2024 Election

Study Finds 47% Adult Children Being Financially Supported By Their Parents

Many argue it’s harder today for young adults to make it on their own.

In addition to soaring food and housing costs, millennials and Generation Z face other financial challenges their parents did not at that age. Not only are their wages lower than their parents’ earnings when they were in their 20s and 30s, after adjusting for inflation, but they are also carrying larger student loan balances, recent reports show.

So, parents are stepping in to help. From buying food to paying for a cellphone plan or covering health and auto insurance, nearly half, or 47%, of parents with a child older than 18 provide them with at least some financial support, according to a report by Savings.com.

These parents are shelling out $1,384 a month, on average, the report found.

By other measures, young adults are doing well.

Compared with their parents at this age, Gen Zers are more likely to have a college degree and work full time, particularly women, who are not only achieving increasing levels of education, but also earning more.

Yet, 61% of adult children still living at home don’t contribute to household expenses at all, Savings.com found.

For parents, however, supporting grown children can be a substantial drain at a time when their own retirement security is at risk.

In fact, 58% of parents said they have sacrificed their own financial security for the sake of their adult children, a jump from 37% of parents a year earlier, Savings.com also found.

Parents should “have a good financial plan for themselves, then budget how much they can give their kids,” said Carolyn McClanahan, a certified financial planner and founder of Life Planning Partners in Jacksonville, Florida

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By many measures, Generation Z is doing well.

Compared with their parents at this age, young adults are more likely to have a college degree and work full time — particularly women, who are not only achieving increasing levels of education but also earning more.

However, Gen Z adults are also less likely to own a home, be married or have children.

Today’s young adults are reaching those key milestones later than their parents did in the early 1990s, according to a recent report by the Pew Research Center. Pew surveyed about 1,500 adults between the ages of 18 and 34 and more than 3,000 parents of adult children. Gen Z is generally defined as those born between 1996 and 2012, including a cohort of teens and tweens.

Although young adults today are much more likely than their parents to have a four-year college degree, work full time and have higher wages than their parents did 30 years ago, they are also more likely to have outstanding student loans, Pew found.

Not only is it common to carry education debt, but those balances have soared, the report also said, primarily as a result of the rising cost of college.

“They [Gen Zers] are more highly educated but they are taking on so much more debt, that is making it harder,” said Kim Parker, Pew’s director of social trends research.

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Ella Ford is a mother of two, a Christian conservative writer with degrees in American History, Social and Behavioral Science and Liberal Studies, based in the Tulsa, Oklahoma area.


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