New Zealand Woman’s Weekly

PARENT trap

ARE YOUR ADULT KIDS STILL RELIANT ON THE BANK OF MUM AND DAD?

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As parents, it is only natural to want to help your kids out as much as you can. But should you still be paying for them when they are adults?

Internatio­nal surveys have found that many parents still pick up the bill for their children for years after they turn 18. One Canadian study found that 74% of parents there continue to help their adult offspring out nancially, with 84% of those contributi­ng towards living expenses, and 70% paying off their debts for them.

While it is great to be able to help out if you can, there are pitfalls that come with funding your children once they are grown up. These include:

• Not giving them the ability to function financiall­y on their own. If you are always there to bail them out, they’re not going to learn to become responsibl­e with money and this could put them at a disadvanta­ge later on when you are no longer able – or around – to support them.

• Causing yourself financial problems. Often the funds people spend on their children is money that would have gone towards their retirement. Some people even delay giving up work because they still need to help prop up their kids.

• Causing resentment if you fund one of them but not the others, or give one more money than their siblings.

Your other children can feel penalised for being better with their money than their sibling and this can lead to family rifts.

If you want to help your kids out nancially and are able to, it might be a good idea to:

• Let them know that it is not a permanent solution. Have an “end date” to the nancial contributi­ons you make, such as when they get a full-time job, nish paying off their student loan or turn a certain age.

• Make it clear whether you are giving them the money or lending it to them. Draw up a schedule of repayments if it’s a loan and make sure it’s repaid.

• Speak up if you don’t think they are being wise with your money. If you are paying their rent every week, yet they are going to concerts all the time or buying the latest fashions, they are playing you for a fool.

• Expect something in return.

If they are living at home, they should at least be doing their fair share of housework, along with offering to do extra tasks, such as washing the family cars.

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