The Right Way to Help Your Adult Children

To help your millennial move on (and out of your home), set limits, be generous with advice but selective with financial assistance.

I recently participated in an NPR-sponsored event in Lexington, Ky., called “Family Matters: Your Financial Lifetime,” as a member of a panel charged with offering financial advice to a live audience. The first person up to the microphone described her problem, an all-too-common situation. Her 24-year-old son was still at home, and she hadn’t been able to dislodge him. He’d dabbled in school but hadn’t finished a program. He’d dabbled at jobs but hadn’t found the “right” one. In short, he was entirely content to stay exactly where he was.

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Janet Bodnar

Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.