Parents still footing adult children’s bills

Reporter: Tiffany Rizzo Writer: Joey Pellegrino
Published: Updated:


Despite the fondest wishes of parents to see their children become successful and financially independent, many of their adult children still require help paying their bills. How is this affecting all generations involved?

There is nothing like the love of Mom and Dad—or their checkbooks and debit cards, which are still keeping many millennials afloat. Nearly 25% of millennials—who, at the very youngest, are 26 years old right now—get help to pay their rent. Chartway Credit Union took a survey and found the parental gravy train just keeps on rolling.

The top five bills parents are paying for their children are rent, auto insurance, health insurance, phone payments and utilities. The results of another poll, this one centered around what parents want most for their children, show that above love and family, parents wanted their kids to be financially independent. But it isn’t only millennials who are getting some extra help from mom and dad; WINK News spoke to parents who are helping pay their kids’ bills from their 20s all the way into their 40s.

With younger people typically working lower-paying jobs, keeping up with the cost of living solo becomes an almost impossible feat. Douglas Finley, a private wealth manager with Finley Wealth Advisors, says helping your child with expenses now, if possible, versus waiting and leaving them money could give them the tools to do better in the future.

How it could affect Mom and Dad? Finley says some parents are now choosing to retire later in life to continue financially helping their children.

“They’re making that an emotional decision that, you know, ‘I created this baby, and it’s my job to get it through the world and get it up on its legs,'” Finley said.

“Increase his future, make life better for him… that’s our goal as parents: let them do better than we did,” said Sue Narewski, whose 23-year-old son attends Drexel University.

“I pay for his car lease, his car insurance, half his groceries, half of his rent, utilities,” said Chris Wagner of her son.

“We pay her phone bill, and we give her a little bit of money to help her fill the gap from when she’s not making much money at the restaurant,” said Fort Myers resident Deb Rossi, whose 43-year-old daughter lives in Maryland.

But many parents told WINK they are happy to help. They say times have changed, things are more expensive and their children just don’t make enough to get by on their own. They hope their help can set their children up with a better future, even if that means they have to work longer before they can retire.

“There’s not a lot of majors that exist today that, when you graduate, you’re gonna get a high-paying job to make it in the world today,” Wagner said.

“If parents are willing to help out their kids, on a longer term, I don’t think that’s a bad thing, especially the world we live in,” said Cam Koscho, 23. “Everything is so much more expensive.

“I love it,” said Conner Roth, 21. “Cheaper for me.”

“I’m happy to help,” Rossi said. “It’s my kid.”

“He’s one of those kids that wouldn’t necessarily ask, so I had to pry,” Narewski said. “You know, ‘Hey, how’s the groceries going this week?'”

“In the past, it didn’t take as long to nurture that child and get it out into the world where it could earn its own living, but things have become a little more difficult for them,” Finley said. “So the parents are saying, making a choice that ‘I want to help my child be able to be productive on their own.'”

To get your children to be productive on their own, it is important, if you are helping them, to let them know that help won’t last forever.

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