Many baby boomers delayed saving for retirement to save for the steep cost of their children’s college education. Now, even though many baby boomers’ portfolios are recovering, it doesn’t mean they’re out of the financial wilderness just yet.
More than half (55%) of boomers admit they’ve allowed their adult children to move home and live rent free—but the support that most boomers provide their kids and aging parents extends well beyond room and board, according to new findings from the Money Across Generations II study, released April 24 by Ameriprise Financial. In fact, boomers continue to prioritize their families’ needs over their own, despite increased uncertainty about their own financial security.
“Boomers are feeling the pressure financially and emotionally,” Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial, said in a statement. “In many cases they’re sandwiched between children who are unemployed or struggling to pay down their student loan debt and aging parents who are facing complex health and financial issues. At the same time, they’re trying to prepare for their own retirement. The demands on their time and money can feel endless.”
By telephone, researchers interviewed 1,000 baby boomers with at least $100,000 in investable assets, along with 300 parents and 300 adult children of baby boomers.
In 2007, when the original Money Across Generations study was conducted, 44% of boomers said they were trying to grow their savings. Now only one in four (24%) say they’re putting away money for the future and just as many (24%) report simply trying to maintain what they have.
While boomers’ attitudes have changed, the level of support they’re providing family members has not. More than half (58%) report assisting their aging parents in some way, including helping them purchase groceries (22%) or pay medical (15%) and utility bills (14%).
When it comes to their children, boomers are even more generous. Most boomers surveyed (93%) say they have provided some kind of support to their adult children. A majority have helped them pay for college tuition or loans (71%) or helped them buy a car (53%). Many are also helping their kids pay for car and health insurance, as well as cover basic expenses like rent, utility and car payments.