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Rising Housing Prices Force Adult Kids Back Home; Thrivent Study Finds

The so-called Boomerang Kid trend keeps growing, now with significant long-term financial consequences for them and their parents.
Apr 30, 2024

MINNEAPOLIS, April 30, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Now in its third year, Thrivent's 2024 Boomerang Kids Survey reveals nearly half the parents surveyed (46%) have had their adult children "boomerang" back home to live with them at some point. Fifty percent of them blame the rising cost of rent and housing. That's a big jump from just 35% who said the same last year.

"This is a wakeup call that's gone unanswered," says Chaz Black, Thrivent financial advisor. "More young adults returning home underscores the enormous – and growing – financial pressures they're facing after graduation. The ripple effect it has on them and their parents is a problem we can't afford to ignore."

Other data shows the breadth of consequences – from delaying milestones to jeopardizing their financial futures:

  • Drowning in debt: Many young adults are delaying financial priorities because of student loan debt, like buying a home (39%), saving for retirement (34%) or building emergency savings (36%). Additionally, 28% of young adults with student loans say they're currently living paycheck to paycheck, and only 22% say their first job helped them pay down their debt.
  • Parents feel the pinch: With adult children living at home, parents deprioritize their own financial needs. For example, 38% say they are struggling to pay off debt (up from 23% from last year) and 37% find it harder to save for long-term goals like retirement or housing, a considerable jump from 16% last year.
  • Not making the grade: Among parents who have an adult child currently living with them, more than half don't feel confident their child is ready to be financially independent: 55% would give their kid a C grade or lower on financial readiness and 11% would give an F.
  • One solution could be more education before taking on debt. An overwhelming majority of both parents and young adults surveyed (83%) believe high schools should teach a mandatory 'financial aid 101' course.

Thrivent's survey data points to the importance of having a financial plan. Without one, it's hard for parents to know how much they can afford to help their child. A financial advisor can help parents create a plan that looks at everything they earn and spend. This way, they can see how helping their child now might affect their ability to save for things like retirement or healthcare in the future.

Here are additional tips from Thrivent to help parents navigate the situation and get on track financially:

  1. Set clear rules and stick to them – Parents should make sure their child knows the limits to their support. They can do this by having an honest conversation and developing a written plan that covers: 1) how long they'll provide financial support, 2) what the money should be used for, 3) who pays for what, and 4) how their child will prove they're making progress financially.
  2. Teach good money habits – While their child is at home, parents can teach them how to budget and manage money wisely, set achievable financial goals, build an emergency savings fund and borrow money responsibly. These evergreen financial lessons can set the stage for long-term independence.
  3. Be a role model – Leading by example is a powerful way for parents to teach their children about managing money. Parents should involve their children in financial planning conversations and explain the 'why' behind their decisions. This will help their kids do the same once they start handling their own finances.

Survey Methodology
This poll was conducted in April 2024 among a national sample of 2,201 Adults. The aim of this research was to track consumers' sentiment and experiences with student loans and, for those who are 40-65 years old with children 18-35, understanding if and how having their adult children move back home and/or needing financial assistance impacted them. The interviews were conducted online and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of Adults in the United States based on gender, education, age, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

About Thrivent
Thrivent is a diversified financial services organization that helps people achieve financial clarity, enabling lives full of meaning and gratitude. Thrivent and its subsidiary and affiliate companies serve more than 2.3 million clients, offering advice, insurance, investments, banking and generosity products and programs online and through financial advisors and independent agents nationwide. Thrivent is a Fortune 500 company with $179 billion in assets under management/advisement (as of 12/31/23). Thrivent carries ratings from independent rating agencies which demonstrate the strength and stability of the organization, including an A++ rating from AM Best; an Aa2 rating from Moody's Investors Service; and an AA+ rating from S&P Global Ratings. Ratings are based on Thrivent's financial strength and claims-paying ability, but do not apply to investment product performance. For information on these ratings, visit the rating agency's website. Dividends are not guaranteed. For more information about Thrivent, visit Thrivent.com or find us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Insurance products, securities and investment advisory services are provided by appropriately appointed and licensed financial advisors and professionals. Only individuals who are financial advisors are credentialed to provide investment advisory services. Visit Thrivent.com or FINRA's BrokerCheck for more information about Thrivent's financial advisors. 

About Morning Consult
Morning Consult is a global decision intelligence company changing how modern leaders make smarter, faster, better decisions. The company pairs its proprietary high-frequency data with applied artificial intelligence to better inform decisions on what people think and how they will act. For more information, please visit morningconsult.com. 

SOURCE Thrivent

For further information: To dive deeper and hear more about ways Boomerang Kids and their parents can better prepare before it's too late, email: mediarelations@thrivent.com to setup an interview or ask questions.
Media contacts

Submit a request for more information, an interview, or fact check by e-mailing mediarelations@thrivent.com.

  • Justin Herndon
  • Director, PR & Enterprise Reputation
  • 813-995-3847
  • Justin.Herndon@Thrivent.com
  • Samantha Mehrotra
  • Senior Manager, Public Relations
  • 612-327-6461
  • Samantha.Mehrotra@Thrivent.com
  • Liz Erickson
  • Public Relations Strategist
  • 651-757-7401
  • Liz.Erickson@Thrivent.com
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