12 On Your Side: Grown up and back home

By: Elizabeth Owens Email
By: Elizabeth Owens Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Work experience? Check. College degree? Check. It sounds like a resume for success, but a growing number of educated
able-bodied adults are moving back home.

Julie Goley, director of the Career Center at Augusta State University, says job seekers are dealing with a whole new set of challenges in today's economy.

"We got more multi-generational households since the 1930s, so that goes to show you we are in a different period," she said.

Taryn Fortner, 27, moved herself and her three children in with her parents.

"Honestly, I didn't have a choice. I had no where else to go," Fortner said.

The single mother lost her job about a month ago.

"It's was very embarrassing. I just had to say, 'Hey I'm coming home again,'" Fortner said.

She says she was barely making ends meet with a full-time job, so when she lost it, she had to move her family in with her parents.

"A lot of times, I do feel like a failure," she said.

Fortner has a college degree and several years of experience in the workforce but is still having a hard time finding a job to support her family.

"It's just a rough market and graduates are competing with people that have a lot of experience and retirees are coming back into the workforce who are having to work a little longer than they anticipated," Goley said.

According to the U.S. Census, the number of adults living with their parents has drastically increased over the years. In 2007, there were 1.2 million adults living home. In 2010, that number rose to 15.8 million. At least 30 percent of adults live in a shared household today.

Analysts believe the number directly reflects how folks are coping with the economy.

"It's rough. It's hard," Fortner said.

And it's not just rough on 20-something graduates that are having to move home.

Marcia Gough, 53, moved in with her daughter and grandchildren after losing her job a few years ago.

"It's got to be somewhat discouraging to have, what 30 years, in the workforce, a bachelor's degree and not able to find work?" asked News 12's Liz Owens.

"It's very frustrating and it's probably one of the reasons I have up," Gough said.

"Do you ever worry about being a burden to your daughter?" Owens asked.

"Every day," Gough replied.

Gough tries to alleviate the burden by helping out around the house as much as possible.

"It's a little demeaning at times, and I always feel like I have to do more than my share to make up for my shortcomings financially," she said.

"It's tough on the ego and it's a reality of the kind of market we are in today," Goley said.

But she says moving home isn't something to to be ashamed of as long as there is a plan.

"I think it's important to have a goal and have an exit strategy," Goley advised.

Fortner's goal is simple: "To find a job -- that's my plan. To save as much money as I can, so I don't have to come back," the young mother said.

Gough isn't as optimistic about the future. She feels her health and age are against her.

"Do you ever see yourself getting out of this situation?" Owens asked.

"Win the lotto or something; like that is the only way. I've given up, to be honest. I'm one of those that's given up," Gough said.

Maybe it's Fortner's youth or maybe it's the three little ones in her life, but she says she'll keep on trying to find a job.

"I'm all they've got," she said.

Here's what you want to consider in an exit plan:
-Set yourself a timeline to move out.
-Set a number goal for your bank account.
-Figure what you need make it back out on your own.

Finally, don't get discouraged. Remember, you are not the only in this situation.

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