Most Parents Give Financial Help to Gen Z, Millennial Kids: Pew

Most Parents Give Financial Help to Gen Z, Millennial Kids: Pew

59% of parents say they provide financial support to their adult children.
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  • According to a Pew Research Center study, 59% of parents say they provide financial support to their children aged 18-34.
  • Less than half of the young people surveyed said that they are completely financially independent from their parents.
  • Even higher-earning Americans – the HENRYs – worry about their financial future.

Millions of parents across the country are helping their children make good payments in their 20s and 30s.

According to a new report from the Pew Research Center, about 59% of parents said they provided financial assistance to their children between the ages of 18 and 34 in the past year, although the amounts varied by age. Responses were collected through surveys of 3,017 adults and 1,495 youth in October and November 2023.

Among young adults surveyed, only 45% said they were completely financially independent from their parents. As of the end of 2023, a Business Insider survey found that Generation Z is more stressed about their savings accounts than any other generation, with almost half worried about their day-to-day spending. Still, Gen Z is a good start to early retirement, as more are investing and starting retirement accounts.

Meanwhile, among young adults — those between 18 and 24 — 57% live at home with their parents, up from 53% in 1993. Nearly two-thirds of young adults who live with their parents say it has a positive impact on their personal finances, and 72 percent say they contribute financially to expenses such as utilities or rent. 75% of those who rely on their parents for money said that they will eventually achieve financial independence.

Many high-earning, not-yet-rich Americans (HENRY) told Business Insider that they feel financially strapped even though they’re making six figures. Some have student loans or debt to pay, and some have expensive rent or mortgages. According to a 2023 survey by the National Association of Realtors, one-fifth of first-time homebuyers received financial assistance from a relative or friend.

Other HENRYs say they’re cutting back on spending and delaying starting a family to retire early or build a bigger safety net, especially when raising children or buying a home is more expensive than in past generations.

Today’s young adults are better educated, more employed, but financially worse off than their parents.

Pew estimates that about 68% of young people say they go to their parents for financial advice. Conversely, only 45% of parents said they turned to their parents for financial and work advice in their 20s and 30s.

Although most young adults look to their parents for support, they are more likely to work full-time and have college degrees than their parents. 67% of 25-34 year olds work full time, compared to 55% in 1993.

With a higher percentage of young adults college-educated and employed, many are putting off marriage and childbearing. Only 27% of adults aged 30-34 have children, compared with 60% in 1993, as rising child care costs and economic conditions make even higher earners worry about their financial futures.

Parents, especially those in the upper income bracket, are highly invested in their children’s success, Pew found, with 71% saying their children’s successes and failures reflect the quality of their parenting. For example, 73% text their children several times a week, and 54% talk on the phone.

Parents also walk a fine line between not being involved enough or being too involved. Only 9% of minors said their parents were too busy, and 22% said they were not involved enough. These relationships were generally strengthened when young adults lived with their parents. Mothers are more attached to their young adult children than fathers, the report found.

Are you a parent who is still financially supporting your grown children? Are you a young person who partially relies on your parents for money? Contact this reporter [email protected].

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