In what has become a fairly common practice, many college graduates move back in with their parents temporarily after graduation. I did this (thanks, Mom and Dad!); so did most of my friends. Living at home for a time generally allows new college grads to find a job and save up some money before heading out to live on their own.
"But now the slumping economy and the credit crunch are forcing some children to do so later in life—even in middle age," according to a recent Associated Press article.
The slumping economy, dwindling jobs and rising costs for housing, food, gas and medical care are all combining to make it harder for many people to make ends meet. So even some adults are moving back home with their parents to decrease the strain on their finances.
"Kim Foss Erickson, a financial planner in Roseville, Calif., north of Sacramento, said she has never seen older children, even those in their 50s, depending so much on their parents as in the last six months," according to the AP.
Parents, still being parents, are used to taking care of their children. "Parents feel guilty if they don’t offer help, but [Erickson] warns them to be careful with their savings," according to the AP. "Some of Erickson’s clients are giving as much as $50,000 at a time to their kids, many of whom have overextended themselves with big houses or lavish lifestyles," according to the AP.
But the parents of middle-aged adults are typically retired, semi-retired or nearing retirement and have to think about major expenses such as extensive medical care.
"Plenty of well-meaning parents must delay retirement or scale back their dreams because they have to help their children," Karen Maloney Stifler, a financial planner in Hudson, Ohio, said, according to the AP.
Adults who are considering moving back home with their parents for financial reasons should make sure that such a move makes sense for their parents, too.