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Parents, financially dependent adult children reveal unique stories about what it is like living together

Parents and their financially dependant adult children who still live at home have spoken out about the benefits and struggles of continuing to cohabitate.

Parents and their adult children have revealed what it is like to live together as young Americans in their 20s and 30s increasingly remain at home and rely on mom and dad for financial support.

For financial planner Robert Persichitte, living at home runs in the family.

"My aunt is a successful professional with a family. She has a teenage son, has been married for 23 years, and has spent all of it living at home. I was working as a CPA in a professional job while living at home," he told Fox News Digital. 

Persichitte has been saving money for an accessory dwelling unit to house his kids, who are 7 and 9 years old. He hopes they live there for the foreseeable future.

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"All of us would tell you our guiding principle: Renting is throwing your money away," he said.

The biggest key to his family's success, Persichitte said, was giving enough breathing room for the kids and focusing on long-term goals. By following through on this idea, he could pay off student loan debt with saved-up rent money, and his aunt could afford to send his cousin to a better school.

"Parents want their kids to have better lives with more opportunities. It's a relatively small sacrifice to feel cramped in the home," Perscichitte added.

According to the Pew Research Center, about a third of young adults between 18 and 34 still live with their parents (higher than past generations). Sixty-four percent of those young adults say this arrangement has had a "positive impact" on their financial situation.

Roughly 59% of parents said they gave their adult children help with their finances over the past year, Pew found.

As a parent and co-founder of PrintKK (a print-on-demand dropshipping company), Eve Smith shared a personal story with Fox News Digital regarding supporting adult children while balancing her financial responsibilities.

Her daughter Sarah graduated college with dreams of starting her own business. Despite her determination and passion, she faced financial hurdles in a competitive entrepreneurial landscape. Smith and her husband decided to allow their daughter to live at home while she pursued her business endeavors.

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With Sarah living at home, Smith and her husband emphasized the importance of financial literacy and independence.

"Our approach aimed to strike a balance between providing support and fostering self-sufficiency," Smith said. "While there were moments of concern about enabling dependency, witnessing Sarah's growth, resilience, and eventual success in launching her business affirmed the value of our support."

The relationship between parents and their children has spawned a hashtag called "the Bank of Mom and Dad."

The term typically refers to when parents or grandparents help younger family members with life-changing purchases and expenses.

Adult kids have also taken to social media to reveal what it is like living with their parents in their 20s and 30s and remaining financially dependent.

TikToker Kierstan Nicole is 29 years old and living at home. In a recent post, Nicole said she is working hard to "stay in [her] own lane" and watch how her "timing unfolds" rather than comparing herself to where she thinks she is supposed to be in life.

"The economy sucks, and we are in a cost of living crisis, so all judgment needs to exit stage left," she said.

While Nicole admits that she would love a place to call her own, the reality for her is that living at home is "smart," "comforting," and a "blessing" that she will continue to utilize as long as it serves her.

"When you really think about it, we are still toddler adults, like I don't know what the h--- I'm doing out here, and times are different, the market is different, groceries are different, but somehow salaries are still the same they were 20 years ago."

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But only some are content to remain in the house they grew up in.

"Living at home is like literally the most frustrating thing in the world," TikTok creator Sabeen said through tears. "And like, I feel so ungrateful for like the way that I'm feeling because I know that I'm lucky that at least, like, I have a home to go to after I left my job."

Sabeen said that living at home, on some level, makes her feel a sense of "lost identity," lost independence and a lack of privacy.

She also admitted feeling that her childhood town had changed. People that she used to grab coffee with are moving out and on with their lives. Furthermore, dating, Sabeen believes, is out of the question given the inability to bring someone back to her own space.

As economic conditions remain uncertain in 2024, one Credit Karma survey found that 59% of millennials and 48% of Gen Zers feel behind on their financial goals.

As part of her work as a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, Mitchell Clionsky frequently encounters parents in their 60s and 70s whose adult children are still at home.

Often, he said, these kids fall into two distinct categories: "failures to launch" and "revolving door children."

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In the former, parents need their children to remain home to "triangulate" their marital relationship. Sometimes, these parents (usually the mom) are so "enmeshed" with their children that they cannot imagine having them at any distance.

The latter usually encompasses adults who "launch" and then fall and return home in a "rinse and repeat" process.

"These children often have substance abuse, failed marriages or relationships (sometimes with young children), or legal problems. They do not sustain jobs or financial independence and are basically failing at adulthood. Mom and Dad take them back because they cannot stand to see them fail," Clionsky told Fox News Digital. 

The first step to remedying this scenario, he said, is to make sure both parents are on the same page when it comes to figuring out a way to ensure their child's success. All too often, Mom and Dad cannot find common ground, so little changes. The parents hope their child will get a car or job or build up savings but are unable to make demands because they cannot agree among themselves.

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Clionsky recommends that parents set a semi-distant date for leaving the nest, move up the date if the child does not respond to advice and put the young adult's money aside, so they have a deposit to launch themselves. He also recommends that children pay rent.

"[Paying rent] is often lacking because the parents rationalize that they do not need the money or that their child is having a hard enough time without having that additional financial obligation," he added. "But this is a major mistake because it allows the child to avoid finding a job that will support them when they are living independently and the failure of the child to find work becomes the reason that they must remain."

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