Baby Boomers who bankroll their kids

How can we possibly know how much we will need to live a comfortable life in the future? These are questions that should be running over in our heads before digging into the wallet/purse.
We know business is unpredictable and so is life.

As parents we want to ensure our kids do not suffer or miss out, as we perhaps once did. We want our children to avoid hardship and to prosper but sometimes in life, hardship is one of the driving mechanisms to a better and more fruitful future.

Whether it is staying at home rent-free to save money for a deposit on a house or borrowing when out of cash, children can treat Baby Boomer parents as an easy option – an endless flow of money instilling no sense of responsibility or work ethic.  

It is only natural, as a parent, to want to help financially but there are so many demands financially to help our children.

They leave high school, go to university for an undergraduate degree, travel for a year or two, then consider another degree and finally, a low-paid internship.

Harsh lending requirements and increased rent makes it difficult to move into the housing market.
We might buy groceries, a car, clothes or pay the deposit on rented accommodation – the list is endless. But is it necessary? What problems are we potentially creating?

Being the easy option for children puts our own future financial security at risk without even knowing.
This, in turn, can put strain on relationships too. It can also cause rift and jealousy between siblings and also set a precedence.

What child one receives, child two, three or four will expect the same treatment, leaving the bank balance looking unhealthy but also, most importantly it will not teach your children how to be self-sufficient.
The more baby boomers give away the less we have for ourselves when it matters. And, although every parent on this planet will see right by their child, it is about finding the right balance and the fine line between helping out when it is needed and not when expected.

It does not teach children money management. They will not learn to be self-sufficient, to look after themselves and stand on their own two feet.

When you are in your 50s and 60s, you are starting to think about winding down but you can’t do that if you know you have to support your adult children.

Many feel they have spent their life providing and now they have to keep going.
We have created a Peter Pan generation – young adults who know they have a fall back. That does not mean all baby boomer children are like this but in my work coaching baby boomers in business, it is a real concern.

Lorraine Pirihi is a specialist Baby Boomer coach