Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner. And Breakfast. And Lunch.

Dear Mr. Dad: I have a 20-year-old son who has been living on his own for several years. But he’s hit a few rough patches lately, and now wants to move back home. My wife and I want to do the right thing and help him, but we’re afraid that letting him move back in with us could turn out to be the wrong thing in the end—for everyone. Is it wrong of us to want our son to stay on his own?

A: Well, first of all, congratulations. You raised your son right: he went to school, got a job, and started making a life for himself. So it’s only natural that you’d assumed that you and your wife would have your house to yourselves. But times are much, much different than when you were your son’s age. According to a recent survey by Payscale.com, only 4 percent of Baby Boomers were living at home after having started their careers. Eleven percent of Gen X (those born between 1961 and 1981) got their first jobs but kept living (or moved back in with) ma and pa. And 28 percent of Gen Y (those born after 1982) are still under their parents’ roof. It’s no wonder that your son’s generation is sometimes called the Boomerang Generation.
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A Not-So-Extreme Guide to Saving More

[amazon asin=080072206X&template=thumbleft&chan=default]Kasey Knight Trenum, author of Couponing for the Rest of Us.
Topic
: A not-so-extreme guide to saving more.
Issues: Where to find coupons for what your family eats; how to reinvent your shopping strategy, how to make grocery shopping less stressful–and even fun.

You’re living where? Really?

Okay, I admit it. I moved back in with my parents after college, just until I got settled. And then, years later, after my divorce, I moved back in again. But I didn’t stay long—mostly because it seemed horribly embarrassing to be living with my parents. Plus, it definitely made dating kind of tough. I mean how many times can you get away with, “Oh, can’t go to my place because, ah, they’re painting and the place needs to air out.”
Well apparently, the days of feeling embarrassed about being an adult and living with ma and pa are gone. The Pew Research Center just did a survey of over 2,000 adults across the country and they found that the number of young adults living at home is at the highest level since the 1950s. In 2010, for example, nearly 22 percent of adults 25-34 were had moved back home. The report, “The Boomerang Generation,” also found that:

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Home, Sweet–But Smaller–Home

Dear Mr. Dad: Because of the current economic situation, my wife and I have decided to sell our home and downsize to a smaller, more affordable one. We’re both comfortable with this decision, but we want to be sure that when we talk to our children (3rd and 5th graders), we don’t panic them. Depending on where we move, the kids may need to change schools. Any suggestions?

A: The fact that you and your wife have thought through your decision and are on the same page puts you way ahead of other families who are in similar situations.

For you, the first step is to sit down and talk with them in a way they can understand. Unless they’ve spent the past year on another planet, they’ve probably heard about the recession and may have even talked about it at school. But you’ll need to find out how much of what they’ve heard actually sank in. The problem is that they may understand just enough to be scared, so it’s important that you reassure them that despite the current state of the economy, they and your family will be OK.
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The Economy As Birth Control?

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I are in our late thirties. We have a 4-year old daughter and would love to have a second child. But with the financial crisis, we’re having trouble keeping our heads above water and feel that we’re in no position to bring another child into the world. We are both heartbroken about it because we come from large families, and we certainly didn’t want our daughter to be an only child. How do we make sure she turns out ok?

A: Since plenty of couples have kids well into their forties, being in your late thirties shouldn’t be a deciding factor. However, the tough economy is forcing all of us to reorder our priorities and reconsider a lot of big decisions. And having a second child certainly qualifies. If you’re struggling to pay your bills now, imagine how much more difficult it would be to provide for an additional member of your family. (If only that mother with the octuplets would have been thinking as clearly as you are.)
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