I recently came across a survey conducted by Harris Interactive who questioned non-student adults aged 18 to 39 and their parents.  I admit, the survey was done in the U.S. but could Canadian results be similar?  I found the results to be quite a shock.

Six out of ten parents provide or have at one time provided financial help to their adult children in some of the following ways:

  • 50% provided a place to live
  • 48% helped out with expenses
  • 29% give their adult children spending money
  • 28% pay their medical expenses
  • 19% make emergency deposits to their children’s chequing account
  • 16% help pay back loans or credit card debt
  • 7% help with, or provide the entire down payment for a home
  • 6% provide some other type of assistance

Many of those helped felt that life is financially tougher for their generation and many parents agreed.  What is alarming is that one in four parents took on extra debt to help their kids and 7% delayed their own retirement.

It’s easy to condemn.  Sometimes financial aid is a one time boost that kids need to get on, or back on track.  Other times it can create a cycle of dependency that’s impossible to stop.

I come from a family that believed in paying our own way, saving and not buying anything we can’t afford.  I admit to not being perfect – I have bought things I can’t afford, it’s called credit.

I’ve also gone through some difficult times, but I wouldn’t have dreamt of asking my parents for financial assistance.  Not only would I not get it, I’d probably have years of lectures on financial responsibility to look forward to.  That thought alone would keep me eating Kraft Dinner until things got better again.

Is life really financially harder for the above age group?  I find that they generally are better educated, have better jobs and earn a lot more income than I ever have.  Or is it because they have an “all about me attitude” that doesn’t handle the realities of life very well?

What do you think?

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