Mov­ing back in with the folks


Adult chil­dren mov­ing back in with their folks used to be looked down on.

They were ‘‘failed fledglings’’, ‘‘Boomerang kids’’ and ‘‘par­a­site sin­gles’’.

They were treated with exaggerated scorn.

You still live with your par­ents? Come on, man! Move on, move out, grow up!

Well, no more.

Th­ese days in our main cities, stay­ing at home into your 20s, or mov­ing back in for a spell of fo­cused house de­posit-sav­ing, is a sane re­sponse to in­sane house prices.

Par­ents who let their chil­dren stay at home past the age of 21 should no longer be ac­cused of hav­ing raised weak­lings un­able to face the real world.

There ap­pear to be an in­creas­ing num­ber of peo­ple liv­ing with mum and dad past the age of 21.

The last cen­sus showed the num­ber of peo­ple over 21 still liv­ing at home was around 150,000


❚ Max­imise fam­ily fi­nan­cial well­be­ing ❚ Get value from that over­priced home

❚ Don’t let adult off­spring freeload

in 2013 with 67,000 aged 21-24, and an­other 32,000 aged 25-29.

Maybe in a per­fect world they would have moved out, and be rent­ing while sav­ing dili­gently for their first house de­posit, but nice as they are for home­own­ers cities like Auck­land and Wellington are not very friendly to the young any more.

In­creas­ingly I run into younger peo­ple opt­ing to live at their par­ents’ home in a bid to save a de­posit on a home.

What they and their par­ents are do­ing is work­ing to­gether to max­imise fam­ily fi­nan­cial well­be­ing.

House­hold com­po­si­tion has al­ways re­flected cold, hard fi­nan­cial re­al­i­ties.

That’s why Auck­land has peo­ple sleep­ing in garages, in cars, and un­der bridges.

Over­all though, as the coun­try got richer, house­holds frag­mented. Peo­ple could af­ford to live alone, or in cou­ples, and they did.

But three gen­er­a­tion house­holds where old folk live

‘‘You still live with your par­ents? Come on, man! Move on, move out, grow up!’’

with their work­ing adult chil­dren were once nor­mal, and still are in poorer coun­tries, and in­deed, in some poorer parts of our cities.

High rents and split-shift work­ing mean life can be all but im­pos­si­ble with­out live-in grand­par­ents for some fam­i­lies. For peo­ple sur­viv­ing on NZ Su­per alone, liv­ing with younger fam­ily mem­bers can make sense too.

Three-gen­er­a­tional house­holds are per­haps not the liv­ing ar­range­ment ev­ery­one would choose, but they are a sane, log­i­cal re­ac­tion to high house prices.

Young adults mov­ing back into their par­ents’ homes have to be care­ful not to freeload. They should pay their share of the power, wa­ter and food, and do their share of hedge-clip­ping and vac­u­um­ing.

Par­ents need to make sure they don’t con­tinue to treat the young ones as chil­dren, and cater to their ev­ery whim, or end up dam­ag­ing their own re­tire­ment sav­ing.

There is some sat­is­fac­tion for par­ents who do al­low the nestlings to re­turn for a time. They are get­ting ex­tra value from the lu­di­crously ex­pen­sive as­set they own, namely that mil­lion­dol­lar house.

They should be praised for help­ing their young ones pros­per, and for hav­ing done such an ex­cel­lent job as par­ents that they and their adult chil­dren can hap­pily co­ex­ist un­der the same roof.


Three gen­er­a­tions, one house. Not as rare as you may think.

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