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Complete financial independence remains elusive for many millennials, even those living on their own, a new survey shows.

Complete financial independence remains elusive for many millennials, even those living on their own, a new survey shows.

Almost half — 47 percent — of millennials have let their parents cover certain expenses at some point since they have been on their own, according to Fidelity Investments’ second biennial Millennial Money Study.

More than 600 adults ages 25 to 70 were polled for the study. About half of those respondents were millennials, with an average age of 30.

Fidelity defines millennials as the generation of people born after 1980, although only millennials between ages 25 and 35 were polled for this survey to ensure respondents were old enough to work full-time.

The study found that parents have provided six forms of financial assistance to millennials living on their own:

  1. Cellphone bill — 21 percent
  2. Groceries — 20 percent
  3. Clothing — 16 percent
  4. Utilities — 14 percent
  5. Entertainment (such as streaming movie and TV services) — 14 percent
  6. Rent/mortgage — 12 percent

Additionally, 1 in 5 of the millennials receiving financial assistance from their parents were receiving help with two of those types of expenses.

Even more striking is the fact that 21 percent of millennials surveyed reported living with their parents. That’s up from 14 percent when Fidelity last conducted this survey in 2014.

The good news is that millennials appear to be thinking ahead financially. Fidelity’s study found that 85 percent of them have started to save money as of this year, up from 77 percent in 2014. Specifically:

  • 60 percent of millennials have started saving for retirement — which puts them not far behind the older Generation X (61 percent) and baby boomer generation (67 percent).
  • 85 percent of millennials have saved up an emergency fund that averages $9,100 — which is more than Generation X ($8,700) or the baby boomer generation ($7,100) have saved.

Kristen Robinson, senior vice president at Fidelity, notes:

“Aside from giving their kids a financial leg up, parents can also take credit for being money role models. In fact, 65 percent of Millennials say their parents have provided good examples of how to build a successful financial future, and the study suggests that’s exactly what this forward-thinking generation is doing.”

What’s your take on the survey findings? Share your thoughts below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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