Want to Retire But Can’t? Blame Your Kids
Life + Money

Want to Retire But Can’t? Blame Your Kids

Baby boomers with financially independent adult children are more than twice as likely to be retired than peers who are still footing their kids’ bills, according to financial research firm Hearts & Wallets

“Parents supporting adult children wonder when – or if – their kids will ever become independent,” Hearst & Wallets co-founder Chris J. Brown said in a statement. “They worry about saving enough to have freedom to enjoy life as they age.” 

Related: The Surprising Reason Baby Boomers Retire 

The report found that just 21 percent of boomers who are supporting children are fully retired compared to 52 percent of boomer households who have children but don’t support them. Boomers supporting adult children comprise eight million households with assets worth nearly $4 trillion. The new findings were drawn from the firm’s database, which has collected savings and investment information about more than 30,000 U.S. households over a five-year period. 

Many Americans, of course, have no intention of ever retiring – they enjoy their work and find it intellectually and socially stimulating. Many people of means also continue to lend financial support to their grown children (and grandchildren) because they’re able and willing to do so – and that support remains unconnected to any retirement decisions.   

A separate study by LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute in October found that 24 percent of pre-retirees are helping adult children with student loans and college expenses, while 23 percent are giving their kids money for their rent or mortgage payments. More than half of those surveyed said at least one of their adult children lived with them. 

Related: 10 Social Security Rules You Won’t Believe 

Supporting adult children may be increasing boomers’ stress in addition to keeping them in the workforce, the Hearts & Wallets report found. It said boomers are 25 percent more likely to have financial anxiety, and they’re most concerned about being able to save enough for retirement. 

About a third of all U.S. families have no money set aside for retirement, including one in five people aged 55 to 64, according to Federal Reserve data

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