Adults Financially and Emotionally Dependant on Parents

If your children are under the age of 30, chances are that you still play a disproportionately large role in their emotional and financial wellness, and even take care of smaller aspects of their wellbeing. This is according to a new report from the Co-operative Group, which has identified a ‘lost generation’ of 18 to 30-year-olds in the UK for whom debt is normality – a “debt-eration” – and who are finding it hard to become independent in the country’s challenging economy.


The study found that young adults in the 18-30 age range have asked their parents for financial help for a range of things from food shopping costs (43%) to holidays (36%) to debt payments (16%) and house purchases (8%). However, the economy cannot take all the blame for this strange outcome of family wellness, as it goes beyond financial support. 80% of emerging adults still rely heavily on their parents for help with basic tasks and decision-making, including transport (40%), chores such as cleaning and ironing (34%) and help with finding a job (27%).


The report has identified a “debt-eration”, with nearly two thirds (60%) of 18 to 30-year-olds admitting to having debt, and an alarming 77% not alarmed or worried by it. This debt has many sources, including student loans (63%), credit cards (31%), personal loans (23%), overdrafts (19%) and money borrowed from parents (18%). On broader issues, the report found that two-fifths (40%) are dissatisfied with their lives so far, feeling that they should have achieved more in their lives.


According to Martyn Wates, the Co-operative Group’s deputy group chief executive, ‘The findings of our study into 18 to 30-year-olds living in Britain today offers a unique insight into their view of the world and their prospects for the future. It should not be forgotten that it is these young adults who are ultimately going to shape the future of Britain for years to come, so they need support and encouragement to thrive.’ Psychologist Donna Dawson added, ‘In order to help this generation to cope better, parents should encourage independence, initiative and self-sufficiency. This in turn will generate the self-confidence needed to tackle work and money issues, as well as help them to develop a more realistic outlook during an uncertain economy.’

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