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I wrote a book just over a decade ago called How Not to Move Back in With Your Parents: The Young Person’s Guide to Financial Empowerment.

I’d retitle the book, if published today, as follows: How to Move Back in With Your Parents. Rent increases are oppressive these days and young people need relief. There are only a few realistic options – move to a cheaper city or a suburb, find roommates or move back in with your parents.

My book was written at a time when young people were moving back home as a result of an economic slowdown and tough job market. Moving home was seen as kind of sad back then, but necessary and practical for some. Today, if you’re fortunate enough to have a favourable family situation, moving back home offers a near-ideal solution to unaffordable rents.

You can see the rent problem clearly in this chart from BMO Capital Markets. As BMO put it, “rents are the new villain in the inflation saga.”

Open this photo in gallery:

Screenshot/Handout

The Globe and Mail’s Stress Test personal finance podcast for Gen Z and millennials recently looked at how expensive rents are causing people to live with roommates well past the usual age for that sort of thing. Having roommates means big-time compromises, but so does moving back in with your parents.

The big advantage for moving back home: You cut your accommodation expenses to the minimum, even if your parents charge you a token rent. Rentals.ca says the average two-bedroom apartment rent is $2,329, which is still a hefty $1,164.50 when divided by two.

If you moved back home and paid your parents $400 per month for rent, groceries and utilities, you’d still be ahead by $764.50 per month. You could save that money for a down payment on a condo, or build a fund to help cover rental costs when you move out at a future date. Think of moving back home as a pit stop on your way to affordable housing.


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Rob’s personal finance reading list

High level hotel hacks

A great list of ways to make a hotel stays more convenient and comfortable, including one to address noise in hotel corridors. Now, for a list of 25 money-saving travel trips, including one I use all the time when renting a vehicle.

So much for the 8 per cent retirement rule

The U.S. personal finance guy Dave Ramsay recently started an argument by recommending people hold 100 per cent of their retirement savings in stocks, thereby allowing them to withdraw 8 per cent of their holdings per year. Here’s some analysis by Morningstar, an independent investment research company, on this idea. Also, a look at the latest thinking on the usual default withdrawal rate of 4 per cent.

Now’s a good time for a TFSA withdrawal

Tax-free savings accounts have been around since 2009, but people still get tripped up by the recontribution rules. Tip: If you withdraw money from a TFSA at year end, you can recontribute it in the new year.

So long, Mint

Quite a few readers have asked for alternatives to the budgeting app Mint, which is being discontinued as a result of a big decline in users. I included a list of other budgeting apps in a recent newsletter, and then I came across this analysis of why Mint hasn’t flourished. What people want from personal finance apps is “performance,” which means they accomplish a specific task. Users are less interested in insights on where their money goes.


Ask Rob

Q: My advisers are moving from one investment dealer to another. Should I go along with them?

A: The important relationship is with your adviser, not his or her employer. So, if you’re happy with the service and value for the fees you pay, it makes sense to follow your adviser to the new company. Otherwise, you have an opportunity for a reset with a new adviser at your existing investment company, or elsewhere.

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 and clarity.


Tools, explainers, guides and charts

A global stock market chart showing the share of Canada, the United States and others. A great argument for diversification.


The Money-Free Zone

I’m going to keep mentioning songs from the 1970s soul-folk musician Terry Callier until the world remembers how great he was. Here’s one of his best, You Goin’ Miss Your Candyman.


Listen to this

The Mastering Money podcast from CPA Canada, representing accountants, covers the job market in its latest season. Included are segments on compensation and future-proofing your career.


On social media

Rent increases shown in graphic form. Just brutal.


In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories
  • Toronto gym receptionist earning $32,000, with consumer debt and ‘meagre’ savings, feels anxious about the future
  • Millennials whose parents owned a home twice as likely to be homeowners: Statistics Canada
  • The fall economic statement from my own family’s household ain’t pretty
  • Subsidies to rich seniors make no sense

More Rob Carrick and money coverage

Subscribe to Stress Test on Apple podcasts or Spotify. 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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