Millennials are more willing to help out parents than you might think

Posted July 6

Are millennials as unwilling to help their parents and relatives as they age as popular conception would have you think? Not exactly.

An opinion piece in Forbes discussed the recent results of the Fidelity Investments Family & Finance Study that interviewed 1,273 parents over the age of 55 and 221 of their adult children older than 25.

It was found, amongst other results, that it was the parents who were reluctant to become financially dependent on their children at 93 percent, while only 30 percent of adult children agreed, according to Forbes. However, 72 percent of parents said they expected their children to act as a long-term caregiver if needed, but 40 percent of those kids were unaware of that.

The article’s conclusion was not that children were unwilling to do these things, but that these expectations and what was necessary to fulfill them weren’t being adequately communicated to the children.

Similarly, looked at the same survey and noted that most respondents said they did not have in-depth talks about monetary subjects such as long-term care, retirement expenses, wills and estate planning, or where important documents were kept.

“Parents don’t want to acknowledge these issues and children feel uncomfortable raising them, but you can’t wait for the other person to bring the topic up,” said John Sweeney, executive vice president of retirement and investing strategies at Fidelity, to

Millennials wanting to help parents isn’t even a new train of thought, just now derailing the belief that millennials are indifferent to their older family members. An article from The Washington Post published last October talked about millennials who act as caregivers for family members.

About a quarter of America’s adult caregivers fall between 18 and 34, The Post said, and millennial caregivers are as equally likely to be a man as a woman.

The makeup of the average millennial caregiver is someone who is 27, works a job 35 hours a week and with an average household income below the national median, according to The Post. Most live within 20 minutes of those they care for, if they don’t live with them.

And it’s not just medical assistance but lifestyle assistance millennials are giving, with a number reversing the accepted status quo and helping their parents find jobs, according to an article in The Atlantic.

Possibly spurred on by a working market that prioritizes courting the younger generation over previous ones, millennials, such as 25-year-old Ashley Buchly, are helping their parents deal with being in-between jobs, as The Atlantic recounted.

Buchly’s father, a director of real estate at a university, left work when told it was either that or work at half his salary. He left, and sent out 500 resumes for another job, only for the rejections to start coming in, according to The Atlantic.

“He even went to Wal-Mart and applied to be an overnight stocker, and they told him he was too qualified for the job,” Buchly told The Atlantic.

He spent near three years unemployed until finding a job as a real estate agent, and even now Buchly helps him with networking both in everyday life and online as he looks for another job, as The Atlantic said.

And aside from medical and lifestyle help, there’s also the little things, like millennials Tweeting about helping their parents with technology.

The belief that millennials aren’t family oriented and there for older relatives may have some discrepancies to resolve.

Contact the reporter at; Or follow her on Twitter at @Sarahsonofander.


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