Tough economy has adult kids moving back in with parents

December 1, 2022

If you take a look at the cost of real estate in most Canadian towns and cities – and then look as well at rental rates – it is not surprising that so-called “boomerang kids” are choosing or being forced to move back in with their parents.

Figures from 2016 – pre-pandemic – from Statistics Canada showed “34.7 per cent (of) young adults aged 20 to 34 were living with at least one parent,” states an article on the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada website.

The article, written in 2019, quotes Great West Life Realty Advisors’ Brigitte Lazarko as saying the high cost of housing is definitely a contributor factor in the boomerang equation.

“Everybody has that dream of owning a home, and they’re seeing [that] it’s going to take quite a bit more to get there than perhaps the previous generation,” she states in the article.

Since then, while housing prices have rolled back from their highs, interest rates have jumped to record high levels. That makes mortgages more expensive, and can increase rental rates as well, and no doubt the number of kids moving home has increased.

Interest rates, which recently were around 6.8 per cent, are having impacts on housing, confirms MoneyWise Canada via MSN.

“Higher mortgage rates have already affected house sales. With fewer buyers, homesellers have been forced to consider lower prices,” the article notes.

“But it’s not only buyers and sellers impacted. Renters are competing with those who can’t afford to buy, while investors are considering raising rent to keep up with increasing mortgage payments,” the article continues.

Those of us who remember paying under $200 a month for a one-bedroom apartment in the 1980s (when interest rates were also high) get sticker shock when they see what young people must pay now. The article notes that the average rent for one-bedroom apartments in Vancouver hit $2,590 recently, with Toronto ($2,474) and Burnaby ($2,292) close behind.

The pandemic has added some twists in the boomerang story, reports the BBC. “Though the ‘boomerang’ stage has been on the rise for at least the last decade, the pandemic has added a few new contributing factors: many who planned to go away for college could not – university campuses closed across the world – and others who might have otherwise moved for a job after college delayed leaving home because in-office work has not been available,” the broadcaster reports.

Other factors that hinder kids from leaving the nest include student debt, time needed to save a much larger down payment or just the need to “establish themselves in their career,” the BBC reports.

The Street reports that having to look after adult kids can impact retirement savings.

“Parents in their 40s and 50s should be saving aggressively for retirement, and extended child support can do a lot of damage. Suppose an assortment of parenting costs come to $500 a month for five years, starting when the parents were 45. If that money was invested instead at an eight per cent annual return it would grow to $36,707 in five years,” the article notes. “Over the next 20 years that sum could grow to $171,000. How many 70-year-olds wouldn’t like to have that?,” the publication reports.

Forbes magazine offers five ideas on how to help boomerang kids become more financially self-sufficient, including a detailed cost analysis on what extra you’ll pay to help the kids with accommodation, their bills, etc., to helping them set up a budget, to considering charging them rent, to getting them saving for retirement while at home, and to making sure they get financial advice.

The overall message here is to work things out beforehand, so that your kids aren’t “guests,” but contributing family members with various chores and responsibilities. As well, an effort needs to be made to ensure that they benefit from living at home for less by paying off debt and saving for the future, including retirement.

For anyone without a retirement program at work, the Saskatchewan Pension Plan (SPP) is a great do-it-yourself option. You can contribute up to $7,000 a year towards SPP, plus you can consolidate savings stuck in various registered retirement savings plans by transferring up to $10,000 annually into SPP. Be sure to check out this made-in-Saskatchewan solution to Canadian retirement saving today!

Join the Wealthcare Revolution – follow SPP on Facebook!

Written by Martin Biefer

Martin Biefer is Senior Pension Writer at Avery & Kerr Communications in Nepean, Ontario. A veteran reporter, editor and pension communicator, he’s now a freelancer. Interests include golf, line dancing and classic rock, and playing guitar. Got a story idea? Let Martin know via LinkedIn.

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