As a parent, you might end up helping your kids financially longer than you expected.

Being an adult child today means that there is a good chance that you get some help from your older parents.

This can have negative implications for the aging parents’ estate, however, if appropriate techniques have not been used. A recent study determined that 79% of parents across the United States assist with the living expenses of their adult children. If support continues over the course of many years, this could destroy a parent’s efforts to try to save for their own retirement.

Since one-third of young people between the ages of 15 to 34 still live at home across the United States, this can have far reaching implications. Three quarters of those adult children have parents paying for things like cellphone bills or groceries, according to the study completed by Merrill Lynch. Although some people are in a short-term position that requires assistance from their parents, when this stretches on for a long period of time, it can become problematic for everyone involved. An older parent who expected that he or she was providing short term assistance could find themselves dealing with the difficult situation of no longer being able to afford to do so or seeing their dwindling retirement account reflect the fact that help has occurred over the course of many years.

Having conversations with adult children about their plans and how they might be able to better contribute to their own financial stability can help to break a cycle. The support provided by an aging parent must be done in consideration with the holistic picture of their finances, such as long-term care plans, estate planning needs, and retirement planning concerns.

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