Where Do You Draw the Line With Adult Children?

Jacqui Kenyon

adult childrenThe sandwich generation. Not-so-empty nesters. Parents of boomerang kids.

Whatever you call it, the trend is undeniable. Parents are increasingly supporting their children financially through college and beyond: 48% of middle-aged adults with grown children gave them financial support last year, and 27% were the primary source of cash flow for their kids, according to Pew Research.

For the kids themselves, it’s become the norm. They’re increasingly assuming that their parents will bankroll them into their mid-20s, according to a survey from Allstate and Junior Achievement USA. Nearly a quarter of teens think that they will rely on their parents financially until at least 25, a staggering increase from 12% two years ago.

Cathy Roberts, a Washington, D.C., counselor who has worked extensively with parents and adult children, says that the millennial generation receives a great deal more support than the boomers ever did.

Why? Well, the economy is bad, and it’s tough for a lot of kids to find work in their chosen fields after college. But there’s more to it than that, say some experts.

“Some parents, particularly those who live in wealthy, urban areas, can afford to support their adult children,” Roberts says. “They either want or feel pressure to maintain the lifestyle their kids experienced while they were growing up once they reach an adult age.”

RELATED: 7 Steps to Setting Your Kid Free Financially

She adds that this leaves some moms and dads feeling more like banks than parents, which can cause resentment and even rifts in families.

So, we asked our readers: When it comes to your grown kids and your cash, where do you draw the line?

Retirement Planning

  • Dontgetit

    What do you say to a 26 year old who got pregnant after her 4 year college degree was completely paid for, only to remain unemployed? What do you say to a parent who responded by continuing to support her, pay 100% of her wedding? She’s married now with a kid, will probably have another kid, and her boyfriend works part time. They had a kid neither can support, and they still live off the family money?