Adult Home Coming

Reporter: Gavin Alder

Just when you thought they were gone... when your life was becoming yours again.

Guess what? They're baaaack....!

It's the long march back for Generation Y. The march back home after the big move out, which is why they've earnt a new name: 'Kippers' - kids in parents pockets eroding retirement and savings. "The number of 20-somethings living with their parents is estimated in the 2006 census at around about 25%" says Bernard Salt. It something parents have warned them about for years. Bills, rent, mortgage, the economy can break you down - its tough out there. But its something these twenty somethings are only learning now - the hard way.

"All these bills kept coming in, water, electricity, gas, there was Foxtel, the internet." Jarryd Flintoff learnt some tough lessons when he moved out with 2 mates. "We wrote all down what we thought the bills would come to, split in four and then we'd look at our wages and think we can afford this - we were wrong." And soon the prodigal son was back - in full swing.

"The only thing thats different here is I don't have to cook as much, I don't have to do the yardwork, I was living in a house with a backyard, had to mow it, dad looks after that" says Jarryd. "You lose your privacy… You have to watch what you do, what you say, not really what you say, and if he's brought a girl home - whoops!" says Jarryd's dad. The Flintoff's see it as an extension of their role as parents.

"I'm hoping that he'll start to really save so that he can get his own place and start his future" says mum. And they have some advice for parents of kipper kids. "Don't let them give you all their chores to do - make them do them selves - make them responsible for their finances, cleaning, washing ironing - all of it - don't give it to them on a plate" says the Flintoffs.

"You get free meals, free board, free laundry, access to family car, you can even have your girlfriend stay in your bedroom overnight...why would you ever leave home?" says Bernard Salt. Leading social demographer, Bernard Salt blames the rise of the kippers on the global crunch and a Gen Y trend towards postponing adulthood. "Part of it is in fact the economic basis to this, if mum and dad are picking up the basics then you have more discretionary spending, to spend on phones, travel and education, a good time" adds Bernard.

But he warns parents acting as a safety net for their prodigal off spring could pay in their twilight years. "What they're actually doing is borrowing from the funding of their own retirement to fund their 20-somethings lifestyle, in their 20s, I think the jury is still out on that, and I think that baby boomers over the next ten years will find that it's very hard to live in retirement with the amount of money they've actually put aside" says Bernard.

"Just the fact that I've lived out of home, just make it seem like not failure - but a little bit of a step backwards, it is a little bit embarrassing" says Merran. At 23, Merran Bowe is back in her old room. "I decided to come home - it was the end of uni - the house I was living in was moving on. As I was looking for a house, it became more apparent it would be easier to live with my parents for a few months and save money and hopefully move out and get it from my full time job."

Her return to the roost has produced some awkward moments. "The late night stumble homes are always a point of discussion, can always disrupt the house a little bit, no matter how hard you try to be quiet" says Merran. But some things never change: They still want to know where I am all the time, if I'm going to be home for dinner, do I have clean clothes, have I eaten? All that kind of stuff. I love them for it but at the same time, its hard to answer to someone" adds Merran.

While Salt believes the effect on their retirement funds should be a concern, its also nice for parents to feel wanted."It's not all about Gen Y being selfish, it's also I think, about 50-somethings enjoying being needed" says Bernard Salt.

if you'd like YOUR adult kids to move out, let us know tt@7perth.com.au