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The Financial Burden of Adult Children on American Parents

As children grow up, parents hope they will become financially independent and self-sufficient. However, many parents in America are facing the opposite reality, where their adult children are becoming a significant financial burden. 

In this article, we will examine the reasons why adult children are becoming a financial burden on their parents and suggest some ways to alleviate this burden.

Reasons for Financial Burden

1. The Cost of Living Is Increasing

The cost of living is increasing, and many young adults struggle to make ends meet. This is particularly true for those who have recently graduated from college and are still looking for a job. Additionally, some young adults may have a job but are earning a low wage, making it difficult to pay for basic expenses such as rent, food, and utilities.

2. Student Loan Debt

Student loan debt is becoming a significant financial burden for many young adults. According to Forbes, America’s total student loan debt is over $1.7 trillion, and the average student loan debt is over $37,000. This debt can take years to pay off, and many young adults are struggling to make their monthly payments.

3. The High Cost of Healthcare in America

Many young adults are unable to afford health insurance, and medical bills can quickly add up. This can be particularly challenging for those who have a chronic illness or require ongoing medical care.

4. The COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has made the financial burden of adult children on their parents even more severe. Many young adults have lost their jobs or had their hours reduced, making it even more challenging for them to make ends meet.

Alleviating the Financial Burden

While it may be challenging to alleviate the financial burden of adult children on their parents entirely, there are some steps that parents and young adults can take to mitigate the impact.

1. Encouragement

Parents should encourage their adult children to become financially independent. This means teaching them how to create a budget, save money, and invest wisely. Parents can also help their adult children find a job by networking with friends and family or by connecting them with a job placement service.

2. Refinancing Loans

Young adults should consider refinancing their student loans to lower their monthly payments. This can be done through a private lender, and it can save them thousands of dollars over the life of their loan.

3. Purchasing a High-Deductible Health Insurance Plan

Young adults should consider purchasing a high-deductible health insurance plan or joining a healthcare-sharing ministry to reduce their healthcare costs. These options may have lower monthly premiums, but they require the individual to pay more out of pocket when they receive medical care.

4. Communicating Openly

Parents and young adults should communicate openly and honestly about their financial situation. This means discussing the expectations for financial support and setting boundaries. It can also mean seeking the advice of a financial planner or counselor to develop a plan that works for both parties.


The financial burden of adult children on their parents is a growing concern in America. The reasons for this burden are varied and complex, including the rising cost of living, student loan debt, healthcare costs, and the COVID-19 pandemic. 

While it may be challenging to alleviate this burden entirely, there are steps that both parents and young adults can take to mitigate its impact. By working together and communicating openly, parents and young adults can develop a plan that works for everyone involved.

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