Saturday, 21 June 2008

SBS's The Nest

At 28th June 2008 there will be a reality documentary on SBS called The Nest, which is about kids who live with their parents until adulthood. This is an issue of interest for me because I am 24 and still live with my parents. Most Australians who are my age do this as well mainly because property prices and interest rates are high.

Demographer Bernard Salt has the following to say:

[A] longer lasting co-dependence between parents and their children will leave both parties emotionally and financially unprepared for their future. In his book ‘The Big Picture’ Bernard says “The social contract being applied here is that adult children are allowed to continue their kiddish ways so that boomer mums and dads may continue as practicing parents.”

I suspect that Salt is saying that if kids live with their parents all the time they will not develop the ability to look after themselves.

One of the problems of living with parents is that you sometimes have to share the house with people you may not like. I like all my family members but often siblings bring in friends who get on my nerves. If I owned the house in which I lives, I could legally prohibit anyone I don't like from coming into my house because they would otherwise be trespassing. When I live with my parents I don't have that freedom because my parents run the house, not me.

One reason why I don't want to move out is because I have read OECD and IMF reports that claim that Melbourne property is 25 per cent overvalued. Why would I buy a house that's too expensive? Couple this with the sky-high interest rates and it makes little sense for me to move out.

Some say that living with parents makes you less able to handle the shock of the outside world. I think it's the opposite. If you live in the outside world, you have to pay for your own food, your own electricity, your own laundry, etc. You have less money to save up. Therefore, if something happens to you, e.g. you have a medical emergency, then you're in a lot of trouble. The best way to deal with the shock of the outside world is to have a stash of money saved up to get you through the tough times. This stash of money cannot be saved up if you are not living at home with your parents, or at least it is harder to save up.

Another reason why living with parents is a good idea is because it reduces carbon emissions. This proves that adults who live with parents are not selfish. If you live in a house with Mom and Dad then three people living in a house share things like TV and heating is going to create less carbon emission per person than one person living in one house of the same size. Three people watching one TV is more environmentally friendly than three people watching three TVs.

Living with parents is an economically responsible and environmentally responsible lifestyle choice.

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