The latest Census Bureau data reports that the percentage of Sacramento adults ages 18 to 31 who are living with their parents is at an all-time high – 36.4 percent of the population in 2011, according to the US Census Bureau’s American Fact Finder site. The previous record was set at the dawn of the Great Depression, when 35.5 percent of Sacramento adults in that age group lived with mom and dad. The rest of the country has similar problems with not only children age 18-31 moving back to their parent’s home, but the middle-aged parents moving back into their own senior parent’s home.
Three or four generations are moving into one home, sometimes because the grandparents bought their modest three-bedroom home for $11,000 back in 1965. See the articles, “Four Generations One Roof: Home” and “3 Generations Under One Roof – Multigenerational Homes.”
You can view a study published last week by the Pew Research Center. The study found the share of 18- to 31-year-olds who are living with their parents is the highest it has been in at least four decades at 36 percent. See, “A Rising Share of Young Adults Live in Their Parents’ Home.”
The Pew Research Center reports that in 2012, 36% of the nation’s young adults ages 18 to 31—the so-called Millennial generation—were living in their parents’ home, the highest share in at least four decades. The number of young adults doing so has risen by 3 million since the start of the start of the recession in 2007, an increase driven by a combination of economic, educational and cultural factors.
Seniors in their mid-seventies are seeing more of their middle-aged-children move back in with them, with their grandchildren aged 18-31 in tow also moving in with the grandparents. And according to an August 10, 2013 Sacramento Bee article by Ellen Le, “Boom in boomerang kids: Percentage of young adults living at home in Sacramento at a record high,” there is more 18 to 31-year old adult children moving back in because they can’t find jobs that pay enough to move out after graduation. For their middle-aged parents aged, 45-55, they may have been laid off and their house foreclosed.
That leaves their young adult children in the age 18 to 31 category caught in the middle all relying on the senior grandparents who have finally paid off their mortgage, have retired, and at least are getting social security retirement checks each month and if lucky and worked for an employer who paid pensions, such as a government job, military, or large corporation that still paid retirees pensions, perks, and health insurance, are able to turn to their retirement nest egg, if any, and take in three generations. For some, the persons in the age 18 to 31 category may be a single mother with infants and toddlers. And for others, simply recent graduates not earning enough to pay rent outside the family residence.
Is the theme “you can’t go home again” really true even when the job market is lousy?
If your parents left a home without a will and the oldest or male child took the home because you didn’t or couldn’t pay taxes and left the home to his wife and kids, that could leave you homeless in your older years, especially if you’re a woman alone or in an abusive marriage who financially can’t afford renting or buying when you’re spouse decides to sell the home that both of you own but your spouse paid for since you didn’t work for enough money to pay for the house. That’s another problem of seniors at a time when kids and grandkids are moving into your home. It presents a stress problem for many older adults. You can’t sleep in your car if you never learned to drive and don’t own a car.
There also could be a cultural reason why three generations move into one house, all depending on the income, food, and ability to pay taxes (or mortgage) on a house (or apartment) by the person who worked the longest, usually the grandparents who have some savings and owe less money, or have their house paid off except for the taxes, utilities, and water bills. You have to have a poor job market and specific types of cultural aspects to keep the generations living together. Do the parents come from an ethnic background where it’s customary for children to live at home until married? Or is the custom the grandparents live with the children and grandchildren as one extended family unit, each contributing to the household?
Recent graduates move back home because they may have economic problems
Even recent medical school graduates have loans to pay off and economic expenses in their first years out of school, when most of the people who have been in schools until their mid to late twenties get married. Others who postpone marriage are looking for jobs related to what they’ve studied, and still more students have huge loans to pay back, sometimes up to a quarter of a million dollars in medical school loans.
Some individuals come back to live with parents to save up for graduate school when jobs are not paying enough or available and they have school loans to pay back. There are students who move back home to save up money for graduate school while working at low-paying jobs, any dead-end jobs they can get or they have paid internships that end when they finish graduate school.
Is moving back home a last resort when it affects the health of the parents and grandparents to be so dependent upon one household?
There’s a problem when the youngest graduates don’t make enough money to move out on their own. And the people whom these youngsters depend upon, their parents are out of work with a home that’s foreclosed. If the grandparents are still alive and own a home, they’re likely to move in if welcome.
The problem comes when the grandparents become too frail to take in their own adult children, grandchildren, and even great grandchildren as sometimes a person who’s in the 18-31 age category and can’t find work gets pregnant (or divorced with toddlers) and now has one or two children in tow to bring into grandma’s house at a time when grandma may either be getting ready to travel or in a situation with early onset dementia in her seventies where she needs assistance, not neglect as a swarm of relatives take over her house.
It’s difficult to buy a house with money down when investors come in with entirely cash and buy up houses that should be for first-time buyers
The housing market is such in the nation that an investor who has hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash can buy a house for sale which shoves out the first-time buyer who has enough to put money down on a house and good credit, but not the hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay entirely in cash for a house. This keeps young people as renters, not being able to pay off a mortgage and own a home when they reach middle age or retirement.
Big companies and investors with cash are snapping up available homes. This is making it extremely difficult for new home buyers, even those with good credit and the highest FICO scores. Home owners selling houses want to sell to those who buy with all cash. This keeps young people living at home longer because they don’t want to pay rent to a landlord because it takes away what they’ve saved to put down on a house.
Grandparents in their seventies and beyond are stressed by health problems and economic issues when children and grandchildren move back home after many years on their own and are unable to pay rent
These are family economic factors that affect the health of grandparents, the middle-aged parent of young adults recently graduated from either high school, vocational training, or colleges and graduate schools. The result is more young people living at home with parents. And for some parents who’ve lost their jobs and homes, moving back with grandparents.
Unfortunately, there’s a pecking order where some children get first choice as to just who is allowed to move back with the grandparents in their paid-off home. Sometimes it’s the adult children who can pay the taxes on the grandparent’s home. And other times, it’s the oldest son and his wife and kids, which leaves the newly-divorced younger sister homeless, often having to relinquish the kids to her ex-husband so he can send them back to his mother to be raised, sometimes back in his parent’s native country. It’s all about how family economics influences the health of older adults and the young.