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Almost half of U.S. parents financially support their adult children

Did you know more Americans purchased dog/cats last year than had babies?

With a few exceptions, not a single dog spent an evening in the joint or attending an Ivy League college since 1985.

Almost half of U.S. parents financially support their adult children

Parents are contributing an average of twice as much to their adult kids as they are to their own retirement savings, a new survey says

By Francisco Velasquez, Quartz Media

March 11, 2024

About 60 percent of parents say they are sacrificing their own financial futures for the sake of their adult children.

Getting older is unavoidable, but growing up, well that’s a different story. A new survey found that nearly half (47%) of parents in the U.S. financially support their adult children in some way.

Monthly, parents are contributing about $1,384 to at least one of their adult children. On average, that’s twice as much as what working parents contribute to their own retirement savings, or about $609 a month, the survey found.

The study, conducted online by technology and coupon sleuth company, surveyed an estimated 1,000 U.S. parents. The data consisted of 50% men and 50% women. Notably, it excludes data from parents who are supporting disabled adult children.

Although parts of the economy are showing signs of improvement, led in part by rising employment and cooling inflation those factors may not be reaching young Americans just yet, the survey said.

In particular, Gen Z, those between 18-27 years old, were the most common group to receive financial support.

Each financial situation, however, is likely to look different for a family. On average, parents helped their Gen Z adult children pay at least three bills, the survey found.

Some key areas that parents are contributing to most frequently for their Gen Z adult children include groceries, cell phone bills, rent, health insurance, tuition, and even leisure and vacations.

On average, 61% of adult children living with their parents did not contribute towards covering any household expenses, including rent, the survey said.

Even with a tepid economic recovery, a slew of socioeconomic factors, such as rising prices for food and housing, are making parents feel like they are placing their own financial futures in jeopardy.

Moving forward, the survey said that the U.S. will need to “contend with a changing labor market and rising prices so that American parents can plan for retirement without stressing how their children will make ends meet.”

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