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Editor at Large

Boomerang kids: When will they fly the nest?

One in five people in his or her 20s and early 30s is living with his or her parents, according to a New York Times Magazine article.

And 60 percent of young adults receive support from their parents, the article says.

Is this surprising to most of us? Probably not.

The economy and job market were/are so ravaged that our children, at the start and beyond, find it difficult to make it on their own. And often, that struggle is burdened by massive debt from college.

The well-written story talks about how this concept of boomerang children is rooted in systemic changes in the economy. To cite the article, by Adam Davidson:

“… The latest recession was only part of the boomerang generation’s problem. In reality, it simply amplified a trend that had been growing stealthily for more than 30 years.

“Since 1980, the U.S. economy has been destabilized by a series of systemic changes — the growth of foreign trade, rapid advances in technology, changes to the tax code, among others — that have affected all workers but particularly those just embarking on their careers.”

So, get used to it, I suppose, as Davidson also notes in the story:

“These boomerang kids are not a temporary phenomenon. They appear to be part of a new and permanent life stage. More than that, they represent a much larger anxiety-provoking but also potentially thrilling economic evolution that is affecting all of us.

“It’s so new, in fact, that most boomerang kids and their parents are still struggling to make sense of it. Is living with your parents a sign, as it once was, of failure? Or is it a practical, long-term financial move?”

The story is worth a read, as is an interview with Davidson about the reporting of the story.

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