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Boomerang kids aren't freeloaders

March 15, 2012: 3:20 PM ET

Helping out at homeThe number of adult kids moving back home is at levels not seen in more than 50 years. But that doesn't mean they are freeloading off of mom and dad.

Nearly half of kids age 25 to 34 living at home paid rent to their parents, according to a new Pew Research Center report. And 89% helped with household expenses, such as groceries or utilities.

And only a scant 8% say they regularly receive money or financial assistance from their family, though those enrolled in school are more dependent on mom and dad.

The Great Recession has hit the younger generation particularly hard with many finding it tough to find jobs. Some 21.6% adults were living with their parents in 2010, a figure that's increased sharply since the economic downturn began in 2007.

Having to live at home hasn't dampened the spirits of many of these boomerang kids. More than three-quarters say they're satisfied with their living arrangements and are upbeat about their future finances.

But that doesn't mean they're living the high life. Nearly 8 in 10 say they don't have enough money to live the life they want, compared with 55% of their peers who don't live at home.

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