The Best Ways to Cut The Cord

How to stop financially supporting your adult kids

Parents hoping to cut the financial cord from their adult children have it rough. In some ways they created their own problem, but how do you say no to your own flesh and blood? Especially if it means watching them struggle? Luckily, there are some methods that just might let those kids down gently. Below are some worth exploring.

  • Do it slowly. As The New York Times reports, don’t just cut your kids off abruptly. Talk with your spouse about a plan to ease them off your help, and then speak with your adult kids about it. List out the items you pay and provide specific dates for when you will stop paying, that way there is no ambiguity. This timeline should be based on your own desires, not your kids.
  • Do it together. If you have a spouse, make sure you’re in this together. Nothing will derail cutting the financial cord faster than your spouse being unsupportive. When you create that timeline, you both must agree that you’re in it to win it. Your adult kids will sense if you’re not, and next thing you know, you’re paying for that cellphone bill past the cutoff date.
  • Be prepared for resistance. Your kids are adults now, so they’ve grown accustomed to your financial support. Understand that cutting them off is likely going to bring some angry words and hurt feelings. Yet also keep in mind that this is the best thing for everyone.
  • Allow them to fail. As parents, you feel like you can/should protect your kids from all types of harm. But you know that’s not realistic. The same goes for when you cut them off from your payments. They will likely endure some rough patches. But those tough times will help them in the long run. Financial independence is a key part of being a responsible adult. A few bumps and bruises come with the territory.
  • Chris O'Shea

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