Steve and Darlene Goldstein could be on a crash course to a difficult reckoning.
With a six-figure annual income, they shouldn’t have a worry in the world.
In what feels like a blink, an era of extended child dependency has taken root across the country.
Psychologists have a name for it: emerging adulthood, a new and possibly permanent life phase squeezed between the teen years and, say, 28 or 30. Most parents with one eye on retirement just want to know: Will we be paying for our kids forever? Still, if you are wearying of the endless dry-cleaning, cellphone, and insurance bills that your adult children are sending your way and you want to accelerate their launch, you may have to offer tough love instead of hard cash.
Given the tough economy for young adults, you may think you'll be paying for your kids forever.
These strategies will help you launch them on the path to independence without risking your own financial security.
“Family dynamics are evolving,” says David Tyrie, head of retirement and personal-wealth solutions at Merrill.
“Adults are living longer, people are retiring later, and millennials are making life choices vastly different than their parents did.” Studying the same phenomenon, a 2013 Pew Research Center report shows even more startling figures: Among adults ages 40 to 59 with at least one grown child, 73% said they’d helped support an adult son or daughter in the prior year.
To assist Abby with rent, utilities, and other living expenses, the Goldsteins have forgone home improvements, and Steve just pushed his retirement date out two more years.
While he feels fortunate to be able to help, the financial drain is a real concern. The sticking point, says Steve: “My wife and I don’t agree on the timeline.” Like millions of parents with adult children who in one way or another remain on the family ticket, the Goldsteins are trapped between wanting to soften their daughter’s entry into the real world and making their own financial security the top priority.