General Question

girlofscience's avatar

At what age does it become unacceptable to live with your parents?

Asked by girlofscience (7532points) October 12th, 2008

Personally, I haven’t lived with my parents since age 18. I went off to college and lived in apartments with friends during the summers my first two years (when we were required to live in student housing). Having my own apartment was always a priority for me, as my parents and I have an excellent relationship, but only when we’re not living together.

However, I know this isn’t the case for everyone. I understand living with parents for a year after college (if you’re not going to grad school) in order to get your bearings while starting your first job and save up money for your own home. In most circumstances, however, I think that it’s not really appropriate to live with your parents beyond age 23.

There’s always the stereotype of the “guy who still lives in his parents’ basement.” At what age do you think this stereotype becomes relevant—that it is no longer acceptable to live with your parents?

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44 Answers

basp's avatar

I think that the shift in the economy in the past decade changes the reasons and degrees of necessity for the young to continue to live at home. And, do you think the perception is different for females than males?

girlofscience's avatar

@basp: No, I don’t think the perception is different for females and males at all. I think it’s just as negative for a 24yo female to still live with her parents. She should be supporting herself at that point.

stink111's avatar

I say whoever wants to live with there parents is unaccetable hahaha just kidding of course some people dont have the money so there only choice is to live with there parents but at 30 I would kick them out if i was the parents.

JackAdams's avatar


Unless you are going to college in your home town.

TheNakedHippie's avatar

In France and other parts of Europe, it’s not uncommon for people to live with their parents at 30. Many times they’re still going to school, and there’s no stigma whatsoever.

srmorgan's avatar

I lived at home until I was 23 and graduated college.

At the age of 27 I was laid off from a job and had been attending graduate school at night to earn my MBA. My father told me to move back home, stay on unemployment, attend graduate school full-time for a year, get the degree, go back to work and move out within three months after that.
I managed to pay my own tuition, with one loan, and my parents did not ask me for a penny, I guess because I was pursuing a professional degree.

Made a lot of sense at the time, took a little adjustment but in this case the end justified the means. Besides I got to eat my grandmother’s cooking for a year.

My daughter is 24 and back home, due both to economics and lack of direction. We would never “kick her out” because of some arbitrary rule about living on her own at 23.


stink111's avatar

I see what your saying srmorgan but I must come from a differnt neighborhood because i was tought if u can afford a car u can afford a house you cant wait till a kid wants to move out you need to AT LEAST tell him/her that they need to try to spred there wings.

arnbev959's avatar

I don’t think there’s a definite age, as long as the person is going to college or just starting to work. (basically, as long as they aren’t sitting at home playing video games all day.)

And don’t forget that some people who are in their 40’s, 50’s, 60’s etc., live with and take care of their sick or elderly parents. That isn’t unacceptable at all.

MacBean's avatar

Depends entirely on circumstances. I’m 24 and still live at home. I tried living on my own but found it’s not medically feasible at this point, and so I’m back with my parents again.

gailcalled's avatar

My son got a very good degree (with a semester off for rock climbing) and then a year in Europe, learning Italian.

After which he came home and mooched around; after much discussion, we gave him six months (rent-free) to find an apartment and a decent job. He did both.

rockstargrrrlie's avatar

I don’t think that there is an absolute age for when it becomes inappropriate to live with your parents, as long as you aren’t sitting around without a job mooching of them. I just moved out of my parent’s house three weeks ago, and I can’t honestly say I wouldn’t have moved out if my career didn’t require me to move 3,000 miles away.

I get along with my parents well and enjoy their company. I was far from a mooch- working two jobs, but I see little reason for me to have moved out other than societal pressure.

augustlan's avatar

When you are able to support yourself, you should…barring unknown circumstances (medical, etc.). I will let my (future) adult children return if they need to, but with a move-out target date arranged in advance.

hammer43's avatar

If you go to college the age is 22, if not than the age should be 18,

jvgr's avatar

Acceptable to whom
Apparently, at 23, he and his parents find it acceptable; it’s you that doesn’t.
Some cultures try to keep their children home even in to their 40’s.
What should be important is why does this concern you?
Is he unable to live independently? (take cae of self, manage his money, etc…)
He he reliant on his parents in the same way when he was a child?
Does he require parental permission to live his life?
Is he saving wads of money by being there?
I’d focus some attention on the why rather than the age.

Randy's avatar

There isn’t a problem living with your parents at any age.It’s cheaper than paying rent and utilities for the child and (if the child is responsible) can help the parents out by taking a small bit off their bills. It can help both parties as long as both are willing to help each other.

Now, the problems come in when, in most cases, the child is looking for a free ride. Then the child becomes a burden. There are always exceptions to things like this but I don’t see a problem with it as long as both parties are mature enough to make it work.

srmorgan's avatar


I understand your point of view. I came from a family where there just was not a lot of money coming in. My father made sandwiches for a living and my mother was a bookkeeper at a small company. My parents were first-generation meaning my grandparents were born in Europe. From the age of 6 I was told that I was going to college to make someting of myself and that was my primary goal in life.

Fortunately for me, I lived in New York City where there was no tuition in the municipal college system and I could attend school for a pittance. I also worked three nights and Saturdays to offset expenses and have some money. My entire college was composed of only commuters, living at home was the way it was done.

So I graduated two months before my 23rd birthday, got a roommate and lived on my own. But when I lost my job my Dad made this offer to me that allowed me to finish graduate school one year earlier than planned. To my parents, the pursuit of education overrode anything like :“you are too old to live at home at 27.

Yeah it was stifling, I couldn’t stay up late, couldn’t entertain ladies at night, had to call if I got lucky and was not coming home to sleep
It was embarrassing when I met someone my own age and said I lived at home but it was for a specified period of time in order to achieve a goal, that was very important to me.
Should I have found a different job and stayed with my roomie? Maybe, but I wanted to change careers by getting the degree and I know that my parents were not going to subsidize my rent. That would not have been right and they really did not have the spare cash. But they had the spare room (mine).

You make a decision, in the end it was either a good one, a poor one or one that did not end up mattering at all.


girlofscience's avatar

@jvgr: Yikes.

I realize you’re new to Fluther. While you are certainly providing us with some well-thought-out answers, please do not criticize users for why a particular question may concern him or her. Many of our questions are simply musings for the purpose of eliciting opinions of our fellow flutherers. The issue is often not a particular concern of the poster, but simply a topic of interest—one of which the poster is curious about other’s opinions.

Such is the case for me on this question. Everyone is aware of the stereotype of the guy who still lives in his parents’ basement, as I mentioned in my details. I was simply wondering at what age this stereotype becomes relevant.

It’s not a serious concern, and there are certainly extenuating circumstances that prevent some worthwhile contributors to society from moving out of their parents’ home until a later age, but, generally speaking, I was interested in the collective’s opinion as to, at what age, living at home becomes viewed (by society) as a negative concept.

girlofscience's avatar

Also, see? srmorgan was embarrassed to admit to people he was living at home at 27. While his circumstances certainly make that fact acceptable, the point is that he was embarrassed. I was trying to get at, “HOW OLD DOES A PERSON NEED TO BE FOR IT TO BE EMBARRASSING?” whether it should be or not.

srmorgan's avatar

Late 20th and early 21st century standards in North America dictate that children leave the nest at 18, usually for further education or to enlist in the military. 18 has always been that demarcation point where childhood ends and adulthood begins. But not for everyone.

My home:

My 24 year old daughter lived with roommates from around her 21st birthday until last autumn when you moved back in due to finances, two of her three roommates moving out of town and the fact that she couldn’t live with the remaining roommate.
As I said, she works two part-time jobs, looking to get experience in one of them that will lead to a career in that industry. It is one of those situations where you can not be hired without experience and she won’t get experience if she does not get hired.
I don’t think she’s thrilled with living here but it is her best option AT THE MOMENT,

My 19 year old is high-functioning autistic and won’t go to community for another year or so, he tends to be ready mentally when he is two years older than that chronologically. He had no desire to move out and he is not yet capable of doing so,

He works at Wal-Mart retrieve shopping carts from the parking lot and he is waiting for his one year anniversary when he can apply for an inside position and he knows he is meant for better things that collecting shopping carts. But then he keeps criticizing one of his shiftmates who is 41 and living with the parents, but not in the basement.
He doesn’t understand it and I can’t rationalize it either. This man is not mentally handicapped but emotionally there must be something not quite right.

My 17 year old is wishing he could graduate high school in January and not have to waiit until August to start college somewhere, anywhere, that is at least 100 miles from home. We agree. He’s ready. for the most part,,,,


towens0808's avatar

i think that it all depends on what age you become successful in life and think that you are able to afford moving out and supporting yourself alone.

srmorgan's avatar

I was embarrassed when meeting new people but not at all with my friends and acquaintances who saw my situation for what it was – a means to an end.

And very few people that I met had anything negative to say about it, my living situation was just not the first thing out of my mouth for around 14 months as it worked out.


googlybear's avatar

My kids will fly the coop when they are 18…or I will buy a RV with no forwarding address :-)

jvgr's avatar

”@jvgr: Yikes.
I realize you’re new to Fluther. While you are certainly providing us with some well-thought-out answers, please do not criticize users for why a particular question may concern him or her.”

Sorry, but:
my comment was neither criticism or disparaging.
Simply stated the question is:
I moved out of my parent’s home when I was 18.
My friend still lives with his parent’s and he’s (at least 23)
“I think that it’s…(in)appropriate to live with your parents beyond age 23”
At what age do you think it is unacceptable to live with your parents.

If the question had simply been stated:
At what age should a person live on their own?
You would have received a lot of less lengthy answers than you did, however you chose to pose it, not as an informal survey, but as a problem with the adult male that needed some discussion.

Quite often a person seeking resolution of a problem assumes that their point of view is correct and therefore posit an incomplete question. To not ask questions of a questioner is somewhat irreponsible because it means issues will be over looked.

“Many of our questions are simply musings for the purpose of eliciting opinions of our fellow flutherers.”
And exactly how is the reader to know that your question, which clearly indicates you believe there is something wrong with this adult male’s decision to live at home, is a simple musing?:
You do so by NOT including so much information that explicity states you believe this individual has a problem..

“Everyone is aware of the stereotype of the guy who still lives in his parents’ basement”.
As you can see from the above answers this is not true. The only people who believe in any given stereotype are those who substitute stereotype for thought.

“that prevent some worthwhile contributors to society from moving out of their parents”
Does this suggest that “worthwhile contributors to society must be living on their own”

“Also, see? srmorgan was embarrassed to admit to people he was living at home at 27” .
Well no, srmorgan responded after I did.


But you didn’t ask that question either. If you had, one would also have to ask: Embarrassing to whom?. While smorgan was embarrassed, is the adult male in your question embarrassed?

If you want a response to a question it’s your responsibility to frame the question in a manner that elicits the type of response you want. While I might respond to issues that may not be addressed, I will never assume that a poster means anything other than what they write. I can’t know what you are thinking.

And, had you posed the original question properly, I wouldn’t have bothered to respond as the survey you seek is of little interest to me, and we could have both avoided the need to respond further.

girlofscience's avatar

@jvgr: There is no actual adult male in my question.

Mr_M's avatar

In traditional Italian or Italian American families a girl that moves out on her own is considered a tramp by some.

girlofscience's avatar

@Mr_M: That is absurd and outdated. It makes me feel really uncomfortable that people would still think that way.

Mr_M's avatar

You are right. It is. But that’s a fact.

arnbev959's avatar


chill out.

jca's avatar

can’t we all just get along?

zachs08's avatar

lol, my english teacher is 25 and lives with her parents

MikeL's avatar

it is hard living with your parents im 31 and it is embarrasing i dont even want do it anymore but it is personal reason for me i want be out of here so bad cant even take it got family to take care of i cant really cook yet or anything dont got job yet it is long story on my part

girlofscience's avatar

@MikeL: That was difficult to decode. Please use periods to separate sentences.

Is the family you have to take care of the family you are living with? If so, that is certainly understandable that you would be living with your parents at 31—you’re caring for them. During this period of time, I would advise you to get a job so you can live on your own after this time. I can’t cook either, so that doesn’t matter at all. I buy all frozen food; you can do the same.

MikeL's avatar

i tried it does not work good for me i can not work on my own to well i tried to get a job did not work out.

my dads real sick mom only one working i tried move out theyy was against it

but trust me i try to and want to get out of here even if it is to my parents garage since my cousin be here anyway now

grandma n her grandson living here in one house it tough

girlofscience's avatar

@MikeL: Maybe you tried the wrong job. Don’t give up.

You can’t just… not work at all. Please find a way to contribute to society.

MikeL's avatar

hi im back had pc issues big ones i tried to work never worked out for me never got sent college never taught how drive or anything it hard

StudioKillah's avatar

If you are still a student and depend on your parents for money, living at home is the normal thing to but… but if you have been holding a stable job for atleast 3 years, its time to go.

MikeL's avatar

back sorry lost link im stil here at the house now my grandma n cousin live here im beginng think i not needed here anymore so much has changed wish i could been out here years ago u all dont know what i got live with

fireside's avatar

This question makes me think of Norman Bates
So based on that, I would say death is a reasonable cut-off from living with your parents. Anything longer than that and you’ll have some problems, I suspect.

Strauss's avatar

I think there are about as many correct answers as there are instances of this occurring. Coming from a family of seven, I felt it was in my interest to get out as soon as possible—to finally experience what true privacy is (LOL).

On the other hand, a friend of mine, who remained a bachelor until he got married in his 40’s, stayed with his dad until his dad started growing older and needed the son to stay.

SarasWhimsy's avatar

Well let’s see here. I’m 32 now. I moved out and away – for work, not school or military – when I was 17. I lived alone until I was 30 and then I moved in with my Mom. It may be different for us because I’m an only child and she’s my only parent. We’ve always been close.

We both work, we share mortgage payments, household repair payments, all of the bills, cooking, cleaning, pets, you name it. She owns a really old house, so it’s been nice to get the work done quicker. I have thought about moving out, but we enjoy each others company and not coming home to an empty house all of the time.

I think it more depends on the reasons behind living at home. If I was just living off of her, I would see that as a problem, but I’m not. I’m helping her and she’s helping me (I’m slowly learning to cook things that don’t come in boxes or just need to be heated up).

Also, we know this isn’t a long term thing. Her house is almost done (lath and plaster I have come to HATE) just one more bathroom to go. After that, I might stay for awhile, or I might not. It depends on how we both feel about it.

submariner's avatar

There’s nothing wrong with living with your parents at any age as long as you are not living off of your parents.

As long as everybody gets along, why should a person move out and pay rent to stranger? Better to keep the money in the family. But an adult who is not a student should contribute to the household and not be a burden to the parents. The person should help pay the bills and do chores.

I heard an interview with a writer who was self-conscious about moving back in with her mother, even though the arrangement was good for both of them. She figured out a way to deal with it: instead of telling people, “I live with my mother,” she told them, “My mother lives with me.”

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