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Once adult children leave home to make their marks in the world, you'd assume the bank of mom and dad would be closed for business. But for many of today's millennials and Gen Xers, that's simply not the case.

And if you happen to be one of those parents, you definitely aren't alone. In fact, a recent survey by CreditCards.com shows you're in the majority if you're helping your kids foot the bill. CreditCards.com polled 1,092 U.S. parents with adult kids aged 18 and older, and found 74 percent have helped their adult children pay living expenses or debts. Of those who admitted to helping their adult kids with money, 62 percent said they helped with living expenses, while 52 percent said they helped to reduce debt.

So just what are mom and dad paying for?

According to the survey, cellphone bills came out on top, with 39 percent of parents indicating they had helped with that expense. Coming in a close second, at 36 percent, are transportation costs, including gasoline and car repairs. And don't think big-ticket items are off the table. Ten percent of parents admitted to helping their adult children pay down personal downs, and 6 percent said they have helped with mortgage payments.

So while Jane might be living on her own in the big city, it's clear that's only made possible thanks to her sponsors — the bank of mom and dad. But here's the thing ... Jane isn't learning how to manage her money properly if she can always turn to mom and dad when she comes up short for February's rent because she spent too much money at Macy's one-day sale!

On this episode of Forever 39, we talk with Ken Kamen, president of Mercadien Asset Management. You probably gleaned from Ken's title that he knows a thing or two about managing money, so he's just the person to discuss why those supporting their kids in adulthood might not be making smart investment choices.

If you're a parent currently in this situation, click on the podcast player above for Ken's gameplan to help you stop supporting your children and get them on the path of financial independence.

Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Are you in a healthy relationship? PLUS: Beating the winter blues. Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode.

Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at forever39@nj1015.com.

— Annette and Megan, Forever 39

Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat about hidden gems throughout New Jersey, bailing on friends, and our immediate turn-offs.

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