American are giving up their retirement savings to help their adult children

A new Bankrate survey will make you feel a little better about leaching off of your parents HBO GO subscription. The majority of parents reported giving their adult-children a hand with a wide range of expenses, everything from phone bills, credit card bills, student loans, and even travel costs.

Even though Gen Zers and Millenials don’t truly feel like adults until they’ve left the nest, these generations tend to take their time doing so. The median range of assisted young adult in the study was 18 to 23. The higher the bill the more likely parents were to offer assistance, even if it met dipping into their retirement fund.

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What constitutes adulthood?

It should be clarified, just because a lot of American parents are willing to help carry some financial burdens for their children, it doesn’t mean they’re OK with their offspring’s arrested development. Most of the parents involved in the survey said that by 19-years-old, you should be paying for car payments, insurance, cell phone bills, subscription services, travel costs, and credit card bills, all on your own. To be fair, Gen Zers and Millenials, were willing to meet them in the middle, as the majority of the respondents in these generations thought that 20 years of age was closer to the mark.

Expectations seemed to vary depending on financial status. Respondents that earned an annual income under $30,000, for instance, felt that 24, was about the time their children should start paying their student loans on their own. Respondents with household incomes from 50,000 to over 80,000, felt 23 to be more appropriate.



A lot of variables factored into what age individuals ought to be financially independent, but the consequences seemed to span across all the reported circumstances. Fifty percent of all the parents involved in the survey said that they are currently or already have sacrificed their retirement fund in order to keep their children afloat. One in five Americans aren’t saving for retirement, emergencies or other financial goals whatsoever, due to “not making enough money” and “large debt payments.”

Bankrate’s senior economic analyst, Mark Hamrick believes a lack of substantial wage growth and the emphasis placed on chasing higher degrees is why the assistance phenomenon has become so normalized. This causes many young Americans to enter the workforce later than they would otherwise, and when they finally do they’re saddled with an enormous amount of debt. Hamrick adds,

“This is the ironic, unintended expense of people staying in school longer. The way young people come of age has changed somewhat over the past 50 years or even longer — there’s no longer a sense of immediate need for young people to enter the workforce, even on a part-time basis.”


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