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Looking to hit young adult consumers where they live? Try their parents' houses.

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This story appears in the September 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

En route to the driveway, where their little graduate student is proudly unveiling his brand-new Passat, Mom grumbles to Dad that Billy isn't socking away enough for retirement. But Billy envisions a rosy financial future, so long as he saves by living under his parents' roof. Some 18 million 20- to 34-year-olds currently dub their parents roommates, according to American Demographics. While such living arrangements were considered a sign of serious slackerdom 10 years ago, today's twentysomethings see living at home not as a sign of failure, but as a financially rational decision.

"The stigma [of living at home] is gone for the most part," says David Morrison, president of Twentysomething Inc., a strategic planning and marketing research firm in Radnor, Pennsylvania. "Parents still feel it, but graduates do not."

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