But Darlene recently retired as a substitute schoolteacher, and Steve, 68, a program manager for a national security technology company in Las Vegas, wants to join her.
That’s exactly the kind of thinking that prompted Michael Golden, 67, of Clovis, Calif., and his late wife to give their 30-year-old daughter $26,000 toward the down payment on her first home two years ago.
And Golden, a retired state criminal investigator, plans to do the same for his son, 33.
Only about half of adults ages 23 to 26 and at least one year out of college have a full-time job, according to a five-year longitudinal study from the University of Arizona.
Meanwhile, outstanding student debt has risen threefold, to $1.2 trillion over the past decade, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
For now, though, few parents seem willing to push back with any vigor.
Two-thirds of people over 50 have financially supported a child 21 or older in the past five years, Bank of America Merrill Lynch found last 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.Half of those middle-aged parents said they were their grown child’s primary means of support—in some cases because their offspring were still in school but also, more than a third said, for reasons other than education.In another study, Pew found that nearly a quarter of 25- to 34-year-olds are now living with parents or grandparents, up from 11% in 1980.It’s also unclear what effect this extended support will have on the long-term well-being of the kids.