Escaping the Boomerang Life

If tough times have forced you to fly back to your parents' nest, take heart. B.W. shows you how you can fly back out�for good.

adult children back into their homes for financial reasons, compared with 13% of all U.S. parents who are taking in their adult children. “What you’re seeing here is the impact of the recession and the fragile state of black workers across the board,” says Algernon Austin, director of the program on race, ethnicity, and the economy at the Economic Policy Institute.

What’s driving these adults back into the arms, or rooms, of their parents? High unemployment, growing foreclosure rates, and young parents who need to take on multiple jobs while needing childcare are among the top reasons, says Manisha Thakor, a chartered financial analyst and co-author of Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey (Adams Media; $12.95). “Prior to the recession, moving back in with a relative typically involved one person. Now, whole families are moving back in, especially because of high foreclosure rates,” says Thakor.

Making Ends Meet
The Strouds weren’t facing foreclosure, but they were saddled with a mortgage that was more than their house was worth. So they seized the opportunity when a recruiter for the U.S. Navy responded to a rental ad they had posted online. She contacted the Strouds about renting their home for three years for about $2,400 a month, providing a small profit off their $1,845 monthly mortgage payment. In four weeks’ time, the family sold nearly everything that was in their four-bedroom, three-bath home in Country Club Hills, Illinois, and settled into smaller quarters at Denise’s home. When the tenant’s three years are up, the Strouds intend to rent out their home again. They don’t want to sell, because the house, which they bought in April 2005 for $214,000, is now worth only $150,000 and they don’t want to lose their $70,000 down payment. They’d like to hold onto it until it goes back up in value.

“It’s not easy,” says Tondalah. “We’re in a room and that’s pretty much where we stay. We’d like to have company and are used to socializing and having other couples over. Our social life has come somewhat to a halt.”

The Strouds’ living situation isn’t one that most adults would want for very long. Boomerangers need to adjust their lifestyle to their needs in order to meet their financial goals and leave the nest for good, says John C. Anderson, certified financial planner and president of In Sight Financial Management, and financial consultant with AXA Advisors. “Avoid unnecessary spending,” he advises. “Instead, focus on the staples.”

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  • http://www.adultchildrenlivingathome.com Christina

    There are some really great tips here. I think the most important one for adult children is “Don’t expect to live like your parents right out of school,” and the most important for parents is “Don’t dip into your retirement account.” Nice piece!

  • Lyle

    This story is the truth. This was me last year. My parents had my back and helped me get my stuff back on track. Thanks Black Enterprise.

  • april.fresh@theboomeranger.com

    We are ‘Boomerangers’ as well, but I was a stay at home mother of two when my husband was laid off in Feb. 2009.    Two months ago we had our 3rd child and we are still at my in-laws.  It is a very challenging situation, esp. since our health insurance ends on June 15th and our unemployment ends in two weeks.  I am not exactly sure what we will do, but know that everything will work itself out.  Both of us are currently looking for work, but we also realize that it’s not that easy.  We are hopeful that one of our entrepreneurial ventures will start bearing some fruit.  As I mentioned before, it’s challenging, but I’ve always loved challenges…….this has to be THE MOST challenging of all!  I can’t to see what ‘greatness’ comes out of this boomeranger chapter of our lives.  I started a blog on my boomeranger experience.   Please check it out @ http://www.theboomeranger.com and join us on facebook and twitter.