Parents with Dependent Adult Children to Seek Financial Planning Advice

BY Rachel Cagle
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The line between childhood and adulthood is blurrier than ever, and as a result, many Americans are delaying financial liberation from their parents. The latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index revealed that more than half of Americans (53%), aged 21 to 37, have received some form of financial assistance from a parent, guardian or family member since turning 21, with one-​third (37%) of them receiving money monthly and more than half (59%) receiving money a couple of times a year.

The types of support these Americans are receiving from their parents range from everyday needs such as paying for a mobile phone (41%), groceries and gas (32%), to more pressing life needs such as rent (40%) and health insurance (32%).

In addition to relying on mom and dad for groceries, gas, rent and health insurance, Americans are opting to leave the nest later in life. In fact, more than one-​third (35.3%) of millennials are still living with their parents.

Parents of Adult Children Living at Home make up 12.7% of U.S. adults, according to AudienceSCAN. More than 33% of these parents are ages 45 to 54 and their annual household income is between $25,000 and $49,999. The adult children that still live in their homes are generally between the ages of 18 and 24 (60.8%) or are 25 years old or older (47.3%).

"We are seeing more and more Americans living with their parents, but this should not necessarily be viewed as a negative thing as long as there are clear fiscal goals in place," says Doyle Williams, an executive vice president at COUNTRY Financial. "Take Simple Steps such as building an emergency-​fund, saving for a down-​payment on a home, and staying focused on your long-​term goals. Doing so will ensure you don't rely on your parents forever, while enabling you to build financial independence."

When it comes to adulthood, Americans are redefining key life and financial milestones.

For nearly a quarter (23%), adulthood begins at age 18, the moment when they are legally considered adult, while one in five (19%) believe this transition from childhood begins at the legal drinking age of 21.

Despite feeling like an adult at an early age, one in three (38%) don't believe they should have complete financial independence until 25 or later.

Americans also have a wide view of the life moments in which adulthood begins. For some, it's making the move out of their parent's home (18%), starting their first real job (13%) or paying their bills without any assistance (16%).

Others still look to more traditional markers of adulthood such as getting married (12%), having a child (12%), buying a house (9%) and college graduation (5%).

Adulthood and financial independence also varies by race, economic status and education.

African Americans and Hispanics are more likely than other racial/​ethnic groups to believe adulthood begins between ages 16–18 (43%). Additionally, those with lower household incomes (less than $50K) and less education (some college or less) say ages 16 and 18 are the time for financial independence.

Many Americans believe financial independence shouldn't come until after age 25, but this sentiment could be attributed to lenient spending habits.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index revealed that 9 in 10 Americans are spending money on things they want, but don't need, with 4 in 10 tapping into their savings to do so. Others are opting to afford experiences like vacations by putting them on a credit card (24%), making late monthly payments (10%) or delaying savings altogether (24%).

As a result, 11.1% of the Parents of Adult Children Living at Home plan on paying for financial/​retirement planning services within the next year, according to AudienceSCAN, and 20% are planning to purchase accounting/​tax services. Another 12.5% are also looking into purchasing stocks within the same time period.

"Enjoy experiences now, but don't lose sight of the experiences you wish to enjoy in retirement," Williams said. "After all, a payment can last longer than the memory. If experiences are important to you, consider making adjustments to your budget and cutting back on other expenses so that saving for retirement can become a priority."

The Parents of Adult Children Living at Home can be reached best by advertisements via the TV. Last year, according to AudienceSCAN, 58.4% took action after seeing a TV commercial. Their mailboxes are also a good location for ads since last year 57.6% took action after receiving physical ads or coupons in the mail. While they're looking up information on financial services for themselves and their adult children, advertise to them via search. Within the last 12 months, 47.6% of these parents saw a sponsored search result that led them to take action.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.