Did you know that the percentage of 18 to 34-year-old Americans that are married and living with a spouse has dropped by more than half since 1975? Back then, 57 percent of everyone in that age group “lived with a spouse”, but today that number has dropped to just 27 percent. These numbers come from “the Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood” report that was just released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Some are postulating that the reason for this dramatic cultural shift is a phenomenon known as “extended adolescence”, while others fear that large numbers of young men and/or young women are giving up on the concept of marriage altogether.
Instead of getting married and starting their own households, many young adults are deciding that living with Mom and Dad is the best approach. In fact, this new Census Bureau report found that one out of every three 18 to 34-year-old Americans is currently living with their parents…
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Have we failed this generation of young adults by not equipping them to be able to handle the harsh realities of the real world? According to the Wall Street Journal, the percentage of Americans in the 18 to 34-year-old age bracket that are currently living with their parents hasn’t been this high in 75 years. At this point nearly 40 percent of our young adults in that age range are living at home, and many are concerned that this could have some alarming implications for the future of our nation.
In the United States today, more than 60 million people live in multi-generational households, and it is a good thing to have a tight family. But at some point young adults need to learn how to live their own independent lives, and in millions of cases this independence is being delayed or is never happening at all.
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In America today, more than 60 million people live in multi-generational households. That number is so large that it may seem difficult to believe, but the truth is that vast numbers of young adults have had to move back in with their parents and grandparents in recent years due to the deteriorating economy. Millions of our young people cannot find decent jobs once they leave school, and millions of them are absolutely overwhelmed by debt. Of course some of them are just lazy, but whatever the reason it is undeniable that multi-generational households are on the rise. According to the Pew Research Center, 12 percent of the U.S. population was living in multi-generational households back in 1980. Today, that number is up to 19 percent. That means nearly one out of every five U.S. adults now live with their parents or their grandparents.
One of the big culprits, of course, is student loan debt.
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When you think of the kind of fugitives U.S. Marshals routinely pursue at behest of the federal court system, you may picture dangerous international criminals, prolific bank robbers or ruthless murderers. But you’d probably be surprised to learn that the federal law enforcement agency is sending heavily armed officers to drag people into court over delinquent student loans.
So too was Paul Aker, according to Fox 26 in Houston, when seven agents dressed in full combat gear arrived at his home near Houston to collect a debt on a student loan he took out way back in 1987.
Aker said he first thought something was up when he noticed a strange vehicle parked outside his home. When a suspicious person approached him, he retreated into his house as most people would. But later that day, the federal government’s heavily armed henchmen showed up in full force.
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37 million Americans currently have outstanding student loans, and the delinquency rate on those student loans has now reached a level never seen before. According to a new report that was just released by the U.S. Department of Education, 11 percent of all student loans are at least 90 days delinquent. That is a brand new record high, and it is almost double the rate of a decade ago. Total student loan debt exceeds a trillion dollars, and it is now the second largest category of consumer debt after home mortgages. The student loan debt bubble has been growing particularly rapidly in recent years. According to the Federal Reserve, the total amount of student loan debt has risen by 275 percent since 2003. That is a staggering figure. Millions upon millions of young college graduates are entering the “real world” only to discover that they are already financially crippled for decades to come by oppressive student loan debt burdens. Large numbers of young people are even putting off buying homes or getting married simply because of student loan debt.
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Don’t you wish that someone had told you the truth before you went to college? Don’t you wish that someone had told you that college has become a giant money making scam that is designed to drain as much money out of students and parents as possible? Yes, college can be a profitable endeavor if you pick your field of study wisely, if you can get someone else to pay for at least some of it and if you can actually get a good job in that field when you graduate. But most high school students are never told to weigh the pros and the cons before they run off to college. The typical high school student is simply told to get into the “best school” that he or she can and to take out whatever loans are “necessary” to pay for that education. Our high school students are assured that those student loans will be paid back easily once they get “good jobs” following graduation. But the truth is that there are some other things that high school students should be told before they go off to college as well. They should be told that student loan debt can cripple them financially for decades. They should be told that the quality of education at most U.S. colleges and universities is a total joke. They should be told that most college graduates do not get a “good job” once they graduate these days. They should be told that after they receive their diplomas they are likely to end up flat broke, waiting tables and living with their parents.
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Who ever imagined that Ben Bernanke would become a poster child for the student loan debt problem in America? Recently Bernanke told Congress that his son will graduate from medical school with about $400,000 of student loan debt. For most Americans, such a staggering amount of debt would almost certainly guarantee a lifetime of debt slavery. Unfortunately, Bernanke’s son is not alone. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, approximately 167,000 Americans have more than $200,000 of student loan debt. The cost of a college education has increased much more rapidly than the rate of inflation over the past several decades, and most students enter the “real world” today with a debt burden that will stay with them for most of their working lives. In an economy where there are so few good jobs for college graduates, it can be incredibly difficult to get married, buy a house or afford to have children when you are drowning in student loan debt. It would be hard to overstate the financial pain that student loans are causing many young adults in America today. The student loan debt problem is a national crisis and it is not going away any time soon.
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