Rana Walker, M.Ed. lays out the financial rules for living at home.
Countless times we have seen the forty-something-year-old living at home with parents, not contributing to bills, and showing no signs of a departure. Surprisingly, there are some cases when getting a little assistance from mom and dad is temporarily okay — usually when a list of goals and a timeline are part of the equation. Emmy-award winning television personality, and wellness/life coach, Rana Walker, M.Ed. shares her expertise about the justifiable cases of getting help from loved ones, and when it’s high time to leave the nest.
ESSENCE.com: When is it okay for an adult to live with their parents?
RANA WALKER, M.Ed: If you are not gainfully employed upon graduation; you are saving money to apply for graduate, law or medical school; or if you and your parents agree that it would be financially beneficial for everyone (considering the economy).
ESSENCE.com: What age is unacceptable to live with your parents?
WALKER: Today, with the fluctuating economy, people getting married later in life, and other reasons, that age can vary. Twenty-five is acceptable as long as you are paying rent and buying your own groceries. This four-year period after college allows you to adjust to being out of school, plan to move into your own space, or to relocate to a new city to begin the next phase of your life. Additionally, if there is a medical reason or if medical debt has forced your hand, there is no age limit.
ESSENCE.com: Can you move back with your parents if you are married with children?
WALKER: Yes, as long as a time limit is agreed upon by all parties. Or, if you are saving for a house; you or your spouse loses a job; there is an illness that absorbs your cash flow; and, if you lose your home due to a natural or other disaster.
ESSENCE.com: Is it ever okay not to help your parents with rent or bills?
WALKER: No. Only if you have no source of income whatsoever. And in that situation it is imperative that you offer to assist with chores, errands and cooking.
ESSENCE.com: What steps can you take to move toward independence?
WALKER: Create a vision board that pictorially describes your desired financial, mental, physical and spiritual lifestyle and review it periodically. Visualize yourself in the perfect career opportunity including your emotional reaction when you get the job offer, to how your office will look. Create three affirmations to repeat throughout the day until the words become a part of your psyche thereby causing the universe to conspire to create exactly what you desire. Develop an accountability team of four supportive friends with whom you can discuss your progress. Submit resumes, interview, save money, and research places to live. Reinforce your mental and spiritual arsenal with books like The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck; The Abundance Book by John Randolph Price, and Ask and It Is Given by Jerry Hicks and Esther Hicks (all at your local library).