The facts are in: more millennials are living with their parents than twenty somethings of previous generations. Despite being better educated than their 1980’s counterparts, they are also more likely to live in poverty and be unemployed.
There are plenty of blowhards who’ll blame this phenomenon on “laziness” or ‘feelings of entitlement.” But the real reasons are less convenient: millennials have more student loan debt than their parents did and are the biggest victims of the sluggish labor market. Plus, saving on rent means more funds for that start-up.
Sure, living with your parents is sometimes a drag. And there’s nothing wrong if you aspire to live on your own (in fact, we’ve created a plan for how to move out of your parents’ house). But let’s put to rest the idea of the “loser” who still lives at home with her parents. It’s not necessarily a sign of personal failure, it’s a sign of smart planning for the future. And if someone gives you guff about shacking up with your folks? Here are a few names to drop to help shift perspective:
STEVE JOBS, Apple Co-Founder
Oh, you’ve heard of him?
In 1997, Jobs returned from a trip to India after dropping out of college. He was fresh out of money, but had his sights set on big things–namely, building one of the world’s most innovative technology company and revolutionizing computer design.
So what did Jobs do? He moved in with his parents. Jobs didn’t just use his folks’ house as a place to crash. He and his buddy Steve Wozniak commandeered the garage to create their first computer: the Apple I.
People now make pilgrimages to visit the legendary suburban birthplace of Apple.
KATHY GRIFFIN, Comedian
Emmy and Grammy award-winning comedian and New York Times Bestselling author Kathy Griffin decided to chase her dream job rather than her dream apartment.
In order to have the time and money to go on as many auditions as possible, she worked as a temp and lived with her parents. It took a long time to get her break into the entertainment industry; she lived with her parents for a decade, until she was 28.
Was it worth living with her parents for so long? Seeing as her net worth is estimated at $15 million, we’re guessing she’d say “yes.”
JUSTIN HALPERN, Best Selling Author and Television Producer:
What do you do when you get dumped by your girlfriend and have to move back home? If you’re Justin Halpern, you turn it into a best-selling book and a sitcom on CBS.
After moving in, Halpern began tweeting some of the words of wisdom his brutally honest dad dispensed. His account, @shitmydadsays, gained more than 2.5 million fans with its laugh-so-hard-you-cry hilarity.
He compiled some of them into a book called Sh*t My Dad Says, which sold 1.2 million copies and was developed into a television series.
REGGIE AGGARWAL, Tech Entrepreneur and founder of Cvent
Growing up, Reggie Aggarwal was your stereotypical most-likely-to-succeed type. He was the class president that went on to get a law degree from an Ivy League school. When the technology start-up boom was in full swing in 1999, Aggarwal decided to jump into the world of entrepreneurship.
For a while, things looked good. He was awarded $17 million in venture capital to start up Cvent, a software company that helped manage meetings and events. But eight months later, the company had spent more than 97% of that funding.
Things went south fast. The company cut 100 employees, stopped all non-essential spending and Aggarwall worked without a salary and moved in with his parents.
But he has said that as an entrepreneur, “you just don’t know how to give up.” It’s that attitude that drove him to push through the bad times and adapt to the new reality of the world post tech bubble. He keeps a diligent eye on all company expenditures and is constantly looking for a way to reduce overhead.
Twelve years after moving back in with his parents, Aggarwal and his company Cvent went public with a market value of 1.5 billion and was awarded CEO of the Year.
ANDREW GOWER, Game Developer
What’s considered worse than living in your parents’ basement? Living in your parents’ basement and being a gamer.
Or so the less enlightened might think. But those familiar with the name Andrew Gower know otherwise.
In 1999, Gower was living with his parents when he and his brother Paul started working on a Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (or MMORPG) called RuneScape. They launched their game in January of 2001, and within a year they had over a million players worldwide.
By 2008, the Gower brothers were named the 11th richest young entrepreneurs in England.
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