Things came to a head a few years back when he was living in another state and working at a job he disliked and eventually quit. Hamra gave him one month to turn things around before he swooped in. But swoop in he did. Hamra flew out to help his son, packing up his apartment and bringing him home.
“I was really just being a parent, but I should have been sticking to my guns and having him make his own decisions. I had to get comfortable with that,” Hamra says.
Now Hamra's son is working at a natural foods store and living on his own. “It took a long time to get to this point,” Hamra says.
Though the situation never got so bad that it jeopardized Hamra’s own financial state, he’s seen it happen with his clients. And with one in six parents providing some financial assistance to their adult children, Opens in a new window according to Pew Research Center, it’s important to know how much help is too much.
Here are three ways to help you and your kids cut that cord.
No, it’s not your imagination. Today’s 20-somethings need more financial help than previous generations. They’re dealing with tough economics. For one, graduates are drowning in debt: Two-thirds finish college with student loans, Opens in a new window according to Pew, while 20 years ago, only half did. And the average debt load per graduate is $37,000 Opens in a new window, with an average loan repayment of $351 a month, according to 2016 analysis by student financial aid expert Mark Kantrowitz Opens in a new window.
Also, housing has grown more expensive. Fewer than 19% of rental listings in the top 25 markets are affordable for recent grads, according to property listing site Trulia Opens in a new window.
“Those are extenuating circumstances that don’t have anything to do with the intelligence or go-get-it-ness of millennials,” says Elizabeth Fishel, co-author with Jeffrey Arnett of the book “Getting to 30: A Parents’ Guide for the 20-Something Years.”
Naturally, parents want to cut their kids some slack. But the help has to come with some expectations, both Fishel and Hamra say.
“I have one friend who has three children. She offered each of them a year at home, all expenses paid. After that, they had to move out, even if they didn’t have their dream job,” Fishel says.