When Empty Nests Don’t Stay Empty

Thrivent’s 2024 Boomerang Kids Survey revealed that nearly half of the parents polled (46%) have had their adult children “boomerang” back home to live with them at some point. Some 50% blame the rising expense of rent and housing. This increase represents a significant increase from the 35% who answered the same last year.

“This is a wakeup call that’s gone unanswered,” says Chaz Black, Thrivent financial advisor. “More young adults returning home underscores the enormous—and growing—financial pressures they’re facing after graduation. The ripple effect it has on them and their parents is a problem we can’t afford to ignore.”

Other data that demonstrates the spectrum of implications, from delaying milestones to risking their financial destiny include:

  • Drowning in debt: Many young adults are delaying financial priorities because of student loan debt, like buying a home (39%), saving for retirement (34%) or building emergency savings (36%). Additionally, 28% of young adults with student loans say they’re currently living paycheck to paycheck, and only 22% say their first job helped them pay down their debt.
  • Parents feel the pinch: With adult children living at home, parents deprioritize their own financial needs. For example, 38% say they are struggling to pay off debt (up from 23% from last year) and 37% find it harder to save for long-term goals like retirement or housing, a considerable jump from 16% last year.
  • Not making the grade: Among parents who have an adult child currently living with them, more than half don’t feel confident their child is ready to be financially independent: 55% would give their kid a C grade or lower on financial readiness and 11% would give an F.

For more data, tips, and methodology, click here.

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Demetria C. Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for MortgagePoint (formerly DS News and MReport) with more than eight years of writing and editing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is a jazz aficionado, Harry Potter fanatic, and likes to read. She can be reached at demetria.lester@thefivestar.com.
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