The ‘Boomerang’ Kids: Ready to Re-launch?

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One of the most profound aspects of the struggling U.S. economy over the last four years has been the mass migration of younger members of the workforce back into their parents’ homes and basements.

They’re called “boomerang kids”—having moved out to start their professional and adult lives, many lost jobs, hours, and opportunities, and were forced to un-declare their independence by returning home, hat-in-hand, to re-group.

Their sheer numbers are pretty staggering: a Pew survey showed, in the year 2000, 15.8 percent of Americans age 25 to 34 lived in multi-generational households—most with their parents. But in 2010, that number had ballooned to 21.6 percent, more than one in five. (And those numbers don’t reflect folks under age 25 who experienced the same.)

No doubt, many found it dispiriting, even humiliating. But a new Wall Street Journal article suggests the big move back home—while not what they had in mind—is paying off.

With many paying low (or no) rent, and others chipping-in whatever they can to defray household expenses, that extra money is going to pay down outstanding bills and resupply once-flagging savings accounts. Young folks who may have gotten into some charge card trouble in the recent past are repairing their damaged credit reports and scores, and others have saved up enough to start house-hunting in this buyer’s market.

The logjam of once-frustrated young workers and recent graduates is making the best of things. Despite a still-anemic economic picture, they’re actually pretty bullish about their current position and prospects for making a personal finance comeback. How bullish are they?

According to Pew Research, 77 percent of boomerang-ers reported being upbeat about their future finances and 78 percent say they’re satisfied with their living situation.

So, for most, moving back in with the parents hasn’t been nearly the trying ordeal it might’ve appeared to be at first. In fact, it seems the boomerang-ers and their families have gotten along nicely, finding ways to help one another out in these tough times. (And when you think about it, isn’t that the point of family in the first place?)

Take a look at this infographic.

(For the full Wall Street Journal article, click here.)

The boomerang-ers are getting ready to throw themselves back out into the world—hopefully for good this time.

Will they make it? Do you have a similar story? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.