As Millennials get older and begin to reach their late thirties and forties, they’re presented with new, unexpected life experiences – as well as financial strains. Though Millennials often get a bad rap for being the generation to live with their parents for a longer time post-college than any other generation, it’s now their parents who need the support.
According to a CNBC article, already 19 percent of Millennials support their parents financially, with the average spending $18,250 annually, according to a 2015 TD Ameritrade report. A recent Transamerica survey reported that 14 percent of Millennials cited supporting parents as a current financial priority, which is double the rate of their Generation X counterparts.
But taking care of aging parents is not just a strain on Millennials’ wallets. A recent Schwab survey found that 1 in 10 Millennials said that it “keeps them up at night,” affecting their stress level.
For many Millennials, it’s a huge struggle because they WANT to take care of their parents, but their financial reality doesn’t always allow for easy implementation of these goals. CNBC offers these helpful tips for Millennials who anticipate helping our their parents in the immediate or distant future:
Assess expectations. The Wells Fargo report found that half of Millennials say it’s at least somewhat likely that they will provide support to retired parents, but only a quarter of Boomers said they thought it at least somewhat likely they would need their children’s help. This shows there’s a big miscommunication happening.
Like most financial decisions, it’s crucial to know in advance that a parent may need or expect financial help than to be suddenly called on to help in the face of depleted retirement funds or a health emergency. This will allow you to assess just how much help is needed, and how much help you’ll be able to give, without jeopardizing your or your family’s immediate well-being.
Tag-team on planning. Just because your parents are of retirement age, doesn’t mean they have it all planned out. And while Millennials don’t necessarily have the best track record for retirement planning, this could be an opportunity for parents and children to learn about it – and start taking action – together.
Juggle financial goals. For many Millennials, their parents start to need help in the midst of other big financial moves, such as starting a family of their own, buying a house, or going through a major career upheaval. Prioritizing is key.
Do you feel stressed about a looming financial priority? Share your thoughts on Twitter at @WhatTheGen or @JasonDorsey and don’t forget to add your #generation!