Parents, children disagree on when they’ll be financially independent

Personal finance

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When it comes to financial independence, it probably comes as no surprise that parents and children are not on the same page.

What is surprising is that young Americans anticipate being financially independent several years earlier than their parents expect them to.

Young Americans say they’ll be financially independent by age 22. Meanwhile, their parents don’t expect to cut the purse strings until their children are 25.

That’s according to a recent survey from TD Ameritrade that looked at what young Americans ages 15 to 28 and parents ages 30 to 60 see for their financial futures.

The results also pointed to the ages — on average — at which young adults expect to reach key financial milestones.

The first among them, it turns out, is paying for your own streaming service. Young adults expect to be able to do that by age 19.

By 21, they say they should be able to file their own taxes.

By 23, they should be able pay for their own health insurance, start saving for retirement and invest in the stock market.

And 25 is the ideal age for getting married and starting a family, the young people surveyed said.

Admittedly, those targets might be a bit optimistic for young adults who face a high cost of living and soaring student loan balances, especially since 1 in 5 younger millennials surveyed said they can’t afford to save money.

Still, more than half of young Americans said they expect to be more financially successful than their parents.

One sign that those pressures can become too much: 48% said they have had a “quarter-life crisis.”

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Another point that parents and young adults disagreed on: the age at which it becomes embarrassing to still rely on parents’ financial support.

Parents said it would be uncomfortable to support their children financially past age 27. Younger millennials, on the other hand, said it’s not embarrassing to rely on their parents’ money up until age 30.

The online survey was conducted by the Harris Poll between February and March. It included 3,054 adults and teens ages 15 and up. Gen Z included respondents ages 15 to 21; younger millennials included those ages 22 to 28. Parents, who were between 30 and 60, had more than $25,000 in investable assets.

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