It’s a traditional assumption that part of becoming an adult means becoming financially independent. But an October 2018 study conducted by Agewave found that many young adults ages 18-34 are not economically independent – despite their adulthood. Many still rely on the financial support of their parents or extended family. The study reveals complex reasons leading to financial interdependence; something not experienced by earlier generations:
- 8 in 10 young adults have more career choices than earlier generations in determining who they want to be, but at a lower economic consequence.
- 24/7 access to social media has created new pressures including FOMO (fear of missing out), tainting decision making to follow the crowd, often resulting in financial mistakes.
- 8 in 10 young adults carry debt, usually in the form of student loan and credit card debt.
- 1 in 4 young adults with a retirement account has already made a withdrawal.
- The #1 stress for young adults is personal finances, and they report their lack of money is the #1 barrier to achieving their goals in life.
The financial condition of this generation is rapidly changing the societal ideas of ‘life milestones,’ such as when to marry, buy a house, start a family, or save for retirement. Despite this societal change in financial interdependence, many young adults view the help they’re receiving as reciprocal. They plan to provide support for their parents both financially and as a caregiver, later when their parents need it.
Other findings from the study reveal that young adults are open to working with others for financial help and advice, such as financial advisors and educators. Being open to learning and listening helps young adults to ‘launch faster’ and overcome their financial obstacles. Additional study findings indicate women are often launching faster than men, covering more of their living expenses while paying off their debt at a faster rate.
If you’re a young adult or a parent of a young adult and are seeking advice and a plan to lessen the financial interdependence in your relationship, we welcome meeting with all of you. Unless we have had the same experiences and economic conditions during our young adulthood, we can’t assume we know what it’s like to be a young adult today. However, we can help the next generation.