Moving Home Because of a Broken Heart? You’re Not Alone!

We’ve already heard about folks who’ve moved for love.

But, what about the ones who’ve moved back for love? (Or, to be more precise, the lack of it?)

We surveyed nearly 1,100 members of the so-called “Boomerang Generation” and their parents, and were surprised to discover that romantic breakups outpace joblessness as the number one reason for “boomeranging.”

Here’s what else we found:

  • For these Boomerang-ers, love gone wrong is the primary reason for cohabiting with Mom and Dad, beating out all other considerations by as many as 14 points:
    • 33% of 26-30-year-olds
    • 37% of 31-35-year-olds
    • 24% of 36-40-year-olds
  • Saving money for a home purchase or other major investment is the #1 motivation cited by 20-25-year-old Boomerang-ers, while the need to care for aging parents tops the list for those 41 and older.
  • Joblessness and debt rank just #3 and #4 overall as reasons to move home, even among 20-25-year-olds. Just 18% of Boomerang-ers in that age group return home from lack of employment and other debt.

We also got intriguing insights into Boomerang-ers’ ages, living quarters, sources of conflict, financial arrangements, and overall rapport with their parental roommates:

  • 16% of Boomerang-ers are 31 and older, with roughly half of this group returning home after living elsewhere for 11 years or more.

  • 45% live in their childhood bedrooms, with the rest having been displaced either by choice or space limitations. 26% live in a guest bedroom, 12% in the basement, 5% in a guest house, 4% in the living room and 2% in the garage.

  • Privacy and noise issues cause the most friction, followed by space constraints, clashes over money, and political disagreements. General tension is also common, with more than one-third reporting “good days and bad days,” constant conflict, or difficult relationships dating back to childhood.
  • 25% pay rent to their parents when they move back home, as reported by both parents and children. Surprisingly, this is roughly the same across all age groups.

Interestingly enough, the two sides disagree about other aspects of the financial arrangement, suggesting that either parents exaggerate their support or children minimize it. For example:

  • 12% of parents claim they cover all of their child’s expenses, but only 5% of Boomerang-ers themselves say their parents foot the entire bill.
  • 45% of children say each side pays its own bills, but only 35% of parents make that same claim.

Are you about to become a Boomeranger? If so, there’s a silver lining: most parents are supportive of the move. 77% of parents place no time limit on the arrangement, and only 13% of parents discourage their adult children from moving back home. Most also report a relatively smooth relationship, with 58% of parents and 68% of children saying they get along well or “hardly know they’re there.” 

Do you have a Boomerang story of your own? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!


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