Roughly 60% of parents of adult children (ages 18 to 34) helped their kids financially in 2023, according to a new survey from Pew Research, with funding most often used to cover household expenses, cell phone coverage and other subscriptions.
Approximately 36% of those surveyed said that covering these costs hurt them financially, at least partially.
Other key findings from the survey about parents, young adult children and the transition to adulthood include:
- 45% of young adults say they are completely financially independent from their parents
- 44% of young adults say they received financial help from their parents in the past year
- Among parents who say they helped their children financially in the past year, 36% say doing so has hurt their personal financial situation at least some
- Most young adults who live with their parents say they contribute financially
Financial help can take many forms
Cutting the purse strings can be difficult — especially if you’re watching your adult child struggle with debt. Unfortunately, footing the bill can also risk your own financial security, especially if you’re saving for retirement.
Even so, most parents who say their child is not entirely financially independent (72%) think it is extremely or very likely they will eventually be.
The top two top areas where young adults say they received the most financial help from their parents are (1) household expenses (28%), and (2) cellphone or subscriptions for streaming services (25%). Closely following are mortgage and rent payments (17%), medical expenses (15%) and costs for education (11%).
The impact on parents’ finances
Although the survey shows that most young adults (66%) say their parents did a great job preparing them to be independent adults, it can sometimes come at a cost to their own finances.
About half of lower-income parents who provided financial help to their adult children in the past year (49%) say it hurt their finances at least some. A smaller percentage of those with middle (37%) and upper incomes (22%) say it also came at a cost. However, about 64% of parents say that helping their adult children financially didn't hurt their personal financial situation much or at all.
Impact on child/adult relationships
According to same the survey, most young adults who still live with a parent (64%) say their living arrangement has had a very or somewhat positive impact on their personal financial situation. On the flip side, just 27% of parents who live with an adult child say the same about the impact on their own finances.
But when it comes to their relationships, most parents, or 74%, say that living with their adult child has had a positive impact on their relationship. About 55% of young adults say the same.
When it comes to their social life, 21% of adult children say living with their parents has had a positive impact, 24% say it’s had a negative impact, while 54% say the impact has been neither positive nor negative.
Read the complete report about financial help and independence in young adulthood by Pew Research.
For the past 18+ years, Kathryn has highlighted the humanity in personal finance by shaping stories that identify the opportunities and obstacles in managing a person's finances. All the same, she’ll jump on other equally important topics if needed. Kathryn graduated with a degree in Journalism and lives in Duluth, Minnesota. She joined Kiplinger in 2023 as a contributor.
Toyota Recalls More than 300,000 Vehicles: What To Know
Toyota's recalls affect certain models and years of Mirai, Lexus, Camry, Camry Hybrid, Tundra, Sequoia and Lexus vehicles.
By Jamie Feldman Published
Why Is Walmart Splitting Its Stock?
The world's largest retailer's 3-for-1 stock split greatly cuts WMT's weight in the Dow.
By Dan Burrows Published