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Experts: Communication Key As 'Boomerang Kids' Return Home After College

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For the first time on record, living with parents is now the most common arrangement for people ages 18 to 34. For the first time on record, living with parents is now the most common arrangement for people ages 18 to 34.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

For the first time on record, living with parents is now the most common arrangement for people ages 18 to 34. The Pew Research Center says nearly one-third of millennials live with their parents.

News 9 looked into what works and what won't for households dealing with the "boomerang generation."

Jordan Buie just graduated from Oral Roberts University and is moving back home with her parents, but it's all by design, giving Buie a chance to save money.

"I'm very appreciative to be able to stay, still have the community that I'm a part of, but also have the opportunity to work and save money," she said.

"I see her coming back home as an opportunity to become financially prepared for life," Jordan Buie's father Mike said.

Mike and Pam Buie hope while their daughter is home, she'll be able to save 50 percent of what she makes.

"You'll never have an opportunity to save this much of your paycheck," Mike Buie said.

They think the arrangement will be for about a year, but it will depend on how much she earns and how much she saves. Buie will still have to follow house rules, like cleaning the upstairs since she's the one living on that floor, and communicate with her folks if she plans to stay out late.

"It's key that you talk to each other and understand, have that person interact with you, like, 'this is what I'm saying, do you understand why I'm saying this?'" Pam Buie said.

The Buies are doing things the right way. But what if it's something parents don't want? It's a frequent topic on Dave Ramsey's radio show.

"What throws kids off as they're entering adulthood, the failure to launch issue, is if you haven't been clear," he said.

Experts say communication is key. Parents need to outline their expectations. Will a child do housework, contribute to groceries or bills, or pay rent? Have a date for how long you expect the arrangement to last, and put the arrangement in writing to make sure both the child and the parents are on the same page.

"You make it progressively painful for them to live there," Ramsey said.

In other words, Ramsey said don't let them sleep in every day and eat your food without any responsibilities or they'll get into a comfortable rut and could lose motivation to leave and be independent again.

"I think to be unclear is to be unkind, because you're getting progressively frustrated with this kid that won't leave. They won't fly the nest. And the kid doesn't have any idea," said Ramsey.

The goal for Jordan Buie is to save enough to put down on a reliable car, be able to get into an apartment, and also have an emergency fund of three months' salary in the bank.

"To be 22 or 23 and you're in a new car, and you can start out life with good furniture and three months' salary in the bank, that's, that's huge," Mike Buie said.

"Right now, I'm just trying to look for a job, and once that happens, my goal is to work and save as much money as I can," Jordan Buie said.

Experts say it's also a good idea to revisit the plan every few months. They say you should go into the arrangement with clear expectations, a reasonable end date, and, most of all, plenty of patience.

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