More than half of Canadians with adult children say their kids still depend on them financially, according to a new survey that also finds the next generation of Canadian youth won't be able to count on their parents as much as earlier generations.
The poll from Leger, carried out for the Financial Standards Planning Council (FPSC), found that 51 per cent of parents with adult children still support their offspring, while 45 per cent said supporting their grown kids is causing a financial strain on the household.
But perhaps surprisingly, the data found that parents of Generation Z children — those born after 2000 — are less willing than others to support their children through their adult years.
While 65 per cent of parents with adult children said they will — or already have — helped their children with the purchase of a home, that number drops to 43 per cent among parents of "centennials," who are all still under 18.
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The survey also found a gender gap between attitudes towards helping out adult children. While 44 per cent of men showed a willingness to help their adult kids with the purchase of a home, only 32 per cent of women were willing.
"These results raise some fascinating questions about children, financial dependence and suggest potential sources of marital conflict," said Kelley Keehn, a personal finance author and consumer advocate for the FPSC.
In an interview with HuffPost Canada, Keehn speculated that women may be more interested than men in teaching their children to be self-sufficient.
"Anecdotally, I have heard from parents where one parent is on side (with helping their child financially) and the other isn't," she said.
Low interest rates behind the trend?
Keehn suggested that years of low interest rates have created an environment where parents are more willing to help their children with large purchases like a home.
"If we were in the 1980s we would not be having this conversation, because interest rates were in the double digits," she said.
"It wouldn't just be like 'Everyone should own a home,' like (the attitude) is today."
The Leger poll surveyed 1,527 Canadians online between July 31 and August 3 of this year. The poll has a margin of error of +/-2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
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