Half of Canadians surveyed are willing to postpone retirement for their children according to a study by BMO Wealth Management. Even more worrying is that 24 per cent said they’d be willing to go into debt to help their children succeed. Ironically, one of the top reasons parents cited for their financial concern about their children is that they will incur debt that they can’t manage.
According to Statistics Canada, today’s youth are more educated, staying at home longer and putting off their entry into a treacherous labour market where unemployment rates for young adults are twice the national average. This is daunting information but not insurmountable. Parents and their children can find a way through the morass by learning about how to manage their money better.
Parents who have spent a lifetime developing a good credit rating should not be threatening their own retirement in order to protect their children’s debt, when passing on their financial know-how is a better way to secure their children’s future. Parents who have poor credit also need to lead by example by learning how to develop good credit for themselves. And adult children can also benefit from a good financial education.
Credit counselling and education can be the answer to the future security of children and prevent parents from making unnecessary sacrifices. Services such as Creditaid’s Build Learn Save program offers that kind of education as well as one-on-one counselling for anyone needing help with debt management.