If your kids — or even your grandchildren — are making you broke, it's important to put an end to excessive financial handouts that could be driving you into debt.
As parents, it's natural to want to help our kids in every way possible. And for many people over 50, that means providing both emotional and financial support to adult children.
In fact, according to a June 2011 Investor Index survey by TD Ameritrade, not only are Baby Boomer parents willing to come to their children's financial rescue, many parents are also sacrificing their retirement and economic security to do so. A recent AARP study shows that 49 percent of adults age 46-65 say that they find it difficult to save for retirement.
And since the first Baby Boomers turn 65 this year, the highlights of the TD Ameritrade survey are all-the-more striking. Among the findings:
67 percent of Boomers surveyed say they would feel obligated to financially support their adult children if asked
57 percent of those polled said they were willing to support their offspring even if it hurts their own retirement
54 percent of Boomers have had adult children live with them for at least three months
42 percent of those who did allow adult children to return home said doing so had a negative impact on their finances
So what's to be done?
Experts say a combination of tough love, fiscal discipline and good communication between family members are all required in order to help your children achieve financial independence — and help you salvage a comfortable retirement.
In cases of extreme financial dependence, which can sometimes veer into a financially abusive relationship, it may also be necessary to enlist the assistance of a third party if you need help in cutting the financial apron strings.