Alert
Close

   

Enter the Family Fun Travel Sweepstakes. No purchase necessary. See official rules

Highlights

Open
AARP Family Vacation - Photo Contest

Driver Safety

Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation
Happy African American couple

AARP Books

Visit the Money Section

Enjoy titles on retirement, Social Security, and becoming debt-free.

Jobs You Might Like

most popular
articles

Viewed

Don't Give Your College Graduate a Free Ride

If you help, insist on rules and discipline

When my daughter graduated from college, I had more than one reason to celebrate. Sure, I was proud of her academic accomplishment. But I was equally elated at finally being done paying for tuition, room, board and other expenses. When the calendar turned to May, I welcomed the end of monthly $500 payments for her college apartment.

See also: College graduates moving back home.

Place limits on financial help you give to your adult children

Place limits on financial help you give your college grad. — Photo by: OJO Images/Newscom

My celebration was short-lived. In July, I will again be writing rent checks on her behalf. Her entry-level job with a major hotel chain located 2,000 miles from home comes with a fancy title and a modest paycheck.

Her expenses remain our expenses, for now.

I am not alone. Nearly 60 percent of American parents provide financial support to adult children who are no longer in school, according to an online poll conducted in May for the National Endowment for Financial Education. Thirty-three percent take on additional debt or delay their retirement to help their offspring.

What to do if your new graduate turns up asking for money?

A frank conversation comes first, NEFE chief executive Ted Beck suggests. "You are talking about the child becoming an adult," he says. "It's time to have adult discussions about what you can and can't do and what your expectations are."

Watch your own back

Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of the Charles Schwab Foundation, a nonprofit that promotes financial literacy in families, says parents should also sit down with a financial professional to crunch the numbers to find out the impact on their own retirement plans.

"You don't have a second chance to save for retirement," she says. "You can't go get a loan or a grant or a scholarship. … Your kids can find their way."

But often only with great difficulty. A Rutgers University study of the nationwide classes of 2006 through 2010 showed only 53 percent of grads are working full time. Of those, many are earning a lot less than they expected and have taken jobs that didn't require a diploma.

"Recent graduates are not getting jobs that are allowing them to get started on life," says Rutgers University's Cliff Zukin, professor of public policy and political science and coauthor of the study "Unfulfilled Expectations: Recent College Graduates Struggle in a Troubled Economy."

And any second job a would-be professional gets is often just as unrewarding as the first. So it's not surprising that many are turning to their parents for financial help or a roof over their heads.

Next: A few rules parents should set for kids moving back home. >>

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts

Processing

Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.

Advertisement

The Cheap Life

Jeff Yeager Cheap Life Ultimate Cheapskate AARP YouTube web series save money

Catch the latest episode of The Cheap Life starring Jeff Yeager, AARP's Ultimate Cheapskate. Watch

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

member benefit aarp financial service auto insurance

AARP® Auto Insurance Program from The Hartford offers members no-cost quotes.

AARP Credit card from Chase

Members can get cash back rewards on purchases with the AARP® Credit Card from Chase.

Woman holding smartphone in city, Google map tool

Members can find discounts on the go via the AARP® Member Advantages Offer Finder app.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.

Advertisement

Advance your skills. Transform your career.

Explore your learning possibilities.