datinglivinghomeAs difficult as it may be, we try our best as parents to teach our children to be self-sufficient and ambitious. We want them to be ready to face the world when they finally spread their wings.

But despite the life and academic lessons our children may have learned, high student debt and unemployment rates can force them to stay in the nest longer than expected.

A recent study conducted by the Pew Research Center shows that the percentage of young adults living at home with their parents last year reached its highest level in the past four decades. According to the study, a record 21.6 million 18-to 31-year-olds lived in their parents’ home in 2012. That 36 percent was four percentage points higher than before the start of the recession in 2007.

Long Island is no exception to this national trend. With high unemployment rates, high student debt, and a lack of affordable housing, it’s no wonder why these young adults are forced to live with mom and dad.

Although most parents would be happy to help their adult children, there is a cost to this help. Additional members of the household add to current expenses and may ultimately delay retirement. Many of these parents are members of the “Sandwich Generation,” and have the onerous task of caring for their aging parents while supporting their own children. Many did not think it would be this hard.

It can be a frustrating situation for both the young adults who want to spread their wings and the parents who want to see them fly. But unless the employment rate increases and affordable housing is available, young adults across the country will be forced to live with their parents longer than they expected.

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