Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Parents' nearest... and dearest

Matthew McConaughey played a thirty-something slacker happy to milk his parents in Failure To Launch
Matthew McConaughey played a thirty-something slacker happy to milk his parents in Failure To Launch

They're adult kids – the under 30s who just can't cut the apron strings. A new report out today reveals how many of those aged 18-30 in Northern Ireland are struggling to make ends meet and have to rely heavily on their parents for money.

The research found that more than eight out of 10 ask their parents for cash. They spend it on various things from food shopping costs (43%), to holidays (36%), to debt payments (16%) and house purchases (8%).

The study, published today, found the under 30s in Northern Ireland are finding it almost impossible to break free emotionally and financially from their parents.

Gerard Hill, regional secretary for The Co-operative Group in Northern Ireland, which was behind the report, said it offers an unusual insight into the new generation. He added: "It should not be forgotten that it is these young adults who are going to shape the future of the UK for years to come, so they need support and encouragement to thrive which, in turn, will only be positive for the future of the country."

The Co-operative said it has identified a "lost generation" of 18-30-year-olds who are struggling to become independent against the challenging economic backdrop.

But it's not just financial support from the "Bank of Mum and Dad", with a high proportion of young UK adults (80%) still turning to parents for help with basic tasks and decision making.

The most common areas for support included transportation (40%), chores such as cleaning and ironing (34%), and help with finding a job (27%).

The research highlights that money is an issue for young adults, with nearly a third (31%) not feeling financially independent. It also identified the 18-30 "debt-eration", with nearly two-thirds (60%) of 18-30-year-olds admitting to having debt.

The findings of the study revealed that for this generation debt is the new normality, with 77% of this age group simply not fazed by it. Yet, despite parents and guardians helping their offspring repay debt, nearly a third of young adults are hiding debt from their parents, amounting to an average burden of £3,579.

The main sources of debt for this age group are: student loans (63%); credit cards (31%); personal loans (23%); overdrafts (19%), and money borrowed from parents (18%).

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