Sunday, April 17, 2011

Baby Boomer Mothers Have Boomerang Children, Survey Finds

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They depend on you now and they will depend on you later. Credit: Getty Images

Empty nest? Ha! Not so much.

Odds are, if you have grown children, you support them financially. At the very least, they considered you Mama Savings and Loan.

A survey released April 14 by the Kitchens Group, a public opinion research firm in Orlando, Fla., reveals that more than half of baby boomer mothers support their grown kids financially, and 60 percent are regularly tapped for dough when the kids run into money problems.

The boomers themselves never relied that heavily on their folks.

Reuters reports that 86 percent of the 46- to 65-year-old women women surveyed said they were fully financially independent of their parents by age 25.

"We wanted to get the hell out as soon as possible," Liz Kitchens, a partner in the Kitchens Group, tells Reuters.

Some 440 women were surveyed online nationwide between Feb. 14 and March 14, and Reuters reports, 80 percent said it was "very accurate" to describe them as reliable and dependable, a much stronger response than other self-described characteristics -- including "spontaneous and flexible," or "playful and fun" -- received.

Of women with children older than 18, 9 percent said they had adult children living with them for indefinite periods. Twelve percent were primarily responsible for their adult child or children's financial well-being, and 31 percent said they had children who returned home and relied on them, but were expected to become independent.

Kitchens, writing a book titled "Lady Boomers," tells Reuters her research suggests a shift in people's attitudes, not just in their financial states.

Boomer moms grew up during the cultural revolutions of the 1960s, and, Kitchens tells Reuters, many of them had successful careers and had wrestled with guilt over leaving their children at home for work. Perhaps mothers indulged their kids in ways that made them happy to move back, she adds.

"I wasn't completely unhappy when both of my kids bounced back for periods of time," Kitchens tells Reuters. "I think we've created good dinner companions."

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