“Sometimes helping your kids now is an investment in your future so they can help you later on,” said financial advisor Mitchell Kraus, of Capital Intelligence Associates in Santa Monica, California. It’s seen as a kind of retirement plan, for some — albeit one without guarantees.

Generational Clash
More often now, the act of moving in with parents is seen as a pragmatic way to get ahead, a survey by Harris Poll for Bloomberg News shows. Most agree younger generations are navigating a broken economic system. Still, putting old generational views aside can be difficult for parents.

“For boomers, moving back home was seen as a failure. But now, home means safety, not failure,” said Annina Schmid, a Toronto-based parenting coach and founder of Launch Support.

Maria Garcia, for one, never dreamed of moving back home or asking parents for help once she struck out on her own at 18. Now 48, with children ages 21, 24 and 27 at home, the data entry clerk wonders where she went wrong.

Even though two children pay rent of $300 a month, higher costs, including for utilities, leave Garcia and her husband living largely paycheck-to-paycheck. The couple supports their kids now because they have the means, Garcia said, but if that changes, they’ll have no choice but to end support.

“It’s frustrating because I come from a generation where we were taught to be independent,” said Garcia, who lives in Berwyn, Illinois. “Once we moved out, it was our responsibility to fend for ourselves.”

Independence Day
At times, Kori Shafer and her husband have dipped into savings to support their kids. The bill for family counseling has definitely set them back. But mostly, she said they have been able to afford the added expense.

Many parents are fine helping children financially to a degree, if they’re able. Almost two-thirds of parents said they’d sacrifice some financial security to help out their kids, according to the Merrill Lynch study.

Shafer, however, said she’s had enough. She’s turning 50 next year and knows what she wants for a gift: “Both of them moved out by the Fourth of July. That is my independence day,” she said. 

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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