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Guidelines for Helping Your Adult Child with Finances

by Dore Frances, Ph.D., founder of Horizon Family Solutions, LLC
Your 26 year old daughter has been living the good life working in real estate, earning enough to purchase her dream car, a Range Rover. Then the housing market crashed, and so did her job and income. Her car was repossessed. She pleads with you, her parents, to give her the $4,000 she needs to get her car back. Would you? Or would you say, "Give me a break. Until a person is financially secure, they need not buy an expensive car." Good for you! That is Parental Finance 101. It is not surprising that there is an increase in adult children asking their parents for financial help; 20-somethings have been the hardest hit in this economy. The unemployment rate for 20 to 24 year olds has been hovering around 15% for more than a year, and the average college student has more than $23,000 in debt. And what may or may not be shocking is how much parents are giving - and for how long. According to a recent parent survey, 41% still provide financial support to those 22 - 29 years of age. And I am not talking about walking around pocket change money. Parents, regardless of their economic situation - give about 10% of their income to their adult children. Yes, it is natural for parents to want to offer a lifeline to their kids. However, sometimes, the best help of all may be to sever the proverbial cord. Parents, above all, make sure you are adequately saving for your retirement. When you have that locked up and secure - then - and only then, is it advisable to offer financial help. Want some guidelines? Check back next month on when to help (if you can afford it) with paying for health insurance, helping with rent, assisting with student loans, offering a loan, and when just to say "no".

Dore Frances, M.A., is an educational consultant, childs right advocate, parent coach, specializing in working with troubled teens and their families in the United States, Canda, and abroad. See her site at: or contact her by phone at:(541) 312-4422, or email
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Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.


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