Should a 30-Year-Old Live with Parents

Millennials have been moving in with their parents for a while. Thirty-year-olds fall right in the middle of the millennial age bracket. But should 30-year-olds be making their way back to their parents’ home?

In theory, a 30-year-old should not be living with their parents. They are at an age when they should be financially independent. A career path should be established that builds seniority. And plans for homeownership should be in the works.

Many 30-year-olds do live with their parents. They are either victims of the economy or victims of the lifestyle they chose. We’ll discuss why there’s a trend for 30-year-olds to live with their parents and what can be done to change this.

30-Year-Olds Do Live with Their Parents

The question really isn’t “should a 30-year-old live with their parents” the question is “does a 30-year-old live with their parents” Because the answer to the second question is yes. They are living with their parents. It’s no longer unusual—it’s the norm.

As of 2021, 52 percent of millennials have moved back in with their parents.  A millennial is the age bracket of 18-39. A 30-year-old is right in the middle of that group. It has become common and there is no shame in it.

The pandemic heavily influenced the trek back to mom and dad. But this phenomenon has been gradually increasing for a while. And 30-year-olds have been the center of it.

30-Year-Olds Have Been Moving Back for a While

Adult children moving back into their home has been trending upward for years. But exactly how old are these adults.

In 2011 Dr. Michael Steketee, senior study director of Westat, studied those adult children who moved in with their parents.  He found the median age for adult children living with their parents was 31 (close enough for our discussion). Below is a chart with details and a comparison of millennial women and men who live with their parents.

AGENMedian AgeWomen %Men %

The most impressive number in the survey is the men. Most of the adult children living at home were men. This, however, was a small group studied. Let’s look at all U.S. millennials today.

Pre and Post Pandemic Migration to Parents’ Home

Although this trend has been going on for a while, it exploded in 2020, due to the pandemic, which caused more 30-year-old millennials to moved home.  Fifty two percent of young adults now live with their parents. This is the highest it has been since the 1940s.  

It’s mostly men who are moving home. According to Statista, male millennials are around 7 percent more likely to live with their parents than female millennials. And the average age is, you guessed it, 30.

Reasons 30-Year-Olds are Moving Back Home

Say what you want, but 30-year-olds are right in the middle of a generation that tends to get a bad rap. Millennials are considered entitled and spoiled. And though most of them did grow up during an affluent time for their parents, they are not as bad as they are made out to be.

The reasons they are moving in with their parents is both complex and simple. Some of these reasons include:

  • Lack of savings
  • Loss of jobs
  • Student loan debt
  • Housing costs
  • Low salaries
  • Breakups
  • Lifestyle

Too Young to Have Built Up Reserves

Those 30-year-olds have just escaped from their 20s. That decade was a time of finishing school and trying to find out what goals to work on. Most people who go to college don’t even graduate until they’re 23. Half their 20s are almost gone. There’s not enough time, even for the most frugal, to build up a savings account—or is it?

Although those closer to 40 are doing better, there’s many years between 30 and 40. According to a Forbes article 1 in 6 millennials have saved $100,000. But what about the other 5? There’s just no time to build up a savings at 30.  Most are just trying to stay afloat. And when a financial crisis hits, there’s no padding

A Job Loss Hits Hard

Most 30-year-olds spent their 20s moving from one job to another. They were job hoppers. Go on LinkedIn and look at a young adult’s job history. You’ll see 1 year at a job, then 6 months at a job, then maybe another year, and so on. But why do they hop like that?

Most young people graduated from college and are now looking for the silver bullet. They change jobs for advancement or more money. And in a strong economy that’s all well and good. But when a crisis hits, like a recession or pandemic, the employee with the least seniority loses. They’re the first to be let go. Layoffs have severely impacted 30-year-olds and all millennials. Because they didn’t have any long-term loyalty to an employer, they were out when the going got tough.

Debt Due to Student Loans Hampers 30-Year-Olds

The average student loan borrower owes $32,731. That’s significant. And when you consider that’s just the average, you can guess many adults owe a lot more than that.

So starting out, forget rent, food, and miscellaneous other expense. You’re already overwhelmed with debt. You must pay the loan, but you have to live too. That’s where mom and dad come in.

Inflated Housing Costs Deter Ownership and Renting

You would think a 30-year-old would have their own house, yard, and mortgage by now. But in reality, this is the renting generation. They don’t buy. And that’s mainly because young adults can’t afford it.

According to the National Association of Realtors, in 2020, there were a declining number of available homes. In other words, it became a sellers’ market. As of June 2020, the average home in the U.S. was $295,300. The highest price state was Hawaii at $646,733. The lowest cost was West Virginia, with a cost of $107,064.

A 30-year-old probably can’t afford to buy. But what is rent like? Unfortunately, that’s not much better. As of February 2020, it will cost you an average of $1,468 per month to rent an apartment in the U.S. That’s almost a mortgage in some states.

Low Salaries Create Economic Woes for 30-Year-Olds

The average 30-year-old is making $49,813. Sound like a lot? It’s not. Right off the bat, you’re giving 22 percent of that income to Uncle Sam. That’s over $10,000 off the top. Then you have your state taxes. You also may have:

  • Car payment
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Medical insurance
  • Car insurance
  • Student loans
  • And more

There’s not a lot left over, if any, to save. And forget doing anything fun. Many 30-year-olds move back to their parents’ house to try and save for that house. Or they may need a respite to pay off debt. It helps make a paycheck go a little further.

A Breakup Makes it Hard

A relationship that comes to an end is heart breaking in many ways. There’s the emotional turmoil, but there’s also the financial. It usually takes two salaries to make it. When one disappears, it can be hard to maintain a house or apartment.

Thirty is the average age for a couple divorcing. That sends a lot of newly single people, especially men, back to their parents’ home.

30-Year-Olds’ Lifestyle Comes Home to Roost

Having discussed the trials and tribulations of being a 30-year-old millennial, let’s look at the flip side. It’s not all about being a victim to the economy and student loans. Many of these young adults grew up with smart phones and laptops. They had a car and a bedroom with an ensuite. The economy was booming, and mom and dad wanted them to have everything. They thought the party wouldn’t end.

When they hit their 20s, some wanted the newest phone and dinners out every night. Well, it’s grown-up time, and they can’t have everything—yet. There’s no Aladdin’s lamp. It’s smart for a 30-year-old to get a job that allows them to work their way up in that company. Put the energy into one career. Build equity. In fact, build equity in everything—relationships, saving accounts, life.

Young Adults Aren’t Lazy, They Do Work

Seventy-nine percent of millennials are employed. With 65 percent working full time. This is not a lazy generation.

That 30-year-old has probably been employed throughout their 20s. It’s where they’re employed that’s tough. Many 30-year-olds, including quite a few other millennials, work in the hospitality and culinary arts industry. These are not high paying jobs. And they were the first to go when the pandemic hit.

They also tend to hold entry-level positions. Entry-level positions also disappear during an economic downturn. Many young adults held this type of position in advertising and other similar industries. Those industries were hard hit. This adversely affected young adults. A 30-year-old may have clawed her way out of entry-level, but very little seniority was achieved because of the job hopping.

30-Year-Olds Live at Home, So What?

A 30-year-old is part of a generation like no other. They grew up with technology and the internet. Through this, they have touched the world. Their baby boomer parents can’t say that.

Thirty-year-olds have their challenges and shortcomings. But they’re ok, living at home. It gives them a chance to reconnect with their family, and it gives them stability.

Around the world, 30-year-olds have been living at home for centuries. It’s not a big deal.

Anne Johnson

Anne is both a writer and a Nana. She attended University of Akron and went on to have a career in television sales. She now writes and promotes the multigenerational lifestyle. Currently she resides in South Carolina with her husband, two cats, a horse and fabulous grands.

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