Homeward bound
By Anne Fisher

(FORTUNE Magazine) – "DO YOU HAVE A GOAL? Well, do you? If you don't, it's high time you came up with one." If that line from Boomerang Nation (Fireside, $14) sounds like the last thing you said to your twentysomething son or daughter before you left home this morning, this book is for you. Subtitled "How to Survive Living With Your Parents the Second Time Around," it's aimed at "boomerangers"--the 18 million Americans, mostly in their 20s, who have moved back in with Mom and Dad. But author Elina Furman has plenty of advice that parents will applaud: how to job-hunt, the evils of credit card debt, and what to do if your folks don't seem thrilled to have you underfoot again. "[Your parents] probably had plans of their own that your arrival has postponed," she notes. "Take a moment to consider the matter from their perspective." Wow.

Yes, unemployment among people ages 25 to 34 has shot up in the past four years, to 6.3%, but "there's really no excuse for not working." And by the way, kids, yes, you should pay rent. Furman even spells out some payment plans, ranging from the "basic package"--$50 rent, one chore a week--to the "platinum package," featuring $500 rent, two household bills, two loads of laundry weekly, and lawn mowing. Still, she understands what a drag it is to have to move back into your old room. For the disenchanted, the author has "three simple truths: You're not alone. You're not weird. And you're not going crazy." No, that would be your parents. -- Anne Fisher

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