Some baby boomers turning 65 this year may have to defer their anticipated golden retirement to support their Generation Y kids, says a new report from TD Ameritrade Holding Corp.

A sizable number of Gen Y-aged children--now called the "Boomerang Generation"--are moving back home accompanied by their own personal debt, providing their parents with an unanticipated new expense, according TD Ameritrade's latest Investor Index survey

The survey found an estimated 55% of boomers plan to retire later than originally expected. Among that group, 17% indicated they anticipate putting off retirement to support their adult children who are 25 years or older, or other relatives. And in an effort to protect their children from financial stress, many boomers are losing sight--and control of--their own retirement goals.


According to the survey, approximately 76% of respondents say they would feel obligated to financially support their adult children if asked. An estimated 57% of those boomers queried said they are willing to support their returning children even if it takes away from their own retirement.


"While Boomers may have the best intentions, they could be setting the wrong precedent by financially supporting their adult children, particularly when it comes to discretionary items," said Lule Demmissie, managing director of investment products and retirement at TD Ameritrade Inc., a broker-dealer subsidiary of TD Ameritrade Holding Corp. "No parent wants to see their child struggle financially, but assistance should come within reason--and with firm expectations." Demmissie added.


Demmissie said the reasons Gen Y-aged children are returning home include lack of employment opportunities and mounting debt.


Roughly 54% of those boomers surveyed said they have had adult children 25 years or older live with them for three months or longer. Of those sharing the nest with their adult offspring, 42% agreed that taking their children back in had a negative impact on their finances.


Among Gen Y young adults, roughly 23% said they've moved back in with their parents for three months or longer after they considered themselves "financially independent." An estimated 41% said they received post-college financial support from their parents, including money for food, rent and discretionary bills like cell phones.


One possible solution for affected parents, Demmissie said, could include working a little longer or thinking of other means of support that weren't considered before. Other options for parents include re-visiting their financial plan to see what they can afford regarding supporting their adult children, as well as holding an informal family financial intervention with their adult age children.


The survey of 1,007 adults between ages 22 and 81 was conducted in the spring by Maritz Inc., on behalf of TD Ameritrade.


--Jim McConville