Aging Parents Helping Adult Children Financially: Unhealthy Results

Aging Parents Helping Adult Children Financially: Unhealthy Results

Sometimes the empty nest fills back up. It’s no new thing that sometimes the children, even after college and having become adults, return home to their parents and resume residence in the family home. But in the modern era, with the economy becoming tighter than ever and worsening with each passing year, more adults than ever are either moving back home or relying upon their parents for financial support in maintaining their living circumstances.

While parents often do want to help their kids, the basic fact is there is usually only so much money to go around. And many parents find themselves dipping into retirement nest eggs and other investments earmarked for the golden years to help their kids. Beyond the simply fiscal, when parents continually step in to resolve problems, it can create dependency between them and their kids. Parents can get used to being in charge, since they’re so often left to pick up the financial pieces for even their adult children. Meanwhile, the adults whose parents are always there for them can lose independence and even the motivation to make their own sound decisions.

Anyway you look at this kind of situation, it’s complicated and hard to navigate. There are no right answers for everyone, but hopefully each family can find the ones that work for them.

Key Points:

  • 1Study shows that nearly a quarter of adult parents are assisting their grown children by providing rent money.
  • 2Almost 40% are assisting their grown children by covering the cost of their cell phone.
  • 3Unfortunately, this can lead to a slow leak in retirement savings for the parents of these needy adult children.


When our children get into financial messes and we have means, we want to help.
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