An intriguing study, using data gathered from a study 5,000 families since 1968, finds, not surprisingly, that parents are providing more financial help for their children. The University of Michigan researchers note that 6 in 10 young people between 19 and 22 are subsidized by mom and dad. The average amount — which includes support for education, housing and transportation — comes to $7,500 a year.
Not surprisingly, the wealthy do more, particularly when it comes to paying for education. The researchers, Patrick Wightman and Robert Schoeni, of the University of Michigan and Keith Robinson, of the University of Texas at Austin, conclude:
They are taking longer to leave home, complete their schooling and get married.
Stable employment, once the foundation of adulthood, is becoming more elusive as the labor market is becoming more fluid; average job tenure is shorter and employment transitions, voluntary and involuntary, occur more frequently—with all the accompanying uncertainty. The relationship between parenthood and marriage is becoming increasingly tenuous as more children are born to single parents and cohabitating and married couples are waiting longer to have children. In short, many young adults are taking longer to make the transition to traditional adulthood. Moreover, these trends have been accompanied by an increase in financial and material support young adults receive from their parents.
About 42 percent of respondents reported their parents helped them pay bills, with those receiving help getting an average of $1,741;
Nearly 35 percent of young adults said their parents helped with college tuition, with those receiving help given an average of $10,147;
About 23 percent received help with vehicles (about $9,682 on average);
About 22 percent received help with their rent away from home ($3,937 on average);
About 11 percent said they received loans from their parents ($2,079 on average) and nearly 7 percent said they received financial gifts (average amount of $8,220).