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More College Grads Living With Parents

Twenty years ago, you graduated college and got a place of your own — no matter how small or squalid. For today's post-grads, life is a little cushier.

Increasingly, parents are playing greater financial roles to make that transition a little easier. Half of this year's graduates have moved back home and 44 percent of last year's graduates are still there, while 34 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds get cash from mom and dad — an average of $3,410 a year.

Sarah Baumgartner worked at a radio station in college and thought it would be easy to pursue that career. It wasn't.

"You work and work and work to get this degree, and now you have it, and in my case you're delivering pizzas to your old high school," she told The Early Show correspondent Cynthia Bowers. "I'm just figuring things out right now, and it was nerve-wracking and you feel like a failure kind of, coming back home."

Her mother, Gail, let her move back in.

"I think that sometimes you need a little break and, you know, home is where you can fall when you need to," she said.

Elina Furman lived with her parents for three years after college and then another seven with her mother. She wrote "Boomerang Nation: How to Survive Living with Your Parents ... The Second Time Around." Furman said that the high cost of housing is pricing young people out of the market. She also blamed the national addiction to credit cards and said some young people carry balances on three or four cards.

Furman said that because people are living longer, they have more time to explore opportunities.

"We have seen our parents do that to get the two kids and house in the suburbs. Now we have choices and are taking our time," she said.

Furman also said parents provide emotional support to their children.

"Twenties are a crazy time where you are vulnerable and transitioning and being home can be comforting," she said.

Sarah and Gail Baumgartner said living together has been good for their relationship.

"I think it's made us closer and I have a greater respect for my mom now," Sarah said.

"Really, I'm just thinking of them," Gail said. "I just want them to be able to figure it out and if it takes them some time to come back home, then they're all the better for it."

Georgetown graduate Addie Pampalone switched career paths and took a dream job in advertising, but without the financial help from her parents, she said paying her rent would have been a nightmare.

"It was a pay cut," she said. "I essentially started over again and I wouldn't have been able to do that without my parents."

For them, the payoff is the knowledge that their daughter is happy and safe.

"We do it to help out and make us able to sleep at night because we know she's in a safer neighborhood," said her mother, Sherron Pampalone.

"Basically, all we're doing is subsidizing a portion of her rent so it's not like it's a real big thing — we're glad to do it," said her father, Michael Pampalone.

Furman offered some tips for those young adults who are receiving help from their parents:

  • Set a move-out date.
  • Pay some amount of rent to make you feel like an adult.
  • Respect boundaries. For example: Don't play music too loudly and respect your parents' rules about dating.
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