Millennials Say It’s Time to Grow Up and Take Charge of Their Money

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An adult millennial child living at home with his parents
SpeedKingz /

It’s officially time for folks to stop supporting their adult children, especially if those children are 22 or older.

Even millennials themselves now believe they should be paying their own way through life by age 22, a new Bankrate study shows.

This seems a drastic departure from recent years. Just two years ago, headlines like “Report: Millennials Relying Heavily on the ‘Bank of Mom and Dad’” and “Most Students Expect Parents’ Financial Help After College” were commonplace.

But now millennials — the generation defined as people age 18 to 36 — are harder on themselves. In fact, they have tougher views about millennial finances than their elders do. Bankrate found that millennials believe, on average, people should start paying for their:

  • Cellphone bill at age 18.5 — whereas members of the three older generations said millennials should start paying at age 19 (Generation X) or 20 (Silent Generation, baby boomers).
  • Car payment at age 20 — whereas older generations said ages 20.75 (Generation X), 22.5 (Silent Generation) or 22 (baby boomers).
  • Housing at age 22 — whereas older generations said ages 23 (Generation X), 23.5 (baby boomers) or 25 (Silent Generation).

The study defined older generations as Generation X (ages 37 to 52), baby boomers (53 to 71) and the Silent Generation (72 or older).

For more tips on saving, check out:

Should you give money to your kids?

If you’re still supporting adult children financially, consider this all the permission you need to close down the Bank of Mom and Dad.

We included emancipation of adult children as step No. 4 in “Ready to Rescue Your Retirement in 2017? Here’s How.” As the article explains, supporting adult children can not only undermine their self-sufficiency but jeopardize your retirement nest egg.

It advises:

Sit down with grown children and tell them what you are facing. It’s a tough conversation. But laying your financial cards on the table gives them information they may need to plan their lives. It also may let you get a sense of whether living with them or expecting any support from them in your old age is (or is not) a possibility.

For more advice, check out “5 Tips for Helping Boomerang Kids Without Bankrupting Yourself.”

At what age do you believe adult children should support themselves financially? Sound off below or on our Facebook page.

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