Most parents of adult kids are giving them financial help, study shows

In this photo illustration a hundred us dollar banknotes seen displayed. (Photo Illustration by Mykola Tys/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

More than half of adults aged 18-34 say they receive financial help from their parents, a new poll from Pew Research Center found.

According to Pew, 45% of young adults say they’re completely financially independent, though that number goes up to 67% for adults in their 30s and dips to 16% for adults age 18-24.

"Among parents who say they helped their children financially in the past year, 36% say doing so has hurt their personal financial situation at least some," Pew writes. "This is especially the case among parents with lower incomes."

What parents are paying for 

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The areas where parents helped the most were:

  • Cell phone bills
  • Subscriptions to streaming services
  • Household expenses
  • Rent/mortgage
  • Medical expenses
  • Education

Did your parents prepare you for independence?


(Photo Illustration by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The majority of young adults – 66% – say their parents did at least a "fair amount" to prepare them for financial independence as an adult.

"Still, young adults are less likely than their parents to say this is the case," Pew says.

The survey found 86% of parents say they did a great deal or a fair amount to prepare their children for financial independence. 

Adults helping their parents

The Pew Research survey not only looked at parents helping their adult children with finances, but also at adult children helping their parents with money.

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More than a third of young adults say they helped their parents financially within the past year, though only 14% of parents say they’ve received financial help from their adult kids. 

Other key findings

The survey found that most young adults who live with their parents say they contribute financially, including 65% who say they pay for household expenses such as groceries or utility bills and 46% who say they put money toward the rent or mortgage.

Young women are more likely than young men to say they are mostly financially independent from their parents, though the ratio is about equal for men and women who say they’re completely financially independent from their parents.

"Three-quarters of young adults who say they’re not completely financially independent say it’s extremely or very likely that they will eventually be," the survey says.