How Boomers' Generosity Hurts Their Retirement

As parents feel more pressure to support their children, their own financial stress grows.

Hispanic father and adult son
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5. Families avoid awkward money conversations, which can compound financial strain. While boomers and their adult children alike say they are talking about money issues more than they were five years ago, many are still shying away from what they fear could be uncomfortable discussions. Half of boomers said they were taught growing up that money is something one doesn't talk about. "They also feel like it's none of their business—'I haven't talked to my aging parents, they're very private, I shouldn't bother them' … but the truth is, money is a family affair, and if you don't address it now, you'll have to address it later," says de Baca.

6. Parents think it's their own fault that their children don't know how to manage money. De Baca says that even though many parents feel they missed their opportunity to impart money lessons when their children were younger, it's not too late to start. She urges parents to talk to their adult children about budgeting, planning, and even retirement planning. For parents of younger children, she says, it's never too early to begin those conversations. Over half of adult children in the survey said they wished money had been discussed more openly when they were growing up.

The guilt baby boomer parents feel over not having imparted financial lessons earlier might motivate them to give their children more money—which could further prevent those children from learning how to live on a budget.

Twitter: @alphaconsumer