Baby Boomers Squeeze Savings to Support Parents and Children

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

According to a new survey from Ameriprise Financial, just one in four baby boomers are saving for their retirement. Instead, many are putting their money towards helping their aging parents and adult children. More than half of the boomers surveyed said they were helping their parents pay for groceries, medical expenses, or utilities. A stunning 93 percent of baby boomers provide their adult children with financial support.

Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial, explains the pinch boomers are finding themselves in. Takeaway listener Mark Niedt in Denver explains why he has been helping support his adult children.


Mark Niedt and Suzanna de Baca

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

Comments [5]


I'm a Gen Y-er helping to support my on-disability Boomer mother. It's rough sometimes trying to balance her extra bills with my own, but you do what you have to do.

I can't look down on those who've fallen on rough times and need parental or other family support, though my mind has always been boggled by the people who expect their parents to help (or completely) pay for their weddings and such... even when those being married are 30 or older and have been on their own for years...

May. 02 2012 10:38 AM
mary from new york

I have helped my adult daughter and son-in-law because they need the help. But I'm tired, angry, sad and frightened about what the future holds for them. I'm about at the end of my rope; I will continue to help my grandkids because they are defenseless, but I am about to tell my daughter and sil that I can't give them anything more. They may go into foreclosure, but unfortunately, I just can't carry them the way I have been.

May. 02 2012 09:47 AM
Salvatore Dibenardo from New York

My Mother taught me to take care of not only my six children but also my brothers and if i can help other relatives who need help,to do so. A low income Republican she belived ,like i ,that free enterprize is better then to much Goverment control. At age 62 i am and always will help my children if the need is there.
I work 35 hours a week plus collect my social security check ,thats all i have as income,so i will live within my means.

May. 02 2012 09:30 AM
Kelie Plank from Denver, CO

What Cord? Kids today don't know how lucky they are. My parents cut the chord at 18 when I thought I knew everything and they knew nothing. To re-assure that I knew everything, my father told me if I stepped foot out the door to leave, that I would be responsible for every last penny in my life, including school, etc. And he wasn't kidding. Although they had mere funds to help me advance my education, he kept his promise until I was 35. God bless my parents for keeping their word. It made me work harder, smarter and appreciate everything they have achieved for their family, not to mention an appreciation for my own successes. Shortly after college, my parents came to visit me, I was sleeping on an egg crate mattress, had one television and a coffee table. My mother cried when she walked in, but my father said "Place looks good". :) After achieving the ownership of 8 rental properties and establishing a career in software, it was only then when I was 35, I was on my way to Thailand for a two week vacation to treat myself for hard work and enormous sacrifices; After a visit from my parents prior to my departure, I found a note in my bathroom drawer with 1000.00 cash and a note that said "enjoy your vacation". My father never spoke about the money before or after that time, but I knew deep down, (considering he had never given me a mere 10 cents since I left at 18) in his own way he felt I understood the value of success on my own. Although money was never provided for my success, I had more love and encouragement that surpassed any amount of money that I could have asked for. That in all, is priceless.

Thanks Mom and Dad


May. 02 2012 09:16 AM
Cathleen from NYC

I work with a couple of older adults who also have part-time jobs because they are helping their adult children finance cars and homes and tuition for the grandkids. These kids all have college degrees and good careers and I confess to being mystified that they allow their parents to do this for them.

May. 02 2012 07:28 AM

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