When is it time to close our wallets, tie up the purse strings and let our grown children make it on their own? A lot of us help out the first year or two after college--as our kids wrestle with career choices, entry level jobs and paying off college debt.
But it can go on longer than that: 40 percent of adult millennials in the U.S. currently get financial help from us, their parents, according to a Bank of America/USA Today survey. Across the pond, a survey finds that a large cohort of parents in Britain are supporting their grown children even as those children pass the 30-year-old mark. A quarter of the "grown children" in the survey said they did not feel financially stable by the age of 35 and still need the assurance of their parent's financial help.
It's not necessarily support via free rent at home. Nine out of ten of grown children in the British survey who were older than 35 said they live away from home. By comparison, a recent survey of young adults (18 to 30) in Europe found that half of them reported living with their parents.
What's behind the late launch into financial independence? Among the reasons that the Brits put out there: low wages, high rental costs, zero-hour contracts, university fees, rising living costs, an unwillingness to take on responsibility, a generational lack of ambition, or plain old inertia.
Despite the delays in setting off on their own, the British study had bright spots. Once they were launched, 70 percent of the 35+ year-olds said they felt indebted to their parents for their financial support over the years. And here's the really heartening stuff: 60 per cent said they sometimes picked up the tab at restaurants and outings. A quarter have paid for a holiday for their parents, helped their parents with rent or bought them clothes when money was tight.