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60% of parents financially helping adult children due to skyrocketing housing costs, student debt

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  • Staff Report 

In today’s challenging economic environment, a significant number of parents are finding themselves supporting their adult children financially, even at the expense of their own retirement savings. According to a recent study by Pew Research, three-fifths of parents with adult children have provided them with financial assistance in the past year, addressing needs ranging from household expenses to education costs. This trend highlights a shift in parenting roles extending well beyond the traditional age of adulthood, fueled by rising college costs, escalating house prices, and increasing student debt loads.

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The phenomenon, often referred to as “snowplow” parenting, sees parents clearing financial obstacles from their children’s paths to smooth their way into adulthood. This modern approach to parenting, facilitated by technological advancements that simplify bill payments, has led to nearly half of young adults under 30 living with their parents. Despite efforts to foster independence, less than half of young adults claim complete financial autonomy, underscoring the persistent economic pressures they face.

However, financial planners warn that this parental support might come at a high cost, potentially jeopardizing the parents’ financial stability and retirement plans. With many parents dipping into their savings to help their adult children, experts emphasize the importance of ensuring financial security for both generations. They advocate for financial planning that accounts for the parents’ long-term needs while encouraging adult children to achieve financial independence. This delicate balance aims to support young adults through their challenges without undermining their ability to stand on their own and secure their parents’ financial future.