Is it important for adult children to move out of their parents' house?
- A July 2020 Pew Research Center report revealed that 52% of young adults (18- to 29-year-olds) in America live with either one or both of their parents.
- The average rent for a twentysomething in the US in 2020 was $1500 per month, with an additional $400 spent on monthly utilities.
- According to a 2019 Statista report about when young Europeans generally tend to leave their parents’ home, the country of Montenegro had the oldest average age of 32.8 years.
- Empty nest syndrome is an affliction that the Mayo Clinic defines as “a phenomenon in which parents experience feelings of sadness and loss when the last child leaves home.”
In several traditional areas of life, younger generations are altering how adulthood is viewed and how families function. One of these areas includes housing and whether or not adult children should be moving out of their parents’ house. The short answer is that, yes, at some point, adult children should be leaving their parents’ home, but it is not a critical feat to achieve, especially considering the odds working against them.
Today’s young adults face more financial hardship at their age than their parents did, including bearing the majority of the $1.3 trillion student loan debt and sometimes earning lower wages than their parents did in their twenties.
Living at home allows young adults the opportunity to explore their interests without having to rely on a full-time job to pay rent and other bills. It allows them the freedom not to be tied to a dead-end job that pays the rent but also makes them unhappy. However, for young adults working many hours, living at home enables them to earn and save money, especially in times of financial hardship. By staying home to save, young adults can ensure they put their best foot forward when they inevitably look for a place of their own. Additionally, young adults can continue their education when they’re living with their parents, without the worry of juggling work and school.
Finally, in many cultures outside of the US, it is customary for young adults to live with their parents long after graduating high school, affording them time to find a spouse and job before leaving the nest. More young adults should follow this example here in the US.
One primary job of any parent is to provide life tools to their child as they grow up. While everyone matures at their own pace, most children, with proper parenting, are well-equipped with independence by the time they are in early adulthood. Healthy parents should want their children to use those tools and gain experience with them on their own.
For the adult child, moving out of their parent's home forces them to practice financial accountability. At the very least, it sheds light on a person's spending habits and patterns. Even an adult who pays expenses at home will not experience the responsibility they would when it's their name on the bills. This is something one only learns on their own.
Furthermore, living on one's own is a keystone confidence-builder in adult life because it assumes that adults have their own space and lifestyle. This self-esteem and independence boost is more than a matter of principle in the stages of life. It's also essential for maintaining mental health as an adult.
Separate living benefits the parents, too, who have been hard at work caring for the child since they were born. Adult children moving out can improve everyone's lives in the family since parents may want a break. They're getting ready for a new chapter in their life, too. Additionally, many parent-child relationships heal, become richer, or transform overall after the child has moved out.
Our twenties are some of the most formative years of our lives, and often, it's an adult's healthiest decade. Using those years to gain a head-start in independently pursuing aspirations makes for healthier adult lives.