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Young adults living at home is a story of economics.

Halfpoint/Getty Images/iStockphoto

When you live in an expensive city, achieving financial independence takes time. You graduate, find work and then see if you can afford to afford to move out of your parent's home. Often, you can't.

As noted in a recent Toronto Life profile of millennials living with their parents, the latest census shows that roughly 42 per cent of Ontario residents between the ages of 20 and 34 live at home. Read the profiles and you'll understand why.

In some cases, the jobs these young people have simply don't pay enough to cover Toronto's expensive rents. Others have a lot of debt, and living at home is a big help in getting it paid off. The common thread is that having a job may not be enough to make you financially independent.

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One of the most interesting aspects of these profiles is the way in which millennials living at home are contributing to the household. Some are buying groceries, some are paying utility bills and others are doing household chores ranging from cooking to shovelling show. These families are taking a tough situation and making it work.

Subscribe to Carrick on Money
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Rob's personal finance reading list…

Top 10 hand-me-downs your kids don't want
This book excerpt is aimed at downsizing parents. On the list are books, porcelain figurine collections, heavy antique furniture and more.

Happy with your Loblaw's gift card?
The grocery chain offered customers a $25 gift card to apologize for its involvement in a price-fixing scandal involving bread. The cards were recently mailed out and some customers are happy to get them. Others, not so much.

Add these to your grocery list
A list of the world's most nutritious foods, many of them quite cheap to buy. Mostly fruits and veggies, but a few fishes and meats make the list.

A warning on Toronto and Vancouver real estate
A global bank's real estate bubble index puts Toronto and Vancouver in the top four. A reminder that there is risk in financial assets that appreciate massively in price.

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Today's featured financial tool
The Canada Revenue agency offers this summary of tax breaks and benefits for families.

Ask Rob
The question: "How are exchange-traded fund prices determined? Is it simply the current value of the underlying stock portfolio that tracks an index, divided by the number of shares issued? The reason I ask is that I wonder whether there is a way speculators can artificially increase or decrease the price of an ETF, thereby introducing a risk that I haven't heard talked about regarding ETFs?"

The answer: "The ETF giant BlackRock explains ETF pricing as follows: 'An ETF calculates net asset value (NAV) at the end of each day. It reflects the total per-share value of the underlying securities, plus cash and any other assets held in the portfolio, and less liabilities.' It's possible for an ETF to trade at a premium or discount to its net asset value, but this would be a result of market conditions and not actions by speculators artificially altering ETF prices. 'It's important to note that premiums and discounts are less relevant if your ETF is part of a buy-and-hold strategy,' BlackRock says."

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can't answer every one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length.

What I've been writing about
- Our children have watched our borrowing habits, and now they're loading up on debt
- How much of a pasting will your bond ETFs take as rates rise?
- The 2018 ETF Buyer's Guide: Best bond funds (for Globe Unlimited subscribers)

More Carrick and money coverage
For more money stories, follow me on Instagram and Twitter, and join the discussion on my Facebook page. Millennial readers, join our Gen Y Money Facebook group.

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Financial facelift callout
Are you wondering if you are set for retirement? Is your financial plan for buying a house and or investing for the future on track? For some free advice from The Globe, be part of our Financial Facelift series. We are looking for people of all ages, stripes and financial situations. E-mail us at to take part.

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