Most Americans agree that this is the age that living at home becomes embarrassing

A survey conducted on more than 3,000 Americans, by TD Ameritrade, examines how every generation views boomeranging back to the nest after college.

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According to a  new survey conducted by Zillow, 14.4 million Millennials (people between the ages of 23 and 38) currently live at home with their parents. This is a staggering 21% of all American Millennials.

Although this figure has continued to rise over the years, the stigma that accompanies it has actually experienced a decline. A survey conducted on more than 3,000 Americans, by TD Ameritrade, examines how every generation views boomeranging back to the nest after college. And according to the study, you shouldn’t feel too bad until your nearing your thirties.


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Here’s what 1,027 Gen Zers, 1,026 young Millennials, and 1,001 parents had to say about the appropriate age to officially move out.

If that’s movin’ up then I’m movin’ out

Almost 50% of Millennials said they fully planned or plan to return home after they get through college, and 82% of parents said that they are absolutely OK with this outcome. One-third of Young Millennials said they planned to crash for more than two years, and 25% said they would only be rooming for two years at maximum.

For whatever reason, Generation Z was found to be the most optimistic about their financial Independence. This crop of youngsters was much less likely to predict living with their parents into their late twenties or early thirties in addition to being less likely to report wishing to stay close to home while attending college, partly to ease the financial load,  compared to the seven in 10 Millennials that planned to do so.

Although less than half of the respondents that belong to Generation Z planned to stay local for college, two-thirds ended up doing so.  Forty-four percent of parents said that they expected their kid to stay close to home during college, 17% said they were unsure, and 11% said they were unaware of their child’s intention to stay close to the nest.

As you might have guessed, students loans were the biggest burden keeping post grads from leaving the nest. Almost 50% of Millennials occasioned this, and another 40% said their students loans kept them from saving for retirement.

Pay Up

Of all the generations surveyed, Generation Z was the least likely to expect to pay rent when they moved back home with their parents with only 22% expecting to do so.  Thirty-eight percent of Millennials expected to pay for their lodging, and  34% of parents expected their child to pay rent. The average amount Generation Zers paid to stay with their parents was $548, compared to the $486 that Young Millennials were charged most often.

“Shouldering more than $1.5 trillion in U.S. student loan debt, it’s no surprise that young adults are looking for ways to save money as they focus on building a career foundation,” Christine Russell, TD Ameritrade’s senior manager of retirement and annuities, reported toward the end of the survey. “You don’t become an adult the day you graduate from college — it’s a process that takes time.”

Even though 60% of parents said that an empty nest would make them much more excited than depressed, none of the respondents thought ill of young adults delaying moving out after graduation.  In fact, all the generations and parents seem to agree that living at home wasn’t embarrassing until you reached the age of 28.

A large majority of Generation Zers and Millennials said they intended on returning the favor by assisting their mothers financially when they neared old age. There was no mention of assisting their fathers financially in the survey.


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CW Headley|is a reporter for Ladders and can be reached at cheadley@theladders.com.