Financial Dependence and Life Skills: A Generational Dilemma

A recent poll on millennials’ financial habits has raised questions about whether this generation, also known as Generation Y, is plagued by the misfortune of entering the workforce during the Great Recession and facing soaring tuition costs, or if there is a perceived lack of ambition among them. According to a survey conducted by OnePoll for Chartway, 35 percent of millennials relied on their parents to pay at least one bill, with nearly a quarter stating that their parents help pay rent. With millennials being those born between 1981 and 1996, this age group ranges from 27 to 42 years old.

Interestingly, 30 percent of those surveyed expressed that they would continue to accept their parents’ financial assistance until they were cut off. Separate polling revealed that 25 percent of millennials live at home with their parents, with 1 in 8 having moved back home in recent years. Among those living at home, 51 percent cited saving money as the primary reason, while 39 percent attributed it to high rent.

Another study discovered that many adults within the millennial and Gen Z age groups lack basic life skills, including financial literacy. A strikingly low percentage of adults aged 28-37 (18 percent) and 18-27 (13 percent) could answer the “Big Three” financial questions correctly, compared to 34 percent of adults aged 28 through 64.

Despite 43 percent of adults aged 18-37 having outstanding student loan debt, 47 percent reported not knowing what their loan repayment bill would be when they signed for the loan. This lack of financial knowledge has led to criticism of millennials and Gen Z for their perceived “mooching” habits. Financial expert Dave Ramsey, among others, has expressed strong opinions on the matter.

However, it is important to consider that millennials and Gen Z are also known to be one of the most anxious generations. A survey by the American Psychiatric Association found that millennials scored the highest in anxiety compared to other age groups, with a score of 51 out of 100. Millennial managers, in particular, suffer from higher burnout levels than other groups.

In light of these findings, some have stressed the importance of older generations not giving up on their younger counterparts. New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz wrote, “The older generations have to be in the fight,” and emphasized that they cannot simply give up on the youth. It is essential to foster understanding, support, and guidance between generations in order to overcome these challenges and build a brighter future for all.