*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Moneyish.
Forty percent of millennials in America say that living within walking distance of their parents or in-law’s is either “extremely or very important” to them, according to new research from the PulteGroup Home Index. So now, they’re moving back.
South Florida real estate agent Brian Bahn, 32, is one of them. Bahn moved back to the city of Boca Raton, the suburban paradise where he grew up, after graduating from the University of Florida. He now lives within five miles of both his and his wife’s parents.
“I really think the cost of living has gone up so much, and for me in particular, it’s the cost of childcare,” Bahn, the father of a ten-month old girl, says. “It’s made it much easier to build wealth and maintain our standard of living having our parents so close by.”
After his and his wife’s long workdays, “it’s a lot easier having my retired mom cook dinner for us than trying to get everything together ourselves,” he says. His family now spends “at least four nights a week” with either set of parents.
Although this new research focuses on millennials moving closer to their parents (not back in with them), this trend often occurs in suburban areas, where costs of living may be lower than in big cities. Millennials, on the other hand, are often drawn to urban lifestyles, which can take a more significant bite out of any budget.
The question of jobs may also play into the desire to live closer to family. Previous research, like a study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, has shown that proximity to parents can help laid-off employees bounce back financially.
[Living] near home, or with your parents, offers a kind of insurance in case you’re laid off,” wrote financial reporter Taylor Tepper in an article for Money.com earlier this year. “[Research] shows that parents can enlist their social network to help their progeny find new work, and might also motivate and encourage their kids to apply for another position that they may not have otherwise sought.”
And still, experts point to other explanations, too. Boca Raton realtor Lisa Hindin of LANG Realty, a mother of two millennial-aged boys, believes that changes in parenting could play a role.
“Millennials today rely on their parents for more,” Hindin says. “They take pride in family values … and are closer knit. Especially where you see both [millennial] parents working, they really rely on their parents for childcare and support.”
“It’s about security,” Hindin adds. “It’s emotional and financial security, a safety net they really want.”