British Columbia

Boomerang kids causing baby boomer parents to stress about retirement, survey suggests

More than half of baby boomers surveyed by TD say millennials' financial reliance on parents are impacting their ability to save for retirement.

Survey indicates struggle to provide for grown children causing stress and impacting retirement savings

Ontario's Katelynn Langer and her mother, Marjorie, lived together in 2015. Langer moved in with Mom but said she was paying her own way. (Katelynn Langer)

A new survey suggests more than half of baby boomers canvassed in a recent survey feel they aren't able to save enough for retirement because of their children's financial reliance on them.

Sixty-two per cent of boomers surveyed say they feel the "deja-boom" effect is preventing them from saving the amount they need in retirement, according to a survey by TD.

The banking institution looked at more than 350 working Canadians between the ages of 52 and 70 about the issue.

It found the struggle to provide for their grown children was causing stress and impacting retirement savings — 58 per cent of boomers surveyed felt the pinch.

According to the most recent Statistics Canada census, 42.3 per cent of people in their 20s lived at home in 2011.

Another 523 millennials, aged 18 to 34, were also asked about their perspective.

More than 40 per cent of them say they're willing to cut down on spending before asking for financial help.

They also realize their dependence on their parents means their own retirement savings will likely take a hit — 44 per cent are aware of that impact.

What to do then?

In her decade as a financial planner, Bev Kumar from TD's Delta branch says she's certainly seen boomers battle those stresses, some with the added pressure of supporting grandchildren.

She says she's seen more of it in the last two years amid rising housing costs.

If boomers want to lend a helping hand, she recommends first getting a thorough understanding of their financial picture by talking to a planner.

"If you don't know what your situation is clearly, you can't always be in the best position to help," she said.

"I always go back to that analogy of airplanes, you've got to put the [oxygen] mask on yourself first before you put it on your child — so you're both more in control."

To take some of the stress off, she recommends splitting household costs, so everyone takes some responsibility.

Educating younger family members on financial literacy is also advised.

When it comes planning for when the living arrangement should end, she says she approaches it with the understanding  every family has its own dynamics.

"We live in such a multicultural society, Vancouver especially, it's different for different cultures."

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