In Malaysia, one in two parents still paying for their over-18 kids

Nearly one-third of parents, or 30 per cent, admitted to withdrawing from their own savings and investments to support an adult child, while 17 per cent said they have incurred more debts as a result of this. — AFP pic
Nearly one-third of parents, or 30 per cent, admitted to withdrawing from their own savings and investments to support an adult child, while 17 per cent said they have incurred more debts as a result of this. — AFP pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 —  More than half of 1,000 parents in Malaysia are still financially supporting their children who are over the age of 18, according to a recent study by HSBC released today.

However, the same study found over half of the parents, or 64 per cent, believe their college-age children should be financially independent.

“As the cost of living rises higher, parents would have the additional burden of supporting their grownup children and it is important they have enough to take on this additional cost,” Lim Eng Seong, HSBC Malaysia’s country head in charge of retail banking and wealth management, said in a statement accompanying the findings.

He stressed that it was important for parents consider their life priorities and seek professional help to help them manage their finances for a more secure future.

The HSBC report is titled “The Power of Protection study, facing the future” and polled the views of 13,122 parents in 13 countries and territories: Argentina, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Singapore, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the UK and the US.

Of the 1,000 parents aged 25 and over polled in Malaysia, the study showed that 57 per cent of parents are still supporting children above the 18.

Parents in Malaysia are ranked fourth globally in financially supporting children, while the UAE topped the list.

According to the study, education is the area where most parents (69 per cent) are providing financial support, while 41 per cent are helping with everyday living costs such as utility bills, groceries and home repairs.

Sixty-seven per cent of Malaysian parents said they would prioritise paying for their child’s university/higher education over their own retirement funds.

Nearly one-third of parents, or 30 per cent, admitted to withdrawing from their own savings and investments to support an adult child, while 17 per cent said they have incurred more debts as a result of this.

Parents in Malaysia are also helping with medical and dental care (38 per cent) and rent/ accommodation costs (27 per cent).

One in four parents (29 per cent) even help their children to pay for holiday trips. Nearly half of the parents polled (49 per cent) said they are spending less on themselves in order to have more for their families.

Over half or 54 per cent of parents supporting grown-up children do not have any insurance plans that would help  them if they had a serious illness or accident that prevented them from working, and 52 per cent of them do not have any life insurance.

A minority of parents (22 per cent) said their adult children would not be able to support themselves financially if they developed a long term illness or disability or had to stop working.