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Will the Latest Generation Be Ready to Care for the Greatest Generation?

The general perception of Millennials and Gen Xers is that they are easily motivated and in search of “authentic” relationships. While that may be true, it also seems true that many Millenial and Gen X children are not motivated enough to leave their parents’ home and are, even when they have moved out, still depending on their “authentic” relationship with their parents’ bank accounts.

According to a Pew Research Center report, Millennials live with their parents longer than both Baby Boomers and Generation X did. It’s called “the boomerang effect” — They are leaving the nest for college, but returning to Capistrano when they graduate.

According to recent surveys, roughly 25% of children aged 24 to 36 live with Mom. The reasons are many and possibly understandable, but that is not our concern here; our concern is, “What happens when the roles are reversed and the parents need care?” Will the children be able to manage their parents’ finances if they cannot handle their own?

Further research reveals the majority of Millennials and Gen Xers expect to financially support their parents in their old age, but few are planning for it today. It seems 71% of Millennials and Gen Xers know “little” to “nothing” about their parents’ finances, even though 68% expect to provide financial contributions if loved ones outlive their resources.

The problem is that they don’t want to ask their parents about it, and consequently haven’t figured that into their own financial plans, if they have any at all. Although about half to 80% of the latest generation believe it is important to talk with their parents about their retirement savings and responsibility for making financial decisions if need be, about a third have taken their elders’ needs into account within their own financial plans. Respondents ranked talking about their parents’ personal finances as one of the “most awkward” subjects, second only to sex.

This neglect may be planting the seeds for a looming financial crisis. As the Baby Boomer generation grows older, the gap between their retirement savings and longevity will increase exponentially — and the financial burden is poised to fall squarely on the shoulders of their adult children. The time is NOW to have that little talk — you know the one we mean!

If you need legal advice in managing an estate, trust, other elder law issue or veteran’s benefits, the Law Office of Scott C. Painter can help. We specialize in elder law issues ranging from nursing home planning, guardianship, wills, trusts, estates, veteran’s benefits, and other related legal matters. Attorney Scott Painter is CELA® certified under the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF).

A call to us is free, and the best advice is to act now to educate yourself about your options. Waiting to seek legal counsel may limit your options and be costly. Call now for your free consultation at 610-378-5140 or visit for more information.