Published May 23, 2011
Remember that worry parents had a few generations ago - empty nest syndrome? These days parents have a much different problem—needy adult children - many of whom won't or can't leave the nest.
A new study by the National Endowment for Financial Education shows nearly six in ten parents are providing financial support to their adult children. And we're not just talking about 18, 19, 20-year-olds. This study includes all children - 18 to 39 years of age.
All of those parents provide housing and nearly half provide some kind of living expenses—40% hand over money for transportation costs, a third pay for insurance, and nearly three-in-ten parents give their kids spending money.
According to the survey, parents are making major sacrifices as well - a quarter have taken on additional debt, 13% have put off major events like home buying or vacations and 7%of these parents have put off their own retirement to help pay for their adult kids.
In most cases this is not about kids or young adults being lazy, staying at home playing video games, while Mom and Dad pay for everything. Most feel like they have no other option but to get help from their parents.
Two-thirds say they are worse off financially as a generation than their parents were, and a third of their parents agree!
The national unemployment rate is 9% but for those in their early twenties more than 14% are without a job, and for those in their late twenties - it's over 10%.
Another concern for recent grads—student loans are at all time highs. The average four-year college student owes about $24,000 after school. Back in 1993 it was only $12,000.
While the jobless recovery is destined to hurt this age group the most - there are some things you can do to boost your chances of a post-graduation job. There are tons of Websites out there offering advice and one of the most common tips is: begin your job search early.
Don't wait until the end of your senior year to start your search - as soon as you've come up with a career goal, start going after it. While it may be years before your graduation day, starting early will get you in the right direction, and might get you a foot in the door as well.
I'm sure you've heard the cliché, "It's not what you know, but who you know." It's a tried-and-true saying for a reason, and now social media is a great way to build up connections. It's not just a great way to look at your friend's photos.
And be persistent, but patient...don't take breaks from your job search - make it a daily routine. But you don't have to send out 20 applications each day too. Instead, make sure your letters are personal and job-appropriate.
It's not always quantity, but quality that will get you remembered by a potential employer.
And finally don't get discouraged. The fact that you are unemployed is unfortunately a common thing these days. Hopefully jobs will once again become a major priority in Washington and hopefully young adults will get the attention they need—giving mom and dad a break!