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After College: Moving Back In

March 25, 2014

By Jessica Vician

A young 20s son sits on the couch at his parents' house eating chips and watching television.

Millennials are moving back in with their parents in record numbers. In 2012, 36 percent of Millennials (those between the ages of 18 and 31) lived with their parents, a statistic up four percent since 2007. If you have a child graduating from college this May or June, it’s time to consider whether moving back in is an option.

Before making any decisions, ask your graduating student what his or her plans are after graduation. Find out if he or she has already started the job hunt. If not, ask your child to meet with the career development department within his or her college to begin preparing for and scheduling interviews.

If it looks like your child may not have a job immediately following graduation, discuss with your parenting partner whether you both are comfortable letting your child move back in with you. If so, set expectations and goals with your child. After all, allowing your child to move back in with you can cost you between $8,000 to $18,000 a year, depending on how much of his or her expenses you are willing to cover, so it’s important that the family agrees and honors these expectations.

Here are a few parameters you should consider for your child:

  • Rent. Will you ask your child to pay you rent? If so, how much?
  • Job applications. Set a goal for the number of job applications your child must complete and send each week. 
  • Networking. If your child is interested in staying in his or her hometown or neighboring area, require him or her to attend relevant networking events. If you or your friends can connect your child to contacts in his or her industry, arrange informational interviews.
  • Timeline. If your child will not be working, give him or her a deadline to get a job. If he or she has followed your other rules and has not found a job by that date, your child must get another job or move out. Even if the job is at a coffee shop or an entry-level sales job, your child will learn valuable life and business skills that are marketable to future employers.

Setting goals for your child to find a job and move out of your home benefits both you and your child. These goals will help your child find a job by providing structure and deadlines in a competitive job market. The parameters also help establish skills that your child will need throughout his or her career: setting and meeting deadlines, networking, and responsibility.

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