Well Into Adulthood and Still Getting Money From Their Parents
Nearly 60% of parents provide financial help to their adult kids, a new study finds
Nearly 60% of parents provide financial help to their adult kids, a new study finds
Parents have always supported their children into adulthood, from funding weddings to buying a home. Now the financial umbilical cord extends much later into adulthood.
About 59% of parents said they helped their young adult children financially in the past year, according to a report released Thursday by the Pew Research Center that focused on adults under age 35. (This question hadn’t been asked in prior surveys.) More young adults are also living with their parents. Among adults under age 25, 57% live with their parents, up from 53% in 1993.
Parental support is continuing later in life because younger people now take longer to reach many adult milestones—and getting there is more expensive than it has been for past generations, economists and researchers said. There is also a larger wealth gap between older Americans and younger ones, giving some parents more means and reason to help. In short, adulthood no longer means moving off the parental payroll.
“That transition has gotten later and later, for a lot of different reasons. Now it’s age 25, 30, 35, 40,” said Sarah Behr, founder of Simplify Financial Planning in San Francisco.
Kami Loukipoudis, a 39-year-old director of design, and husband Adam Stojanik, a 39-year-old high-school teacher, knew they would need parental assistance to buy in New York’s expensive home market.
“We could pay a mortgage, but that down payment was the absolute crusher,” Stojanik said. “The idea of trying to save up on our own—as long as we were paying rents in NY, would’ve taken 300 years.”
Loukipoudis’s mother gave them the money for a 10% down payment on a two-bedroom apartment in the New York borough of Queens.
Adult children aren’t necessarily getting larger checks from their parents, but they are staying on the parental payroll for longer than previous generations, according to Marla Ripoll, professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh who studied the trend by analysing payments from parents to adult children over a 20-year span.
Ripoll found that 14% of adult children receive a transfer of money from their parents at least once in any given year, and roughly half get financial help at some point within that period. Those rates have been stable for years. What has changed is that the transfers now continue for much longer, she found. This longer-term help might be a drag on social mobility, as it becomes even harder for young people from lower-income families to catch up, researchers said.
Of the young adult children who said they received financial help from a parent in the past year, most said they put it toward day-to-day household expenses, such as phone bills and subscriptions to streaming services like Netflix, according to the Pew survey.
The amount of money and the frequency of help varies by age; those on the older end of the 18-to-34 cohort are far likelier to say they are completely financially independent from their parents compared with younger adult children, as many in the latter group are completing their education. Nearly a third of young adult children between the ages of 30 and 34 say they still get parental help.
Heather McAfee, a 33-year-old physical therapist in Austin, Texas, said she lived at home between 2019 and 2021; otherwise she wouldn’t have been able to make progress paying down her student loans while rent prices in her area remained so high. The plan worked—she has since reduced her student-debt balance from $83,000 to $15,000.
“It helped tremendously,” she said. “I didn’t have to take out more loans to pay for apartment living or anything like that. That stress was gone.”
A little more than half of parents surveyed said that having their adult children home brought them closer together or improved their relationship, but nearly 20% said it dented their personal finances.
Financial advisers often find themselves in the tricky position of speaking to both ends of the equation: adult children who need assistance and the parents determined to help children well into middle age, within limits.
Whereas previous generations would step into a greater sense of financial independence in their early 20s, young adult children today are often unable to reach similar markers of such independence—living on their own or buying their first home, for example—without greater financial resources.
Families typically don’t set concrete rules around when financial help will happen and what the money is used for, which can result in surprises down the road, Behr said.
In one case, Behr’s clients received the down payment they needed to purchase a condo from a generous mother-in-law. Years later, that same mother-in-law told them she expected a payout once the couple sold the home.
Down-payment help from parents—a given for many first-time home buyers—is growing thanks to higher home prices and elevated mortgage rates.
About a fifth of first-time home buyers said they got help from a relative or friend when pulling together the money needed for a down payment, according to a 2023 survey of home buyers and sellers from the National Association of Realtors. And 38% of home buyers under age 30 received help with the down payment from their parents, according to a survey this spring by Redfin.
Wealthy families often go further than helping with the down payment. They become a true bank of mom and dad and write a mortgage. The Internal Revenue Service sets minimum levels of interest for such loans, which remain significantly cheaper than current mortgage rates.
Timothy Burke, chief executive at National Family Mortgage, which facilitates such loans, said parents are often frustrated on behalf of their house-hunting children. High interest rates and the cutthroat housing market are holding their children back from reaching a milestone the parents themselves were more easily able to access.
Mei Chao, a 41-year-old stay-at-home mom, and her husband, William Chao, a 44-year-old information-technology specialist, bought their first house as a couple in 2017. They relied on financial help from her husband’s two sisters and his mother to help them bridge a gap in their house-buying timeline. While they waited to sell William’s Manhattan condo, they used the money from the family to purchase the new house in Queens.
The structure of the agreements got tricky. After selling the condo in Manhattan, Mei and her husband were able to repay his sisters in full. But they didn’t have enough money left over from the sale to do the same for Mei’s mother-in-law. So they kept the mother-in-law’s name on the deed to the house—a concession Mei said they were both more than happy to make.
“Ultimately, it all worked out. I’m glad his mother pushed us,” Mei said. “Without her help, I could not say we would have this home.”
Alexandre de Betak and his wife are focusing on their most personal project yet.
The chip company that is cashing in on the market’s artificial-intelligence obsession seems to many investors like an unstoppable force
Nvidia ’s historic run is minting profits for investors big and small . Many are betting the boom is just beginning.
They are piling into trades that the chipmaker’s shares, which have more than tripled over the past year , are headed still higher. Some have turned to the options market to look for ways to turbocharge their bets on artificial intelligence after a blockbuster earnings report sent the stock up 17% over the past two days.
The exuberance reflects hope that the company is the vanguard of wide adoption of artificial intelligence—and an intense fear of missing out among investors who have sat on the sidelines while the company’s valuation has eclipsed $2 trillion .
With the help of Nvidia, stocks have stormed into 2024 . The S&P 500, which has chalked up fresh records in recent weeks, is up 6.7%. That is the index’s second-best performance for this time period over the past 10 years. The gains were only surpassed by an 11% increase in 2019.
Nvidia has contributed to about a quarter of those gains, according to S&P Dow Jones Indices.
The Nasdaq, too, is up 6.6% this year and neared a record Friday. The tech-heavy index has been boosted by Nvidia, which this week tacked on $277 billion in additional market value, along with six other tech titans collectively known as the Magnificent Seven.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average is up 3.8% this year and has hit repeated records in recent weeks.
“You look at these numbers and what this company’s done—it’s almost without precedent,” said Mike Ogborne, founder of San Francisco-based hedge fund Ogborne Capital Management, who counts Nvidia among his top five biggest holdings . “It is nothing short of amazing.”
Ogborne compared AI with the launch of the internet more than two decades ago, which kick-started a technology craze that lasted years.
“It’s exciting,” Ogborne said. “It’s great for America.”
Tamar June in Reno, Nev., is one investor along for Nvidia’s furious stock-market ascent. Since the 1990s, the 61-year-old software-company chief executive has been buying shares of tech firms, including Apple , Microsoft , Cisco, Intel and Oracle . June had been familiar with Nvidia for some time but in recent years kept reading about the chip company in the news. She liked that it was profitable and growing.
June decided to purchase some shares in 2022 at about $260, then watched the stock erase more than half of its value later that year. She held on, knowing that Nvidia’s graphics processing units were in high demand for cloud computing. Then, an AI frenzy hit the stock market in 2023, sending Nvidia’s stock soaring.
Now, Nvidia shares are closing in on $800, and June is looking for opportunities to buy more. She isn’t fazed by worries that the AI boom is bound to come crashing down. June experienced the bursting of the dot-com bubble and the 2008 financial crisis—and watched stocks bounce back to new highs.
“I think it’s still in the beginning stages,” June said of AI developments. “There’s still a lot of headroom for technology because our whole future depends on it.”
A herd of investors chased Nvidia while it raced toward its $2 trillion valuation.
At Robinhood Markets , Nvidia was the most purchased stock by customers on a net basis and received the heaviest notional trading volumes over the past month, according to Stephanie Guild, head of investment strategy at the digital brokerage.
The rise drove many traders to pile into the company’s options, a risky corner of the market notorious for boom-and-bust trades.
Nvidia has also morphed into one of the most popular trades in this market, with traders placing more than $20 billion in stock-options bets tied to the company over the past week, according to Cboe Global Markets data. That was more than what they spent on Tesla , Meta Platforms , Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Alphabet combined.
Call options, contracts that confer the right to buy shares at a specific price, were particularly popular. And many of the trades appeared to suggest that investors were fearful of missing out on bigger gains to come. Some of the most active trades Friday were calls pegged to the shares jumping to $800 or $850, up from their closing price of $788.17. Betting against the shares has been a losing game , leading many investors to throw in the towel on bearish wagers.
The values of many of these options bets exploded while Nvidia soared, rewarding those who piled in. The big gains also enticed others to join in the trades while the stock’s rally continued.
“There’s a snowball effect,” said Henry Schwartz, a vice president at exchange-operator Cboe Global Markets, of the options activity surrounding Nvidia.
Ahead of the tech behemoth’s earnings report Wednesday, options pegged to the shares jumping to $1,300 —around double where they were trading at the time—were some of the most popular trades.
And for some investors, the 16% one-day jump in Nvidia’s share price Thursday wasn’t enough. They sought even bigger returns and piled into several niche exchange-traded funds that offer magnified exposure to Nvidia stock.
The GraniteShares 2x Long NVDA Daily ETF has taken in almost half a billion dollars from investors on a net basis since launching late in 2022. The fund’s shares have more than doubled in 2024 and have surged nearly 650% since inception.
There have been few signs of profit-taking so far. Investors added a net $263 million to the fund in the past month. The fund’s cousin, which turbocharges bearish bets against Nvidia, has been much less popular.
The euphoria surrounding Nvidia has spread to other stocks, too. Shares of Super Micro Computer , a much smaller company worth less than $50 billion, popped more than 30% Thursday after Nvidia’s earnings report. Traders spent more than $5 billion on options tied to the company, more than what they spent on Tesla this week. Tesla is worth about 13 times as much as the company.
Nvidia’s continued, rapid ascent has stunned even early bulls on semiconductors and generative AI.
Atreides Management founder Gavin Baker, who started covering Nvidia as an analyst at Fidelity in 2000, reminded investors in his Boston hedge fund in an early 2021 letter of Marc Andreessen ’s adage that software was eating the world. “Today, AI is replacing software,” he wrote.
Atreides started buying Nvidia shares in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to regulatory filings.
The wager proved profitable. But as Nvidia shares kept soaring, Baker started selling. Atreides was out of Nvidia by the end of the second quarter of 2023. “This has been a painful mistake,” Baker wrote in a June 2023 letter to his clients, when Nvidia was trading north of $420 a share.
Atreides’s stake in competitor Advanced Micro Devices has helped alleviate the pain from missing out on larger gains. The firm made nearly a quarter billion last year alone on AMD, which it continues to hold along with several other related bets.
Michael Hannosh, a 20-year-old college student in Chicago, said he first purchased shares of Nvidia in August 2022, when the stock traded below $180. Nvidia was one of his first-ever stock purchases. He had built a custom computer for videogaming and used a lot of Nvidia parts.
Hannosh said he kept the shares until last March, then sold them for a roughly 30% profit. He later bought a few more shares at about $230 and sold them over the course of the next several days at a profit.
The shares have tripled since.
“It’s blown my f—ing mind to bits. It’s insane,” said Hannosh. “I really wish I held it, obviously.”