NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Many parents are still financially supporting their kids well into adulthood, a new study found.

“It’s so hard for them out there in this world,” Felicia DeFranco, of Newburg, New York, said.

That’s why she helps her kids every way she can. She pays for most of her daughter’s college and lets her 25-year-old son live with her, rent free.

“Because he can’t afford to make it on his own,” DeFranco said.

She is part of a rising number of parents in the United States who admit they still help out their grownup kids, financially.

“They pay everything for me, because I just turned 18,” one woman said.

“I know people in the 40s whose parents still pay their cellphone bill,” another woman added. 

According to a recent poll by CreditCards.com, three in four parents with adult kids over the age of 18 help them pay debts and living expenses. Thirty nine percent pay their cellphone, 36 transportation, 24 rent, 21 utilities and 20 percent pay their kids’ student loans.

“As a grad student, it’s kind of impossible to do that – work and study,” said one woman.

The poll also found dads are more likely to pay their kids’ living expenses, married couples help out more often than divorced couples, and parents in the Northeast are significantly more likely than other regions to help with student loans.

Parenting expert Tammy Golds says it’s happening because the cost of living is extremely high.

“If your child is trying and doing everything right, they’re trying to get a job, every day they’re building their skills, and nothing’s working, it’s OK to help them,” she said. “If they are spending thousands of dollars, if they’re abusing the privilege of being home, that’s not OK.”

It’s a rule DeFranco is sure to follow and she hopes her kindness will be reciprocated in the future.

“We hope they take care of us in the old age,” she said.

The report also found that only 16 percent of parents surveyed help an adult child pay a credit card bill.