What is the appropriate age to wean your child off your financial support? And how much money should you give an adult child if any?

What’s your opinion? Let us know!

I would tie it to my kids graduating college and getting their first full-time job. At that point I will help them budget and plan for retirement, but no longer offer any financial support. The age is obviously going to be different for everyone depending on the path their kids take in life.


I think the age is dependent on what their plan is. If they plan to go to college so they can get a degree and a decent job following, then the age is later. If they don’t plan on bettering themselves to get a decent job, then the age is sooner. I wouldn’t let a kid just wander around with no plan while living in my house if they have the ability.

We tied ours to getting a college degree in something in which you can get a decent job. One daughter thought about going to med school, but we required her to get a degree that would both satisfy getting into med school and getting a decent job in case med school did not work out. She decided not to go to med school and has a great paying job she loves. They both had a plan and implemented it and we supported them through it. Once they got their jobs, we provided any needed startup support, after that they were on their own. The expectation we instilled in them is they had 4 years to get out of our house and on their own. They do not expect anything from us financially, but we enjoy being able to provide the occasional gift of money to them.

We’ll probably give them money to help them buy a house when they’re ready for that. We can provide money that’s more helpful to them now than when we die and they are older and really don’t need it. They do not expect us to help them, but we enjoy it and have the means.

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Sorry TeamClark, this is a stupid question. Every kid is different. Every family is different. What works well for you won’t work well for me. What works for one of my kids won’t work for another.


My wife and I differ on this point. My position is after college, they should be financially independent. My wife says the “economy” is different today and we should assist them as we can. So it depends on your family dynamics! LOL.

Once they are out of college and get a job. They are fully adults and should act responsibly with their finances on their regular ongoing expenses. I would want to only help out with major life events such as wedding or buying a first home. Also, the more parents can solidify their finances for retirement, the less of a financial burden we will be on our children.

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Certainly after college graduation! For minor things (eg AAA membership), sure. But major? The average amount people are giving their kids is over $700- a month?!! That is crazy. You aren’t helping them, you’re hurting them. They will stay dependent upon you because they don’t know anything else. We raised 4 kids. They are now 43, 42, 40, and 38. We don’t support any of them financially, we haven’t supported them financially since they graduated from college, and guess what? They are all doing well! Happily married. They have great kids (7 grandchildren). All our kids are employed full-time. Spouses work or are full time with their kids (one home schools her boys 14, 11, 8) Two own their own homes. The important thing is did you help them learn how to manage money when they were young? If not, it’s not too late to do it now! Enroll them in a course such as Dave Ramsey, pay for that if you like. Buy them the book “The Millionaire Next Door”. But really, they need to learn to stand (tall) on their own. It’s good for them, it’s good for their marital relationship and their parental relationship with their children. It’s good for society.

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Give children the knowledge they need to create wealth not just spend it! Teach them how to invest and grown financially. Mine were both independent shortly college!

We supported our kid 100% through college. Now she’s a graduate student on a meager stipend and minimally supported by us. We own the beater car she drives, we pay the car insurance and repairs, we pay for the phone family plan, and we keep her on our health insurance. But she pays the rent, food, clothes, school supplies, travel, gas, etc. After she graduates and gets a job, she’ll be off our hook.

It is more costly for young people to get established these days compared to when I was just out of college. My college tuition was $600 a year, adjusted for inflation that’s about $1950 a year. She pays about $2800 a year just for fees at her university. She pays fees for renting that didn’t exist 40 years ago – tenant application, roommate change, redecorating fees - and she’s required to have renter’s insurance (optional back in the day). And she pays 1st month, last month and 1 month’s deposit up front. She has great credit, but if she didn’t, she’d have to pay 2 months’ rent for deposit. Our graduate student stipends were worth more in today’s dollars than she gets now. Less income and more expenses.

You know how the IRS raises the standard deduction and income tax brackets every year as a cost of living adjustment? I calculated the difference it would make for her – $123 saved on her federal taxes. That doesn’t even cover higher food costs. My husband and I make about 5-6 times her grad student stipend, and our tax savings will be 8 times hers. That seems backwards.

I have no idea what she might get for salary and benefits once she graduates, but I’m not optimistic that our economic system will take her as far financially as it did us. Different times…

To answer this question, we should first answer at what age did OUR parents stop providing us with financial support? And how much money did OUR parents give us as adults?


Whan I was almost 12, my parents sent me away to military school (probably just for my grades :slight_smile: until I graduated High School. I had to then find a job and pay towards room and board. I first worked for my Dad and subcontractors but Dad took all the paycheck. I quickly leared to find a non-related Boss. I worked a service station, dishwasher at a busy place on the Turnpike, was an electricians helper/apprentice and laid wall to wall carpet using a knee kicker (now not used because of medical issues they cause).

I went to a remote college and my parents made the down payment for my first car, but I paid the rest. I made extra money picking up food for dorm mates while using the tips to pay for my own food. I then helped build a TV station and was disk jockey. The jobs went on from there.

I have never been a parent, but I think I understand parenting. The job of a parent is prepare their children for life. If you want to help them along the way, that is fine, but you can tell very quickly if they start to rely upon the help and start slacking off. There needs to be conditions. We can help as long as you keep a x.xx grade point average. You need to find a way to repay us within xx years, months, etc

I see too many TV shows where the kids are living at home, no job, leaching off the parents and the parents say things like “I don’t want to see them living off the street, so I pay for food and cigarettes and gas and their cellphone and…”. The famous Dr. Phil says that childs FIRST JOB is to find a job and then keep it.

I guess I would not have been the easiest Father to a child, but I think I would earn their respect to not look to me to fund their life, only to be there in an emergency to help were I could. Give them the tools to be independant.


Upon college graduation and working full time! I still cover a few things (Family Cell phone plan, AAA membership and a Gas card for my 2 recent grads because I want them to drive home often (1, 2-hour drive) without any excuse for what it may cost! :wink:

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I don’t think there is any hard and fast rules. It is a matter of what you can afford and what your child needs. Boomerang kids aren’t that unusual. My son had a full scholarship to college and his boss paid for his first master’s degree. During the pandemic he got into a PhD program in biostatistics. Soon thereafter, however, his marriage fell apart and he had a daughter to support. His 25K a year stipend didn’t stretch so far. I was retired by this time, but I was doing well so I bought a condo for him to live in. If he delays writing that dissertation too long I might turn off the faucet but my feeling is, better I give with a warm hand than later when I’m cold and dead. And oh yeah, if you have a job that will keep your kids on your health insurance until 26, do so, unless you are sure they have a job that pays it. That is one of those things a young person will let slide.

“Weaning” is a process, the path to being financially independent should begin as soon a your child understands the concept of money, and has the opportunity to make decisions about it’s role in their own lives., like “do I save it for future use, or spend now for immediate self-gratification?”

A good place to start is when they receive a gift of money. You can explain to them that they can spend some and save some. If they don’t learn this basic concept at an early age, they, as dependent child, and you as a supporting parent, will have difficult days ahead in helping them become financially independent. If you fail to do it right, your child may never become a financially independent adult.

As you succeed with each step in the process, each succeeding step becomes easier. It’s a concept the makers of baby food fully understand, parents of children should also.

Once a child reaches adulthood, any financial support should be handled like a business deal. The adult child presents the business case and you make the decision whether or not to invest the money. No convincing business case, no money, it’s called tough love.


Parenting is a lot harder than it looks like on the surface.

Or you could say something like, “let’s see if I can help you find a way to do this on your own. First let’s talk about budgeting, …”

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When they are no longer a “tax deduction”!


I paid for all 3 kids college with 529 plan and upon graduation obtain full time employment so they begin paying for all living costs including car insurance, car repairs etc. I still pay some incidentals like phones and streaming services on family plan. I also help them budget, build emergency fund, save for short term w CDs and plan for retirement in company 401Ks etc. Also, none of them carry a credit card balance, it is paid off 100% every month! (If you cannot pay it off, do not use the credit card, you cannot afford the purchase)

Thank God I was never a parent!

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You have to think about the long-term future. My sister is 55 years old and recently lost another apartment, had her car reposted again, and is draining my mother of so much money. My mother has an enabled her for decades. I’ll add that my mother cannot afford this either. What will happen when my mother gone? I will not take care of someone who will not take care of themselves. I feel my mother has actually harmed my sister with this behavior.