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July 06, 2011


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I'm surprised "no support" wasn't a listed response! I definitely agree that providing financial support after college graduation can provide a disincentive for young adults to become self-sufficient. However, that also depends strongly on the individual. I didn't receive (or ask for) any kind of financial support after college, and wouldn't have been comfortable in a situation where I did. My wife lived at her parents' home until we got married, which presumably counts as financial support, but she saved or invested everything she didn't spend on rent and food rather than spend it.

On the other hand, I know people who live at home working part-time jobs years after graduation, with no savings and no desire to get a real job or their own place. Being kicked out and having reality thrown in their face could change that in a hurry!

We made "Room & Board" available as long as necessary but no money changed hands. Our two daughters moved out as soon as they found jobs. Our son was a little too comfortable at home so I finally had to tell him that there was really only room for one man in the house and gave him a few months to move out, which he did. In the British system that I grew up under it was customary for children that were working and living at home to give money to their parents, which I gladly did. I also provided interest free car loans to our children, which were dutifully paid back in instalments.

In our case, as was the custom, my wife and I lived in our respective homes, about a mile apart, until we got married. Living together was unthinkable in 1956 - not so for our children.

I stopped receiving financial support from my parents when I *started* college... although I did ask for some money to get out of a jam during college.

I will do the same thing with my daughter and second child (unborn, sex unknown). They will have to work their way through college.

I *might* help them out when they move to an apartment after they graduate. Many apartments require first and last month's rent; most new grads don't have that kind of money straight out of school. Other than that, they will be cut off once they enter college.

Perfect timing as I'm debating these issues as I write. My daughter graduated last year and could not find a job so she took a small paying internship with a professional sports team. It was great experience. She paid most of her way but we still had to send $100 now and then and I paid her car insurance and phone bill.

She was just offered a job...yeah! But with her starting pay she'll have to live in an unsafe area or get a second job to live in a safe, decent apt. I am no longer going to provide any financial assistance. It's her decision. She chose decent apt and second job. Phew!

My parents supported me completely until my second year in college when I got a part-time job while in school. Then they just paid bills that came to them (cell, insurance, dorms - tuition was covered by a scholarship) and I was responsible for everything else (flights home, books, discretionary). After I graduated they kept me on their family plan for the cell phone and my Christmas gift each year is car insurance and AAA membership renewal. I've paid for everything else since graduation and will pay for my MBA myself.

There was always an expectation that as a family we would do our best to help each other and my contribution to that was to focus on my studies (aka get out in four years or less), get scholarships, and minimize costs to my family. I moved back in with my parents for a month after graduation while looking for an apartment near my job and didn't pay rent, but did gas up the cars, clean, and do shopping.

I don't think my parents' continued support of me has negatively impacted my level of independence or personal responsibility. However, their support for me is just a very nice token of their love at this point (which I thank them for regularly) and I am not at all dependent on it. I think dependency is the key to negative outcomes.

I received zero financial support from my parents after I graduated from college. My parents didn't contribute to anything after that, not grad school, my wedding, or buying a home. Even during college, I paid for my room and board and books entirely by myself since my junior year.

Then and now, I would have lived on the street rather than take money from my family. They're lovely people, but I've always felt that taking care of yourself is part of being an adult. Being independent and being able to make decisions about your own life--that's what being an adult means to me. Plus, I could see that my parents weren't exactly rich--I would have felt like a heel taking money from old people who really needed to save it for themselves.

My 2 children are just entering their teen years--although it's early to know for sure, I am certainly not planning to support them beyond college. Kids should grow up by that time at least, IMO. Unless they have a developmental disability or something, they should be making their own way by that time.

I've been out of school for about 4 years now, and moved home just after I graduated. There was about a year where I moved out, but my parents suggested I move home to help out and save my money. So that's what I've been doing. I pay a small amount of rent ($100/mo) and help out with chores & errands. This works out great as I enjoy being with my family and it means I am now out of debt and able to save/invest most of my money for future goals (since my parents won't be able to help financially when I buy a home, get married, etc.).

My parents paid for tuition (MET), room and board, and food through college. Anything else came from my pocket.

By the time I graduated, I had an internship that paid $16/hour and moved from college to my own apartment. Got another job (non-intern) 6 months after school ended. I'm sure my parents would have put me up for a while if need be.

That's a tough question now because it is so hard for college grads to get a job right away after graduation. It took our son over a year to find a permanent job (he did a bit of freelance work and had a consulting position for a while). Until he got his permanent job we did support him. Since then (the last 10 months) he still lives at home rent free but he pays all of his bills including his car payment and car insurance which is part of my insurance (we figured out what his share was and he pays us that each month when the payment is due.) He plans on moving out before the end of the year and will have his car paid off by then (the loan is actually in both our names since he had no credit history at the time.) I agree that you should not support them after graduation but you just don't want to kick them out if they cannot find a job, as long as they are seriously looking.

The extent of 'post college support' I received was some help moving from my dorm to my apartment and a few small household gifts (some dishes and things like that) to help me get started. The same during college; a few care packages here and there, but any money I had was from loans or jobs.

After I graduated I had a low-paying job and my parents said I was free to live in their house rent-free. I did for a few years and with that low-paying job, I was able to pay off my $20,000+ student loans and my car loan. I am forever grateful to my parents for their help as I was able to move out (right before I got married, actually) and start a married life debt-free.

My parents paid about 90% of my tuition, room, and board in college. (They would have paid 100% if necessary, but I won a couple of small merit scholarships.) Immediately after graduation, I started in an engineering job that was more than sufficient to support myself. The parents still give me some generous gifts, such as inviting me along on their vacations, but it's nothing I'm dependent upon.

I think it depends on each person's situation. Certainly, if parents can provide a kid with room and board until a job is found after college/grad school, and then maybe something to help get things started (like basic furnishings, or 1st month's rent), that would be a big help. I don't see that as spoiling kids, though I don't think it should be required from parents. Once adults, people should be extremely thankful for any help they get and shouldn't demand it.

That being said, I don't buy into any notion that some espouse, which generally goes along the lines of "I never got help from my parents, so why I should my kids need help from me?". That line of reasoning is very limited.

I paid for college while working 3 jobs. I never took a single dime from my parents (even in high school). I also contributed to the household (food mostly) because my parents had very little money. I also have 3 sisters and I helped them financially where I could in college and much more so now. Now that I am 3 years out of school and making well over 6 figures I am grateful every single day that I had such a challenging upbringing because it taught me to work harder than hell. I knew that I was going to live a life of poverty if I didn’t get an education and make something of myself. I knew that at 13 years old. There is nothing more motivating than looking into your mother’s eyes and seeing pain because she needs to borrow some of your birthday money to pay the power bill. Nothing.

13% supporting their kids for >5 years seems high. I suspect the high numbers are partially due to the current economy, differing views on what constitutes support and possibly even some kids going to grad school.

I lived with my parents after graduating with my first degree and then decided to go back to school for a second degree and continued to live with them. As soon as I got a real job I moved out. Personally I don't see any problem at all with parents helping out kids to transition to the real world after college. Of course it can go to far you have to ween them eventually.

Fascinating post about financial support for one's college graduate children. I wonder what other studies may support - or not support - the findings from USA Today?

MasterPo thinks much has to do with the maturity and attentiveness of the child. The job market today is not at all good and likely won't be good for many years to come. If your child has taken a real course of study in school (as oppose to something wishy-washy like "communications", "english", "theater" etc) and is putting in real effort to find a job in their field, or, to advance past entry level in their field then why not help them? Isn't that the purpose of being a parent - to help your offspring?

OTOH, if your kid just barely got by in school and now works at Wendy's because it fits well into their party schedule...cut 'em loose. It's a lesson in life.

very interesting dilemma. on one hand i'd want to help, but on the other i know that i will be (to an extent) crippling them. very subjective and case by case type decision i suppose...

One generation (parents) is obligated to help the next (children) so long as intellegence and maturity rule and not simple laziness.

My mother supported me through college (room and board and some tuition) where I had a work-study program with the university (I still have mucho loans, but that's another topic). I got my degree, moved home, and immediately (after a little relaxation) started an engineering job where I had interned during summers in college. I was lucky to be able to save most of my income for an engagement ring (high school sweet-heart) and then keep saving for a down payment for a house. I was engaged for 11 months and lived at home for saving; I have no issue with people living together before marriage. My mother knows how appreciative I am and I plan on paying her back (and more) when I'm able to financially.

I hate to sound bitter but I think anyone who receives support after age 18 is "spoiled". As a matter of fact, I think kids who have their parents pay for college are spoiled as well. It's not an obligation for parents to support their kids past the age of 18; they are "young adults" can take out LOANS.

I moved out at the age of 18 and was completely financially independent. And I'm a woman btw. Every penny I earned I earned by myself; no one gave me one dime. Paid for my first car by myself too (mom actually didn't even let me drive when I was 18) so I moved out and I called my own shots. I think it's ridiculous when grown adults receive financial help from their parents; I even hear stories of older people getting help from their parents to buy a mortgage! That's ludicrous. I would rather live in a box on the street than receive financial support as an adult.

I take immense pride in being an independent woman and being self-sufficient. I am more independent than anyone I know (not to brag but it's true). I have friends in their thirties who are "afraid" to live on their own.

I didn't go to college but you know what; I ended up making six figures a year anyways. (Not at the moment but a few years ago I did). I still earn more money than most graduates.

10th - Why saddle the next generation with debt if it can be avoided? So you don't/won't put away any money for your kids' education? No 529?

18, regardless of what the law says, is most definately NOT a "grown adult". Our society wouldn't have half the problems we do if that were true.

A lot of parents take the attitude their job ends at 18 and HS graduation. MasterPo just doesn't get it.

@Jim, 13% doesn't seem all that high, when you consider immigration patterns in the last 15 years and different cultural rules regarding moving-out. For example, it's customary in many Asian cultures that the kids live at home until they buy a home which lets them save up a substantial down payment very quickly. They tend not to do "starter" homes, so a 4br house (versus a condo or townhouse) requires a much larger pile of cash. A Vietnamese friend explained it to me, that the oldest would buy a home, and then the siblings could stay with the parents or with the older sibling, rent-free, while those younger siblings saved up for their own houses.

Another friend who is half Dominican explained that with his extended family, a group of men would immigrate to the States. They'd all contribute money to the down payment so the first could buy a house; that man would move his family up, and he would continue contributing while the group saved for the next guy to buy a house and relocate his family; and so on.

I'm not sure what % these behaviors come from being closer with family, and what % comes from not trusting the banks in their home countries, but our nation's household finances could take a cue from these cultures by being slightly less individualistic. Why pay interest if you don't have to?

I feel the parent should assist the child to an extent, such as the basic necessities. But other then that, they should encourage their child to find ways to support themselves, not to be an unhelpful parent, but lead them to be more independent and not rely on them so dominantly.

Very true, a child needs to learn to take care of the own future and learn to be more responsible in the real world w.o parents as a security blanket,

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