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Failure to Launch? Moving back in with your parents

Admiral Beez

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#1
I reading the article in Toronto Life, titled Home Sweet Home, of millennials who’ve made the move to adulthood then returning to their parents’ homes. The article isn’t concerning ethnic groups where kids stay home until marriage even if that’s into their 30s, but instead covers those who’ve moved out to seek their fortune, didn’t like it, and came back.

One of the featured characters especially made me cringe, where the 30+ year old not only moved back into her parents house after running out of money, but also brought her boyfriend to live in the parents house, with the closing “we don’t plan to move out any time soon...ideally, we’ll inherit the house. Buying a house in Toronto isn’t a realistic goal.”

The entire article was cringeworthy, especially the combination of both lack of shame and gratitude. None of the now 27+ year old people appear to have considered relocating. One chose the career-student path, accumulating a hundred grand in debt at some foreign medical school, but forgoing the final step that turns the education into income, that of applying for residency, and instead is back at her original job, and back with mom and dad.

I would have felt great, deep and personal humiliation had financial failure or other consequences of my choices pushed me to return to living with my parents in my 30s. And to their credit, along with providing the refuge from myself, my parents would have conveyed that shame along with pressure to have a plan to get out. And unlike the character above, I’ve never counted on an inheritance, both my parents are now gone, and there was none, I have my own money thanks.

As you can likely tell, this article touches a nerve. I found myself wondering what the hell happened to people in their late 20s and early 30s. Where’s their independence and drive to launch? Can’t afford a house or condo in Toronto? It’s a big country out there, ensure your education can get you a job in the prairies or Atlantic Canada, where houses can go for peanuts compared to Toronto and where good lifestyles can be had. Mommy’s basement should be a last resort, and a short term refuge while you dust off the wreckage and plan relaunch.
 

lenaitch

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#2
I haven't read the article but agree with your observations. It seem that it almost full circles back to the 18th century where people lived their entire lives within a carriage ride of where they were born. Having a life goal is key. Getting a post-secondary education is great, but you have to have an idea what you want to do with your life and then pursue that goal. Clearly, living costs in the GTA are off the dial for those starting out and the job market can be shaky but there are all sorts of good jobs outside of the GTA, in Canada and beyond. If living close to friends and family is that important, then people are seriously limiting themselves. It is not just a big-city phenomena. Our daughter grew up in a mid-sized town, left for university and now lives 3 hours farther north. When she would come home in first or second year, she would see former classmates, good and smart kids, leading young their kids around Walmart on their day off from their minimum wage job. Maybe that's all they want out of life but I am suspicious. It may also be a generational thing. My (advanced) generation wouldn't have even considered moving back, except temporarily - and our parents wouldn't have put up with it. The parents of a close friend even insisted that he go to an out-of-town university. Ya gotta fledged sometime. Maybe the parents feel some guilt for not raising the kids to face challenge and failure. Don't know.

I will guess that those kids who move back home waiting the parents to die off haven't even thought about for the tax implications for inheriting the house.
 

Admiral Beez

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#3
I will guess that those kids who move back home waiting the parents to die off haven't even thought about for the tax implications for inheriting the house.
What bugged me most is the assumption that the parents will keep the big empty house until they die. This is such a selfish approach on the kids's part. Why can't the now senior parents sell their now million dollar houses, get some money in the bank and enjoy their senior years? If the kids aren't such dicks about it, the now cash rich parents might even splurge on their kids and any grand kids. It breaks my heart a little when I see these hard working immigrants living in proud but poverty conditions, shadowed by greedy adult kids, when they could sell the lot and really enjoy themselves. When I read that article I thought of Hagar in the Stone Angel, where everyone is waiting for her to die.

My advice to millennials and anyone else hungrily eyeing their aging parent's assets. Expect no inheritance. Instead, enjoy your own life, build your own wealth, and if you're nice to your parents you might be pleasantly surprised that they left you something, even if it's a worthless but cherished heirloom.
 

modernizt

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#4
I would have felt great, deep and personal humiliation had financial failure or other consequences of my choices pushed me to return to living with my parents in my 30s.
I know countless people in my generation - the majority without question - who have studied and worked their asses off in order to make a living for themselves and never have to move home. (Trust me, many people don't want to move home. And the minority that live at home often pay rent to their family, and/or are doing it because they want to be closer to their family members- absolutely nothing wrong with that.) Despite all of our hard work, it has become clear to most of us that even in our late 20s, it's hard to afford living anywhere near our employment, and especially if that employment is downtown Toronto. It's not about being lazy, or failure due to poor choices. It's about the cost of living in Toronto being completely out of whack with the costs of living for someone in their 20s or 30s who is still "starting out". And it's not just a Toronto problem - it's widespread.

It's also tough when you need to pay off a lot of education (and yes, you need a lot of education to have a chance at a decent job in many fields. I work in the architecture field and you need to get an M.Arch in addition to undergrad, if you ever want to get your license. The senior architects I work under are all from a generation where all you needed to get your license was a 5-year B.Arch degree). Undergrad, master's degree, licensing exams, and years of crappy work that doesn't pay much money along the way, and trying to pay all of that off, while living in Toronto? Not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.

Please, by all means continue telling me how lazy and entitled my generation is (with Toronto Life as your source, nonetheless). You'll make yourself sound out-of-touch, but at least you'll get to feel holier-than-thou about whatever generation you are from.

I suspect your response will be "go get a job designing buildings in Sudbury or Medicine Hat, where it's cheap. My response: take a hike. I shouldn't have to list off the numerous ways that isn't a solution and would create more problems than it would solve. I'd sooner move back in with my parents before I'd throw my life away to move off to the boonies (no employment there, by the way, especially in my field.) And trust me, I have no desire to move in with my parents.

EDIT: Update; I just looked at your Twitter. While you think my generation is just a bunch of whiners, it looks like you are too! If you don't like the traffic and bad drivers in Toronto, why don't you move away to a small town somewhere?

TL;DR:

As you can likely tell, this article touches a nerve. I found myself wondering what the hell happened to people in their late 20s and early 30s. Where’s their independence and drive to launch? Can’t afford a house or condo in Toronto?
*Reads an article in Toronto Life. Decides that an entire generation of people lack independence and drive.*
 
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Admiral Beez

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#5
I know countless people in my generation - the majority without question - who have studied and worked their asses off in order to make a living for themselves and never have to move home. (Trust me, many people don't want to move home. And the minority that live at home often pay rent to their family, and/or are doing it because they want to be closer to their family members- absolutely nothing wrong with that.) Despite all of our hard work, it has become clear to most of us that even in our late 20s, it's hard to afford living anywhere near our employment, and especially if that employment is downtown Toronto. It's not about being lazy, or failure due to poor choices. It's about the cost of living in Toronto being completely out of whack with the costs of living for someone in their 20s or 30s who is still "starting out". And it's not just a Toronto problem - it's widespread.

It's also tough when you need to pay off a lot of education (and yes, you need a lot of education to have a chance at a decent job in many fields. I work in the architecture field and you need to get an M.Arch in addition to undergrad, if you ever want to get your license. The senior architects I work under are all from a generation where all you needed to get your license was a 5-year B.Arch degree). Undergrad, master's degree, licensing exams, and years of crappy work that doesn't pay much money along the way, and trying to pay all of that off, while living in Toronto? Not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.

Please, by all means continue telling me how lazy and entitled my generation is (with Toronto Life as your source, nonetheless). You'll make yourself sound out-of-touch, but at least you'll get to feel holier-than-thou about whatever generation you are from.

I suspect your response will be "go get a job designing buildings in Sudbury or Medicine Hat, where it's cheap. My response: take a hike. I shouldn't have to list off the numerous ways that isn't a solution and would create more problems than it would solve. I'd sooner move back in with my parents before I'd throw my life away to move off to the boonies (no employment there, by the way, especially in my field.) And trust me, I have no desire to move in with my parents.

EDIT: Update; I just looked at your Twitter. While you think my generation is just a bunch of whiners, it looks like you are too! If you don't like the traffic and bad drivers in Toronto, why don't you move away to a small town somewhere?
I love this post. That is all.
 

modernizt

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#6
I assure you you don't enjoy it as much as I enjoy another tired case of the "You young whippersnappers are lazy good-for-nothings! My generation, now those were the days!".
 

Admiral Beez

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#7
Circling back on this, as a fair consideration and response is warranted.
Despite all of our hard work, it has become clear to most of us that even in our late 20s, it's hard to afford living anywhere near our employment, and especially if that employment is downtown Toronto. It's not about being lazy, or failure due to poor choices. It's about the cost of living in Toronto being completely out of whack with the costs of living for someone in their 20s or 30s who is still "starting out". And it's not just a Toronto problem - it's widespread.
I did not intend to infer any laziness. And, for what it's worth, I'm totally fine with adults staying in their parent's home while they start their careers and build a cache to enable a good start later. Any parent would support that plan for their kids, I know I will. What bugged me most was the portrayed young person, with six figure salary saying they plan to inherit the house. It touched a nerve for me, since I look at these hardworking seniors, who have perhaps a decade of healthy living left, and they can't liquidate their assets to enjoy their senior years, because their 30+ year old adult kid won't leave. I know the article's premise is to provoke a reaction, so I guess I took the bait.
Please, by all means continue telling me how lazy and entitled my generation is
I had't mentioned entitlement. How do you feel you're entitled? If I inferred that, I take it back.
I suspect your response will be "go get a job designing buildings in Sudbury or Medicine Hat, where it's cheap. My response: take a hike. I shouldn't have to list off the numerous ways that isn't a solution and would create more problems than it would solve. I'd sooner move back in with my parents before I'd throw my life away to move off to the boonies
It is interesting that you consider relocating to other places in Canada to be throwing your life away. Instead, I'd see it as part of a great Canadian adventure. We have a huge country to experience, why isolate yourself to urban Toronto life? In my early 30s I moved my entire family to Fredericton, New Brunswick for a new job opportunity. My colleagues and friends thought this was a bad move, asking why would you want to leave downtown east Toronto and everything it has to offer? My reply was this is a big country, with many different cultures and ways of life, and I want to experience as much as I can, and not only as a tourist. For three years I lived the Atlantic Canadian life, and while I decided it wasn't for me and returned to Toronto, I certainly do not consider myself to have thrown away three years of my life.

You're in architecture? Why live in Toronto where the competition for jobs is so harsh, when jobs in architecture can be had across the country? Here's architecture jobs in PEI (you have to omit the software architecture positions)

https://ca.indeed.com/jobs?q=architect&l=prince+edward+island

Manitoba has even more https://ca.indeed.com/jobs?q=Architecture&l=Manitoba

And check out the homes you can get for under $400 in Manitoba

https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/...rentPage=1&ZoomLevel=11&PropertyTypeGroupID=1

To clarify my original post, for what it's worth, I do not think millennials are lazy or entitled. I do think perhaps there's an element of group think and self-limiting in their perspective and future planning. For example, to see setting off into the wilds of Canada as life-ruinous while our great grandparents and grandparents saw it as opportunity and adventure is noteworthy.
 
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modernizt

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#8
Opportunity is more than ever focused in the cities; it's undeniably different than in the past, so it makes perfect sense that younger people want to be in cities.

As for asking me why to leave Toronto and move to PEI? Why on earth would I leave a city with such a huge number of architecture jobs - not to mention stimulating, engaging, meaningful jobs in critical practices - to move to somewhere that is a desert when it comes to architecture and development? On top of that, why would I want to leave my friends, family, and the possibility of a very interesting and stimulating career? My entire life is here. What you are asking me to do is trade down, which makes no sense. People in the past didn't want to trade down in their lives, and neither do I.

You'll note that the issue isn't my job in Toronto. In fact, I am doing quite well for someone my age in the field. The issue is that the living costs are out of whack with it. Moving to PEI (trading down in terms of job quality, job satisfaction, doing the type of work I have always wanted to do) is not a solution for that. And one thing that makes up for the high costs and financial challenges is having friends and family and other supports close by.

I still hear you making commentary about my generation not behaving how you think we should. In reality, groups and cohorts often behave the way they do for very good reasons, especially when they are making critical decisions about their livelihood, career, and quality of life. You're entitled to your opinion, but the idea that the current generation could do better by following our great-grandparents' example and setting off into rural places for a better life sounds completely out of touch.

What you call "self limiting" I call "thinking critically about what matters most to me, and making my decisions accordingly."

By the way, have you considered retiring to Timbuktu? It's a beautiful city in Mali and it's known for being really cheap to retire to. You're away from everything and everyone you know and love, and it's one of the most desolate and boring places on the planet, but it's really cheap to live there. ;)
 
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tripwire

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#9
What bugged me most is the assumption that the parents will keep the big empty house until they die. This is such a selfish approach on the kids's part. Why can't the now senior parents sell their now million dollar houses, get some money in the bank and enjoy their senior years? If the kids aren't such dicks about it, the now cash rich parents might even splurge on their kids and any grand kids. It breaks my heart a little when I see these hard working immigrants living in proud but poverty conditions, shadowed by greedy adult kids, when they could sell the lot and really enjoy themselves. When I read that article I thought of Hagar in the Stone Angel, where everyone is waiting for her to die.
I definitely resonate with this part. I guess it's the "entitlement" stereotype of millenials that compounds it. But I certainly feel for the parents that basically have to hang on to the house to pass it on, instead of possibly cashing out/downsizing and enjoying their life as they really want.

At the same time though, I do feel for a lot of the young folks. My niece and her husband had a really hard time finding a house of their own to buy and both are young professionals making decent money but were getting outbid left and right. I don't think it's fair to just tell them to look outside of Toronto/GTA/Canada. Their life is here, and they love it and want to be here. Buying a house isn't a right, but the wealth disparity of who can afford a house is a grim reality IMHO. I feel I lucked out more than anything else in my situation, being able to buy when prices were reasonable for those just starting out.
 

Admiral Beez

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#10
But I certainly feel for the parents that basically have to hang on to the house to pass it on, instead of possibly cashing out/downsizing and enjoying their life as they really want
Yes, that’s the part that bugged me.
I don't think it's fair to just tell them to look outside of Toronto/GTA/Canada. Their life is here, and they love it and want to be here.
Sure, but people have always moved for necessity sake. My wife’s great grandparents and grandparents likely loved it in Ukraine in the early 1900s, their life was there, and their families, support network and community, but out of necessity they relocated to the Canadian prairies, and started a new life. My own parents and myself were born in the UK, and my parent’s uncles, brothers, grandparents, cousins and friends, careers, and suport network were all in the UK. But they saw the potential for greater opportunity elsewhere, so abandoned the old world for the new, and here we are today, all the kids are successful, home owners, working, with new lives, families and careers in Canada.

So, from this perspective, the idea of refusing to consider the rest of this huge and wonderful country we have by being focused on the GTA seems self limiting to me. Once you’re an adult, you realize that opportunity lies forward, not backward, you’re not locked into parent’s choices of location or lifestyle, or limited to the friends and social network you’ve grown up with. Instead, as you expand your horizons you’ll make your own family, your own roots, your own new foundations, new social network and new friends.

Perhaps my mindset is more nomadic than most. This article sums up the contrast between staying put with one’s roots and seeking a new life elsewhere http://nationalpost.com/opinion/tri...y-somebody-wouldnt-want-to-leave-attawapiskat
 
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to_l

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#11
While relocation is certainly a viable solution, I don't think that the affordability of the housing market should be the only reason to move, especially when one is speaking of moving across the country; factors such as career growth potential, community/social support, long-term goals, etc. should also be taken into consideration.

Certainly, as an adult, necessity has to drive a lot of one's decisions and sometimes one just have to do it because one is an adult and that's just what one has to do but I feel that it should always be balanced with what's right/best for you, outside of purely economic/tangible benefits. What's the point of having a house if where you are is making you miserable? Or if it provides no benefit, long-term or otherwise, beyond property ownership?
 

sixrings

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#12
Certainly, as an adult, necessity has to drive a lot of one's decisions and sometimes one just have to do it because one is an adult and that's just what one has to do but I feel that it should always be balanced with what's right/best for you, outside of purely economic/tangible benefits. What's the point of having a house if where you are is making you miserable? Or if it provides no benefit, long-term or otherwise, beyond property ownership?
I think the main discussion here is at what point are the parents not need to feel responsible for their children and when do they officially move out? I am not a parent but I do think part of parenting is preparing your children to leave the nest. I have officially left the nest. It was not easy. I took out a huge mortgage to do it. But my property goes up more than I make in a year. I could never save enough living at home to keep up with the inflation prices which means I would have been priced out of the market which is now what I am seeing regarding my friends who kept saying they were saving. Some of them have just given up and moved to places like London. AS for my Toronto friends, I know this might sound judgmental, but the ones who live at home drive fancier cars than I do (they often drive much fancier cars than their own parents who paid for the house), eat out more than I do, go on vacations more than I do. However the only way they will ever own their own place is if they inherit one. Toronto Life did have an article in it about a year ago about a 30 something year old man who made very good money. Something like 150,000. But he thought he was a fool to buy a place or pay rent so he lived at home and secretly spent his money traveling the world so his parents wouldn't know he was burning through his money. The man would not give his name to Toronto Life because he was concerned his mom may read the article and kick him out. But for him he was laughing that he was checking off his bucket list in record time. As for my own family, I have parents that go to work in a factory. Both of them get up at like 4am to go to work which is often much more than 40 hour weeks. They own a house in Mississauga. Now I know this doesn't speak for all children at home but my sister and brother work part time jobs and do not contribute at all to the house financially and or chore wise. My parents still mow the giant lawn, shovel the drive way, do laundry and make food for these individuals. They will never move out because it is simply too good at home. Some people in the new generation make it out to be like houses 20 years ago were next to free. If that was true no one would have needed 20 year mortgages. People simply sacrificed. Generally speaking I do not think people today want to sacrifice yet they look at those who did sacrifice and only see that they were "lucky."
 

to_l

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#13
My post was mainly more in response to the "relocation to afford a house" solution. I don't think that there's anything wrong with living at home as an adult AS LONG as you contribute equally to the upkeep of the household and treat it as one would an actual rental property/mortgage, albeit under more relaxed conditions. The main crux for me is that as long as you contribute to the running and upkeep of the household and not treat it as a free ride then it shouldn't be a problem.
 

sixrings

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#14
Well I bought a small house to give my future kids the hint but I appreciate your Non free loading. If your parents are OK with it that is all that matters. But here is the freeloader I am talking about from Toronto Life. I think this dude is the complete extreme but again most of my friends who live at home drive BMWS while their parents drive caravans so I don't think it's as much an anomaly that my generation wants to pretend it is. https://torontolife.com/city/life/spend-generation-manifesto/
 

Admiral Beez

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#15
My post was mainly more in response to the "relocation to afford a house" solution. I don't think that there's anything wrong with living at home as an adult AS LONG as you contribute equally to the upkeep of the household and treat it as one would an actual rental property/mortgage, albeit under more relaxed conditions. The main crux for me is that as long as you contribute to the running and upkeep of the household and not treat it as a free ride then it shouldn't be a problem.
But the parents are still stuck in limbo. It's not that the kids won't move on with their lives, it's also that the parents cannot move on with theirs. These now senior folks can't downsize their housing and realize some of the massive equity in their homes to enjoy their retirement, instead even in their 60s and beyond they are responsible for providing a safe harbour for their adult kids. The only escape these seniors have from this hyper extension of parental responsibility is death, to which one of the 30+ year old "young" adults alluded to, in that she expected to inherit the house, meaning the parents will be guilted into staying put until they expire.

I love my daughters, but if they need housing when they're in their early 30s (when I'm in my mid 60s), I'd help them make a down payment on a place of their own, hopefully nearby for visits, rather than have them back full time. Of course this "bank of mom and dad" is causing its own issues on the housing market, with artificial inflation of housing prices beyond what the buyers themselves would be able to afford.
 
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