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Beyond Saving For College: Will You Support Your Adult Kids?

How long do you expect to be paying your kids’ bills? If you answered “18 years” or even “until she graduates college”, think again. According to Forbes, almost sixty percent of parents support their young adult children, and that number has been steadily rising.

It’s not that our kids are slackers. It’s that they’re graduating into one of the worst recessions in U.S. history. Young people are unemployed at considerably higher than the national average. The trend goes beyond the economy, though. Some experts say it’s generational: that Boomer parents were too willing to sacrifice for their kids and now those kids can’t support themselves.

Considering how much less independent little kids are today than they were during my own childhood, that suggests today’s helicopter parents might be flying those helicopters for a long, long time. What will they do when they run out of gas? By which I mean cash, energy and willingness to support their kids into adulthood.

I’m hoping not to support my children past their college years. It’s expensive enough raising them now. But I’m aware of the reality that many college grads won’t find a sustainable job the minute they graduate. My kids may well need support during the gap between the end of education and the beginning of full employment. If they do, it’ll be me who gives it to them. No one else will.

I wonder if, by the time we get to our own kids’ college graduations, supporting your kids post-college will have become the new normal. Do you anticipate giving your kids’ financial support as adults?

Photo: James Almond

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