Judi — Being 18 years old does NOT make you an adult
In the old days it would be shameful for man or woman of 28 or 32 to take a handout from the folks. And a parent would feel that he or she was doing the wrong thing giving money to a grown-up kid. But that has all changed. Especially in New Jersey.
According to an article by our own Joe Cutter, A new CreditCards.com survey finds parents are participating big-time in helping adult children with their finances. CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schultz says roughly 3 in 4 parents are helping adults kids with living expenses or debt. And here in Jersey, parents are helping BIG TIME, with 80% of us helping grown up kids, as opposed to 70% in the South.
I would love to say that all 18-year-olds in this day and age are adults. But they are not.
There was a time when an 18-year-old was expected to move out, become independent, and pay his own bills. And while I am of the opinion that in most cases people are people and don’t really change their nature, the 18-year-old today is just a glorified kid who has the right to join the army and sign legal papers.
This is why helping your “adult” kids today is not the same as helping them many years ago. The job market, the indoctrination they receive at colleges and universities, the mandatory degrees and advanced degrees have all conspired to make it way more difficult financially for people in their 20s and early 30s.
I never thought it was a crime to help a kid financially, even if he had already passed the magical age of 18 that’s supposed to make him an adult. However, in this day and age I think it’s almost mandatory.
So if you’re a parent of a kid in his or her 20s or if you ARE that kid receiving help from the parents, do not despair. While there is a difference between enabling with money—giving someone the freedom to be irresponsible—and just plain helping out, it’s almost impossible today for a kid to make it financially without the help of his parents.
I’ve seen kids in their mid to late 20s putting way too much pressure on themselves in a political environment and business climate that will just not allow them to be independent.
So help your kids all you want! Or, if you are a twenty-something with generous parents, happily receive the financial gifts that your parents bestow upon you if you’re lucky enough to have that help. Because it’s just a new era..and a new kind of adult. And he’s broke!
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