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Is someone independent if parents bought them a house?


RaisedEyebrow
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Her parents do not live with her. They bought an expensive and well furnished place in a very convenient location for her to live in. The rent she pays is much lower than what is normally charged to live in a place like that.

 

She does her own shopping, cooks her own meals, pays the bills and defied her parents in terms of career choice, always did what she wanted to do. More or less settles her own affairs.

 

She claims she is a very independent person. I'm on the fence about this. What do you think?

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I don't see anything in your post that would make her not independent. It's quite normal for families, especially people who are well off, to all mutually benefit from various investments, etc. That doesn't make any one family member a dependent, unless they don't pay any bills and don't work and are living purely off family support, which is obviously not the case here.

 

If she is paying rent to her parents, then it's nor her house, it's their investment property. If she isn't happy, she can move out any time she wants to. If they can't dictate to her how to live or what to do, then she is by definition independent of her family. That doesn't mean that they aren't close or that they won't support and benefit each other. Blood is thicker than water.

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She is not financially independent of her parents. That is only one aspect of independence. As far as her other choices in her individual situation her parents are not making their control over her choices a precondition of paying her rent. If they were, and she accepted that level of control I might have a different answer about her level of independence.

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If she is paying rent on the property - she is independent. My aunt and uncle moved down south when they retired and decided not to sell their home in my state yet and rent it out to a family member --- the benefit is that the house is taken care of (just having someone living in a house is better assurance that the pipes won't freeze due to lack of use, things that break would not just fester, etc and the lawn would be cut so that it doesn't look abandoned) until they sell and the relative has a larger space to live in for the price and a safer neighborhood.

 

If she is 22, I think this arrangement is fine. If she is 55, then well that might be a different story.

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Being independent as more or less a simple state of being is different from being independent as a standout character trait. Whether she owns or pays rent below market rate, her quality of life was or still is being subsidized, and it would appear pretty heavily so. Now that's certainly not a knock. Her parents are willing and able to offer her that comfort, and I couldn't blame anyone for indulging in the benefits of that. And if perhaps she means a "very independent person" emotionally or spatially, I'd give her the benefit. However, if she's vocally including her being a homeowner or having struck big on her rental she's been afforded courtesy of mommy and daddy as some testament to her being exceptionally independent, that's where my respect would fall off.

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Being independent as more or less a simple state of being is different from being independent as a standout character trait. Whether she owns or pays rent below market rate, her quality of life was or still is being subsidized, and it would appear pretty heavily so. Now that's certainly not a knock. Her parents are willing and able to offer her that comfort, and I couldn't blame anyone for indulging in the benefits of that. And if perhaps she means a "very independent person" emotionally or spatially, I'd give her the benefit. However, if she's vocally including her being a homeowner or having struck big on her rental she's been afforded courtesy of mommy and daddy as some testament to her being exceptionally independent, that's where my respect would fall off.

 

Would someone in a rent controlled apartment (they pay $500 while everyone else is at $1800), someone who is housesitting for friends who will be in Europe for 2 years for work and they pay the electricity and cable but no rent because they are watering the plants and minding the goldfish, etc, not fall into the same boat, then?

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Would someone in a rent controlled apartment (they pay $500 while everyone else is at $1800), someone who is housesitting for friends who will be in Europe for 2 years for work and they pay the electricity and cable but no rent because they are watering the plants and minding the goldfish, etc, not fall into the same boat, then?
Yes. You actually pretty much nailed my implication when I chose to use "subsidized." Again, it's not a negative judgment. I don't think anyone should feel compelled to forego opportunities simply as a matter of pride or for the sake of holding a top position in the Demonstrably Independent Olympics. But "very" is a qualitative descriptor; one I'd be pretty hesitant to use in suggesting I'm more independent than most if in any part by virtue of my parents having bought a home next to my workplace for me to pay a nominal rent on. I'm not saying one can't value themselves as an independent adult regardless, but there's a certain level of audacity that I think comes with someone appraising their level of independence higher than most others while enjoying the benefit of full or partial relief from what is, for a good many, the single largest cost-based responsibility in their lives.

 

It may seem semantic, but it'd be a red flag for me if someone I was dating was in any of those circumstances and proceeded to tout themselves as very independent, at least not without some pretty exceptional circumstances to offset their benefit (which, to the credit of the OP's lady, there very well may be). It'd suggest to me that their head might be at least scraping the clouds. It's not something I'd get up and leave the restaurant over, but I'd be on the watch for what they're entitled to should they decide to take a breather from being very independent to just be basic independent.

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Being independent as more or less a simple state of being is different from being independent as a standout character trait. Whether she owns or pays rent below market rate, her quality of life was or still is being subsidized, and it would appear pretty heavily so. Now that's certainly not a knock. Her parents are willing and able to offer her that comfort, and I couldn't blame anyone for indulging in the benefits of that. And if perhaps she means a "very independent person" emotionally or spatially, I'd give her the benefit. However, if she's vocally including her being a homeowner or having struck big on her rental she's been afforded courtesy of mommy and daddy as some testament to her being exceptionally independent, that's where my respect would fall off.

 

I moved out when I was 28, after grad school. At that time I paid 100% of my own rent. I think my parents took me shopping on move in day and insisted on paying for the staple foods/cleaning supplies as a "house warming". It was only then, when I started living on my own and paying my own rent that I realized how independent it made me feel in contrast to before. And my first apartment was below-market because it was owned by a family friend who sublet it to me. I didn't see that as any indication of being less than "independent" -many people shop around and sublet from a friend or house-sit, etc.

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I would not consider her a very independent person. I'd consider her reasonably independent .

 

What I consider very independent is someone who is determined to make all matter of things happen for themselves without assistance.

I can think of many examples of people I know who I'd consider very independent, practically and in spirit.

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I would not consider her a very independent person. I'd consider her reasonably independent

 

What I consider very independent is someone who is determined to make all matter of things happen for themselves without assistance.

I can think of many examples of people I know who I'd consider very independent, practically and in spirit.

Precisely the message I meant to convey. It's not that I'm ****ting on people who have had opportunities and took advantage of them. In fact, I'd argue that being in a position to be fiercely independent isn't necessarily a good thing. People should value themselves as an independent and respectable person if for no other reason than that's typically the prerequisite to being one. But someone comes to me touting their exceptional independence while living in the comfort of a conventionally located home their parents purchased for them, I'm sincerely wondering what their baseline view of "independent" is.
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^ I think I understand exactly what you mean, jman, and I agree.

 

Reminds me of years ago, a friend of mine who was receiving guidance and financial help from her family to go through school and to have a very nice living arrangement too. She would bristle when another friend would receive encouragement for putting himself through school and covering all his costs of life. She always had that guiding hand of assistance through life, he did not ever have that. She would get quite upset as though encouragement his way were a knock to her, she did not understand how his situation was any different than hers and felt like she was not being properly acknowledged for 'doing everything on my own!'.

No one was ever suggesting any knock to her for taking help when it was available. But she just didn't get the difference - and there is one.

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