Record Numbers Of College Grads Are Living At Home, But How Long Should They Stay?

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s the thick of college graduation season, and many graduates — whether employed or not — are making the choice to move back home.

As CBS2’s Emily Smith reported, a Pew research study found the largest percentage of 18 to 34-year-olds are living at home, rather than on their own or with others.

Alexa Rubinich graduated from college in 2015, and moved back home with a business degree and a full-time accounting job.

She sleeps in her childhood bedroom every night.

“We don’t have anything set in stone like on a weeknight you have to be home by 11 p.m., like you have to be home. Sometimes I am working until 11 p.m.,” she said.

Her mom Laura loves having her daughter close by, but said she’d like her to have a plan to be out on her own.

“In the long run it’s costing us money. We can’t even claim her on our taxes as a deduction, nothing. They don’t pay rent,” Laura said.

Parenting expert Erika Katz has some advice for anyone with college graduates living at home.

“I think the biggest mistake parents make is doing their laundry, cooking, and making it super comfy,” she said.

So should graduates be paying their own student loans?

“I think student loans are up to the parent and the adult children,” Katz said.

And what about sleepovers with their significant other?

“If they’ve been dating a long time, that’s up to the parent, but if it’s different people, that’s not okay in my house,” she said.

Experts said if you allow your grad to come back, consider asking them to pay rent, and then unbeknownst to them, put it in a fund and give it to them when they buy their first house.

“It’s an idea. I think it sounds great on paper, but when you put it in practice and do that,” Charles Johnston said.

Johnston said he and his wife did everything for their graduate when he moved back home for a year.

“We are suckers. my wife would do most of the work,” he said.

As for Rubinich.

“I do have intentions in the very near future of moving out with a roommate or something, but I kinda knew I wanted to live at home for a year or two,” she said.

In a world where rent is often sky-high and jobs don’t pay that much, a growing number of families are finding themselves with a full nest after an empty one for four years.

“I think the child has to take care of themself. You have to grow up sometime,” one parent offered.

Katz suggested setting a timeline from the beginning as a motivator for the graduate to get a job that pays a livable wage.

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