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NextGen Magazine


Study: Parents Spend $500 Billion a Year to Support Adult Children

Chris Gaetano
Published Date:
Oct 3, 2018

A recent study from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management and research firm AgeWave has found that, as much money as it costs to raise a child, the most costly phase of parenthood may in fact be when children are grown up and ostensibly on their own, as parents collectively spend about $500 billion annually on their adult children, according to CBS News. While raising children in general is expensive, what with clothing and toys and medical care and everything else that tries parents' wallets, as children grow into adulthood, their expenses take on a much more adult character: College, weddings, groceries, rent, cable, gas, and other expenses big and small characterize parental spending on adult children. The study found, in fact, that parents spend twice as much subsidizing their adult children between 18 and 34 years old than they save for retirement, which can severely affect their own financial stability and, in turn, their ability to continue supporting their children. With all this in mind, slightly more parents, 45 percent, say that they spend more on their children as adults than they did when they were young (44 percent say getting them to adulthood is more expensive).