Parents are paying for their millennial kids well after they move out of the basement
- It's common for parents to financially support their grown children these days.
- A new survey found that nearly 40% of American parents who are empty nesters still pay for their child or children's cell phone, groceries, rent, or student loans.
- More than half of the parents said their child or children left later than expected, and about 60% expect them to move back home at some point.
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Failure to launch is more common than you'd think.
A recent survey conducted by 55Places.com, a online platform for 55-and-over living communities, found that nearly half of American parents who are empty nesters said their child moved out later than they expected, typically at age 21 or older.The average age of the 1,800 survey respondents was 49 and 77% were married. Despite more than two-thirds of the respondents saying they enjoy being an empty nester, nearly the same share said they experienced feelings of grief and loneliness after their child moved out.
While a parent's job is never done, they should be able to cut the financial cord at some point. According to the survey, nearly 40% of the empty nesters are still giving their grown children money, spending an average of about $250 a month. Most of the money goes toward cell phone bills, rent, groceries, and student loans, the survey found.
Luckily, half of the respondents said they've been able to save more toward retirement with their children out of the house.
Previous studies have found that many American parents are willing to sacrifice their own retirement savings and financial stability to put their kids through college or help them transition while living in a new city or starting a new job.
A 2018 report from Merrill Lynch found that 79% of parents continue to provide financial support to their adult children, contributing to an estimated $500 billion annually - more than twice what they save for retirement. According to the report, 31% of early adults aged 13 to 34 live with their parents - a 50% increase from 1960 and a higher percentage than those in the same age range who live with a spouse.
Dirk Cotton retired at 52 from his job at AOL and told Business Insider's Liz Knueven that his two largest expenses were healthcare and supporting his children, whom he had yet to put through college. Even after college was over, the costs didn't let up. He said that "nowadays your kids never actually leave home.""They had the same troubles that a lot of people are having, getting their career started," Cotton said. "They'd come back from time to time when they were between things."
According to the 55Places.com survey, nearly 60% of parents expect their child or children to move back home at some point, while more than a third said it has already happened.
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