A large number of Malaysian adults in their 30s continue living in the family home, both single and married. We asked several Malaysians why, and you’ll be touched by some of the responses.
As much as moving out to your own place is glorified, there’s also no shame in living in the family home even as adults. Not all of us have the capabilities – whether financially or emotionally – to leave the family home, and that’s perfectly fine. Due to certain circumstances, some of us might even continue living with parents (or in-laws) after marriage and kids.
Even so, have you ever wondered why a number of Malaysian adults continue living with parents even in their 30s? Are financial reasons largely the reason why? Or is it because of the Asian filial piety that gives us that sense of responsibility to care for our parents, who are now in their twilight years?
Below, we spoke to some Malaysians who share their reasons. Some responses might even make you feel touched.
*The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of iProperty.com.my.
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Money was one of the biggest factors
“I’m still living with my parents because I’m saving money to buy my own house.” — Azimin
“Buying a house in KL is so expensive. I wanted to live close to my parents, but they live in the main town area, which is too expensive. Also, renting a house is pretty pointless to me. Basically, it boils down to monetary reasons. Plus, staying at home is comfortable!” — Kar May
“My parents used to run a grocery store, and us siblings needed to help out. So over time, I got used to living with my parents. Plus, few people in a small town like ours move out before they get married. Salaries in a small town like Kluang aren’t high too, so for locals it’s better to continue living with parents instead of renting a house or room.” — S.T.
“It’s to minimise my expenses, I guess. Living in Petaling Jaya, we’re in the centre of it all. I don’t want to think of wasting extra money to rent a place in PJ. It’s probably something I’d do only if my job posts me to a far flung place. My mother is also a family-oriented person and she doesn’t like detachments, which is probably why I never thought of moving out.” — Brian
“It made more sense for me to stay with my mother, because I save money, especially since I’m working for myself and income isn’t always steady. Also, she doesn’t like the house being empty — it’s a fairly big house, and my married sisters have already moved out. Plus, I’m spoilt with the location. It’s a sweet spot right in between Petaling Jaya and KL, so it’s really convenient. I definitely wouldn’t be able to afford a place of my own with the same sort of convenience!” — Jillian
“It’s more cost-efficient to live with parents. However, if I had extra money, I’d prefer to live alone.” — Ken Ke
It’s good to be there for family
“I realized through this pandemic that I could never be more grateful to live with my parents. I’m basically at home all the time now since the MCO started last year, and I’ve noticed just how much my parents have aged silently all these years, especially since I had spent most of my time working during the weekdays and hanging out with friends during the weekends. I used to live elsewhere to be closer to my workplace and I enjoyed that too, but now I just want to cherish every moment I have with them in their remaining time. I must say I’m extremely fortunate to have parents that give me 100% freedom and support too.” — HN
“Staying together with parents isn’t necessarily a bad thing. If there was an emergency among ourselves, we can still look after one another under the same roof. Even my grandmother who used to live in Taiping was convinced to stay with us when she was around. We didn’t think of sending her to a nursing home, which would be an additional expense.” — Jeremy
“I’m the eldest son. After my dad passed away, I felt the responsibility to be with the family physically. Plus, I’m still single, so there’s no strong reason for me to rent a house and live on my own. But if I had a job offer elsewhere, I’d go.” — OCE
“Because my dad is old and alone. I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if something were to happen to him. I wouldn’t turn back time to do things differently too, because if my mother was still in the picture, I’d probably never be able to leave the house.” — Wi L.
“I live with my in-laws! They are extremely helpful with the baby and my daily meals. Plus my husband says that we needed to care for them when they are older, so we may as well move in together now instead of later.” — Sabrina
Security for both parties
“I’m still living at home mostly for security and safety reasons. My parents are the type to worry too much because it’s unsafe out there, so I thought it would be better to stay at home to give them a sense of relief. Also, I didn’t want to commit to investing in a piece of property.” — SC
For convenience’s sake
“I choose to continue living at home because it’s convenient and I’m used to daily life with the family. But if I could turn back time, I would have definitely moved out at an earlier age for independence and much-needed personal space, despite the unfamiliarity.” — Grace
“I’m at home for convenience and synergy. After all, why cook separate meals when my mother can just cook a bigger portion of the same meal, haha! Moving out would also mean needing to furnish my own place, pay for extra utility bills, and more. It saves time to do chores for one house instead of two, most of which is done by my mother, because she’s a saint like that.” — Pei Yi
Living with family can be a wonderful thing, but if you’ve been living in the same home for several decades, it’s probably time to consider refreshing the place. With wear and tear, certain furnishings and appliances might not be working as well as it used to in your childhood. Your parents are also getting older, so it’s best to take into consideration certain remodelling tips that can accommodate their limited mobility.
Can you empathise with these stories? Have one that you’d like to share? Tell us! Find out more here.
Interested to read more real-life stories shared by Malaysians? Check out #iPropertyStories here:
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? Housemate horror stories that prove you’re better off living alone.