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Should you help your adult children buy a home?

There is a lot of talk these days about housing affordability in Canada, or lack thereof. One common practice has been for parents to help adult children with the down payment for their homes. Is that a good strategy? When would you not want to do that? Would or should you do more than help with the down payment if you can afford to? Here’s my advice:

  • Make sure you have set aside enough money to last you throughout your retirement. That includes retirement home expenses, health care costs, inflation, etc.
  • If you have multiple children and can afford to help all of them consider an equitable distribution regardless of who asks for help;
  • Treat the money as a gift, there will be lower chance of unpleasant conversations down the road;
  • If you are already retired do not borrow;
  • Understand the implications of co-signing a mortgage.

For a discussion of this topic by other financial professionals and myself, please see this article on For specific advice regarding your own circumstances, please call us.

Adrian Mastracci
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