If you are a parent, you may have thought your financial obligation to your children would end when they became adults. Still, according to Prudential, roughly half of American adults say they are struggling financially. If your children are in this group, they may ask you for money or other financial support regularly.
While there is certainly nothing inherently wrong with helping your adult children from time to time, you do not want to overextend yourself. This is especially true if you have retired from your job, as you are likely living on a fixed income.
Many parents are sacrificing more nowadays
According to reporting from CNBC, 45% of parents say they have given money to their adult children during the last couple of years. Alarmingly, nearly 80% of these individuals had to make personal sacrifices to offer financial assistance to their kids. That is, most parents have had to scrimp to make their loans or gifts possible.
You simply may not be able to afford to help
For a variety of reasons, your adult children may overestimate your wealth. Still, it is rarely wise to make loans or gifts you cannot afford to make. Before helping your adult children financially, you should ask yourself whether your assistance will hurt your financial circumstances. If it will, declining to help does not make you a bad person or an uncaring parent.
While it can be stressful to refuse to offer financial support to your adult children, you do not want to end up penniless during your golden years. Ultimately, if your kids cannot pay for their own living expenses, it may be time for them to consider filing for bankruptcy or taking advantage of other debt-relief opportunities.