20 and 30-somethings rely on their PA-rents

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Nearly two thirds of Brits with adult children say that their offspring still rely on them for help with everyday tasks.

Over a fifth of parents say that their twenty and thirty-something children still ask them to help out with their washing, cooking or cleaning, while a similar number are relied upon to make appointments, such as check-ups at the doctor and dentist, for their adult children. And over a third still give their children a lift in the car.

Research from Churchill Home Insurance also shows that one in seven Brits with adult children even buy and sign Christmas or birthday cards or presents on their son or daughter's behalf.

And it's not just their parents' time that Brits rely on, but their wallets as well. Nearly half of under 40s admit that they have received financial contributions from their parents in the past 12 months, totalling an average of £1,800 a year. Some (16%) of those under 40 even rely on handouts from their parents to help cover day to day expenses, while one in ten let their parents help fund their holidays or big ticket purchases, such as a new car.

The research shows that there is a gender gap in the amount of money that parents grant their offspring, with adult sons accepting nearly £1,000 more in the past year from their parents (£2,240) than daughters (£1,294).

Christine Webber, psychotherapist and author of Too Young to Get Old: The baby boomers' guide to living life to the full, says: "The oldest of the baby boomers were born into the harsh austerity of the post-war years. Once they became parents themselves, they vowed to be much more 'in tune' with their kids and more affirming and helpful and often devoted themselves to smoothing their way through the world.

"But now we have a situation where they are heavily subsidising their grown-up offspring, both in terms of time and money. Indeed many mid-lifers remark that when they go out on family outings it never seems to occur to their children - who are often in their 30s or 40s - to pay for anything. And though they realise that today's young adults need financial help and other types of assistance too, trouble can arise when they feel that they are taken for granted."

Matt Owen, spokesman for Churchill Home Insurance, said: "It seems that some parents are being treated like personal assistants by their adult children who rely on them to organise many aspects of their everyday lives. People with careers and young families have increasingly busy lives, but we shouldn't assume that our parents are always happy to give over their time, and indeed their money, to continue to help their children once they're into their twenties and older."
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