The Nest Should be Emptying but Instead It Fills up Again

By: Daniel Rattanamahattana on October 8, 2012

One of the societal norms in Canada these days is growing numbers of young adults are moving back home with the family.  After completing college the goal of course is to continue spreading the wings and building a new life, but today’s economic reality limits that goal for a large portion of Canada’s Generation Y.  Jobs are not being offered to graduates who have spent more than their savings paying for school; and that massive level of student debt makes affordable housing difficult to live on.

According to Stats Canada’s 2011 census data, 42 percent of young adults aged 20-29 still live at home a number that matches the 2006 data; which interestingly gives evidence that younger people were returning home before the recession even began. Doug Porter BMO’s deputy chief economist says that part of the reason is that in every age bracket across the country and especially with young adults, people are saving less money than they were 20 years ago.

“I really think this is more that it is being forced upon them, they really have no choice or they would be even deeper in debt than they already are.”

Instead more and more families find the numbers growing again as graduates return to the home nest to make their next plans for the future. During that time however, parents who are part of Canada’s aging baby boomers are making their plans for the future surrounding retirement and a life away from work, from providing for others. With the kids back home it delays retirement plans because there has to be a cost born for housing, feeding, and supporting the kids; as Porter says “somebody has to pay.”

Unfortunately it seems to be a trend unlikely to change for most Canadian families.  The average home price in Canada is approximately $365,000 and a minimum down payment for a government backed loan requires $18,000 in savings.  Graduates who can’t find jobs to start making a living either must rent and eke out a survival or move home to the parents for help in getting by.

As Canada’s middle class continues to be crushed by debt the vicious cycle continues. Students can’t find jobs because companies won’t hire them; they’re forced to move home to the parents who must work longer to support their kids, keeping the jobs from being made available.  Without a serious change in investment policies from companies across the country, Canadian families better get used to the new way of living.