Boomerang “Kid” Econ 101

David writes!

We have made our opinion on boomerang “kids” pretty clear here at

We personally feel it is best for our offspring (and us!) to move onward and upward with our lives. Cultivating an adult-to-adult relationship would be extremely difficult if we were still living on top of each other in the old family home. Those conditions would only work to continue a parent-child relationship.

So we were pleased to find this article in Bloomberg Businessweek entitled “Kids Moving Out Are a Boon to the Economy” (Steve Matthews). It adds yet another reason to give those chicks a nudge out of the nest… it’s good for the economy.

“About 20 million adult children in the U.S. live with their parents, and most are eager to move, says Peter Francese, a demographic analyst for advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather.”

Shelby Webb was one of those twenty million until a few months ago, when she rented her first apartment after landing a job translating ads for a Spanish-language newspaper in Chattanooga.

“‘I love my parents, but I didn’t want to live with them anymore,’ says Webb, 22.”

By moving out, Shelby is doing more than making the move into a full adult life and allowing her parents to move on to the next phase of theirs, she is stimulating consumer spending. If more boomerang “kids” do this it could have a big impact on our economic recovery, because consumer spending accounts for some seventy percent of the American economy:

“When people move into a new home, they tend to spend. A typical new renter spends $600 to $1,900 on furniture, appliances, and other stuff related to setting up housekeeping in the first six months, says C. Britt Beemer, chairman of America’s Research Group in Charleston, S.C.”

So how big could this impact be? Well, quite large according to UBS Securities:

“This year, nearly 1 million new households will be created, UBS predicts, up from the 357,000 in the year ended March 2010.”

The article goes on to point out that increased consumer buying may not be the only positive effect on the economy. Those new households will not only stimulate spending, but could even breath some new life into the struggling housing industry.

“New households will help increase housing starts to about 648,000 this year and to nearly 900,000 in 2012, vs. 586,800 last year, estimates researcher Metrostudy.”

This alone should be enough incentive to start nudging those chicks out of the would-be empty nest. But it’s not just the economy that could feel the effects of un-boomeranging.

Self esteem could get a significant boost too, since…

“‘Most guys who live at home beyond some young age walk around with a great big ‘L’ [for “loser”] on their forehead,’ Francese says.”

We wouldn’t wish that on anybody. Good thing there’s an cure… that could also help pull us out of the recession.

A win-win situation, we think.


YOUR turn: What do you think is the best reason to get those boomerang “kids” out into the world?

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6 thoughts on “Boomerang “Kid” Econ 101”

  1. “Cultivating an adult-to-adult relationship would be extremely difficult if we were still living on top of each other in the old family home”

    That, I disagree with. Both my sister (a mother now) and I live in our original home, as adults either working outside or in the home, or else looking for work and training for it. I know of other families who do the same; if they have a big enough home for some of the “kids” to stay, particularly daughters whom they don’t want to live alone, said offspring often have a home-run business.

    1. Thanks for your comment. Every situation is different, we would never think that everyone should do things just like we do, but in general we still think letting kids live at home after they are adults stiffles growth.

      1. Yes, after making that comment I recalled the context of your guys’ general discussion on this: most kids you describe who live at home are not, in fact, working or living like adults (certainly not the sort most of these articles describe) so I do agree with your overall views.

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