Working Through Tough Financial Issues with Adult Children

If you have grown children, chances are you have first-hand experience wrestling with the complicated, often delicate family dynamics of helping a grown child financially while still trying to meet your own financial obligations and goals.

Indeed, those dynamics are familiar to a majority of American families. In a recent poll, NerdWallet found that 80 percent of the U.S. adults it surveyed who have children aged 18 and older have helped their adult kids cover their expenses.

Oftentimes, these situations present families with emotionally and financially charged money decisions that can be particularly difficult for the parents, who often find themselves forced to juggle their own financial priorities with the needs of their child. “Almost invariably, parents are going to be the financial backstop for their adult children,” says FPA member David W. Demming, CFP®, who heads Demming Financial Services inAurora, OH, “because that’s where the money tends to be.”

This is the second of two articles discussing the formidable financial issues that the so-called Sandwich Generation faces. Part 1, “Working Through Tough Financial Issues with Aging Parents,” addresses one side of the sandwich, the financial issues that may arise between aging parents and their grown children. Here in Part 2, we look at the other side of the sandwich — the sticky issues and difficult either-or financial questions that situations between parents and their adult children often conjure, with suggestions for how to address them in a balanced, equitable and practical way.
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