Canadian parents say they would put off retirement to help adult children financially

Many Canadian parents say they are so anxious about their adult offspring’s monetary well-being, they are willing to...

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Many Canadian parents say they are so anxious about their adult offspring’s monetary well-being, they are willing to sacrifice their own financial comfort to help them.

A full 50% of parents surveyed said they would be willing to put off retirement to help their adult children aged 18-34, according to a BMO Wealth Management report released December 16. The survey also found 33% are willing to save less for retirement and 22% would take on debt to help their kids. As well, 19% of parents said they would take money out of their retirement savings to give to their children.

This could have considerable repercussions on the parents’ fiscal security, according to Chris Buttigieg, BMO senior manager of wealth planning strategy.

"It's no surprise that so many parents want to ensure their children succeed and live comfortably in adulthood," Buttigieg.

"However, when parents make their adult children's needs a priority, it may have a significant impact on their own financial situation and plans for the future, including retirement.”

Just what exactly are today’s parents worried about? The number one fear related to their kids having financial problems related to high debt levels. They were also concerned about a lack of employment opportunities.

Times have changed, Buttigieg said, pointing out the way today’s younger generation achieves financial independence differs greatly from their parents’ generation. While 80% of those aged 18-34 have received some form of financial help from their parents, the survey found that almost half of all their parents received no such help at all.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV