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.