one allowing them to stay there. So might I take a page out of your book, here? Man the hell up, be the parent you claim to be. Don’t come here whining that your kid sucks at work ethic, you’re the one that raised them and are now allowing them to continue to sit on their ass.

89 rob July 2, 2012 at 1:46 pm

When I first left the Air Force I was under the impression that I’d find a job quickly, maybe even before I’ve left the service and be living like a king. No so fast wise guy.. My dad offered to let me have my old room back (sans my little brother who had recently joined the service).. I kept most of my stuff in storage bins in our barn as I’d be leaving soon. Yeah didn’t go down. After the first few weeks of mom and my 3 not so little any more sisters enjoying having me back, I grew to be a real pain the but. Letting stuff slack, eating/leaving whenever I felt like it. Dad mentioned hey you ought to do some stuff around the house, cut the grass do some laundry, make a grocery run. It’d never occurred to me. one week later after I’d cut the grass, washed/dried/folded all the laundry and made a grocery store run, life was much easier for everyone. It’s not easy moving back in, I couldn’t have a lady friend over for a late night bowl of spaghetti o’s, but we managed to work it all out. good advice.

90 Vern July 2, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Both of my boys lived at home after college. The oldest for a few years to save money for his own home and to pursue a MS degree. He is married to a great girl and is currently studying for his CPA, and they bought their own home just before they were married. The youngest recently found a job in his field, after working in an unrelated field for several years, due to the current economic conditions. Both guys worked part time all during college, and saved money like crazy.

We are proud that we all get along so well and that they wanted to move back in with my wife and I while they saved up for their future; proud that they liked being around us. And they were not mooching-they both worked full time after college, with barely a day of work missed. The youngest is getting ready to move out soon, and my wife and I will miss not having our guys around every day. They have been a source of joy to us since the day they were born and I am glad we were able to help them in this manner.

91 Willie July 2, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Found myself on the short end of a long term relationship that is ending. unfortunately I sold my house and moved into what i assumed would be my future. The rest of that story is another post in itself. Point being, at 50 something I was on the street. I do have the ability to rent a place and was active following up on that path. My parents are in their late 80′s and the bodies are starting to give out. I am the only kid and the only relative in the area. Dad asked me to move in to take care of them and the house as it is becoming a bit to much for him. Is this a socially acceptable arraignment? I noted that several folks say never go home…for any reason. Just trying to wrap my mind about this new living arraignment. Although I think that when I get back into the dating world….if ever….this could be a problem for any prospective woman.

92 Victor July 2, 2012 at 9:08 pm

In my experience moving out is a significant step in the development of a man. The independence forces him to appreciate how much maintenance (time and money) he truly requires to live without relying on the backs or wallets of anyone else. Understanding the importance of time and money provides the opportunity to plan a life he can be happy with. It also, at least for me, helped me to appreciate the good times that much more. I do not think that this can be achieved without ever leaving the home. If you are moving back and are already “self aware” and aware of the challenges that lie on the road ahead than I see nothing unmanly, especially if you follow the tone of this article.

93 Victor July 2, 2012 at 9:15 pm

A comment on our aging generations…. Yaaa you guys really did drag us under the bus. At the time of your birth (like 1940-1965), the road ahead looked pretty rosy. Now we have large bloated bureaucratic institutions all over the world that are too essential to be torn down but are pathetically ineffective. This should have been stopped long ago. It is the cause for every economic problem we have.

But the truth is the generation didn’t know any better. There is no such thing as an Economic fact, but no one ever respected that. You didn’t know what we know now.

You sitting there reading this did not see any issues. You got played. You were fed a line and you had everything you needed so you bought it. I don’t blame you individually but I do blame you as a group. You had everything catered to you simply based on the size of your generation. The man needed to make 1 cent from each of you, today he needs 10. This has followed you all of your life. Insurance premiums, bank loans and the soon to come influx of seniors related services as a few. I understand each of you had to work very hard but please don’t tell me we have it easy.

94 Chris July 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm

Thanks for the Advise, I have the “problem” that my Dad is my Boss too and some of the work is done from home. Meanwhile my girl lifes at my place also. Its getting quite narrow. In japan they call that a “parasite couple”.

Rents and Gas prices are very high and i would have to pay 50-60% or more of my income, so “leaving home” would be economically nonsense and can create a insecure situation. – And I know many people at my age that are lot worse off. if they dont live at home then on social welfare.

The crisis will go on in the next years, my siblings are still at home also. So staying all together may be realy the best solution.

Still, sometimes I envy people that were in the 70s in my age. Moving out and arranging a single or couple household was WAY easier.

Even in the US, the luxury of the single-often credit based- lifestyle will be out of reach for many young men.
Well, as long they can play X-Box all the time they wont go out rioting…

95 Hipparchia July 3, 2012 at 7:51 am

Don’t forget burnout. Sure, you can move out to a cheap place and live on cheap food. But remember that this also takes resources from you. Don’t try to be too manly, burnout will happen. Lifestyle is somehow important- you need to have your batteries charged. Why kill yourself in order to prove something?

96 Peter July 3, 2012 at 10:26 am

@ I

“I envision you could preach about manning up and the importance of paying taxes to support a social safety net in the same breath without acknowledging the hypocrisy.”

You would envision wrong. I think you and I are actually very similar, politically. I don’t want to derail this conversation, so I’ll leave it at that.

The difference is that I refuse to play the blame game. Having a group to point our collective fingers at will certainly make us feel better, but it will accomplish nothing.

What we can do, instead of pointlessly raging at an entire generation, is understand and learn from their mistakes (and there are many).

97 John Galt July 5, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I’m almost 33. I live with my mother, and while it’s not what I had dreamed my situation would be, I’m not ashamed. I pay a fair rent and take care of numerous tasks around the house that my mother can’t do on her own. The rent I pay her is less than what I would pay for all but the crappiest apartments around here, I get to keep my workshop in the basement, and she gets to keep her house. Without my rent money, she would have to downgrade. So it’s a mutually beneficial arrangement.

Due to past relationships going south, I’m in the “bachelor for life” club, so settling down with someone isn’t really an issue. I live with my mother and we stay out of each other’s way when we’re not going to the gun club or 4-wheeling our Jeeps.

98 Josiah July 6, 2012 at 2:42 am

I love that last paragraph. I am going to quote part of it.

99 CS July 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm

I think one of the big issues here is whether or not the young man in question grew up. Living in the same home as your parents is not always an indicator of failing to grow up. But it’s also possible to live on your own and STILL be very much a kid. I’m in the military, and I’ve got some personnel who still can’t put together a budget, cannot balance their diet, and spend their free time goofing around, as carefree as a high school student as long as they don’t get in trouble. Living away from mom and dad doesn’t mean the “maturity fairy” has floated down, hit you on the head with a wand, and turned you into an adult.

Yes, some live at home as a way of prolonging their childhood. I know someone who was living at home while going to school who “mysteriously” managed to not get everything done in order to take a final class last fall, so now, because the class is only offered in the fall, they’ll be living at home through THIS December just for the sake of one class. What’s notable is that this one, while generally mature in that they do act like an adult as far as behavior, still very much embraces the ROLE of the child. For one thing, all of their paycheck goes towards tuition. While it’s better than the parent’s paying (actually, the parents had done a “pre paid” scholarship program but the child failed to maintain the grades necessary to keep the scholarship), there’s still the matter that the child does not contribute to the household. Except for being old enough to drink, their role is still the same as it was back when they were in high school, probably because they never moved out, not even for college, so their presence at home is literally a continuation of their high school years.

But I also know someone else who went through college, earned a degree, and even had a full-time job and lived on his own for a while. The problem was that the job doesn’t provide healthcare and he developed a medical condition that can become serious at unpredictable times. So he NEEDS health insurance, but the only way to be covered is to live back “at home” under his parents’ policy until the job either provides insurance or pays well enough he can buy his own (if he qualifies). However, unlike the previously mentioned individual, he contributes to the household in a manner you would expect from an adult. He goes to work full time. He helps with bills. He helps with chores. He helps to cook. He does everything he did when he lived on his own. He’s just living with his parents for insurance reasons.

Another friend went away to college, lived on his own after graduation while finishing his Masters, and then moved back in with his family until he could get a job and had enough to get his own place. He’d already lived on his own and was only staying with his parents on a temporary basis until he established his own income and found someone to be roommates with.

So, while one individual didn’t want to leave home and never LEFT home, the other two DID strike out on their own but went BACK home for various reasons.
When I went to college, my parents REQUIRED I go to school far enough away that coming home on weekends was too inconvenient, living at home while going to class would be out of the question, and I would have to handle my own problems. The only time we bent that rule was when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and my school was out of action for the Fall 2005 semester. For that semester, my parents let me live at home while attending a local college.

After graduating from college, I have lived with my parents on only 2 occasions. The first time was when I was stationed overseas and doctors found a tumor in my chest. So they sent me home to live with family while undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Once I was healthy and I knew the military was going to station me near home, I went looking for my own place, found a rental and moved in within a month. A year later, I even bought a house of my own. Now, I’m living with them again because damage and repairs to my house mean I can’t be living in it until the repairs are finished. Being the frugal types, and enjoying the fact that I acted like an adult who simply happened to genetically be their child, my parents offered to let me stay in the guest room. But, while I’m living with them, I continue with functions I did while living alone. I work full time and then some (there’s no such thing as “overtime” when you’re in the military). I cook for myself. I clean. I help them pay for costs they incur because of me. I do manual labor. I help them when they need it. And I am eagerly awaiting the day I can move back into my house.

So, in my case, natural disasters, cancer, and being unable to live in my own house are the reasons I’ve lived with my parents as an adult, not a personal inability to function.

100 George July 6, 2012 at 8:57 pm

After reading this article and about half of the comments, I’m sorry, but this reeks of a justification piece. Yes, it’s likely that a lot of people may hit absolute rock bottom, but sugar coating it is nonsense. No jobs in your area? Then move. So many in my generation (I’m 26) have just flat out refused to move to find work, and it’s probably because the umbilical cord just never got cut.

Except for a span of three weeks between moving out of an apartment and moving to another state, I haven’t lived with my parents since I was 20. How? It’s simple; I’ll do anything to avoid it. Take the crappy jobs, live in the apartment above a coke dealer, walk to a job that’s 5 miles away, just do anything you have to.

Survival by any means necessary is manly. If you show up on your parents door without a dime or item to your name, then by all means, move in. Until then, keep fighting. You can at least be guaranteed some character out of it.

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