Majority of millennials financially rely on parents, survey finds

Millennials often define being an adult as being financially independent, but a new survey finds the majority of young people still depend on their parents for money.

A new Merrill Lynch/Age Wave survey given exclusively to USA TODAY found 70 percent of adults ages 18 to 34 received financial support from their parents within the last year, with almost three in five millennials saying they couldn’t afford their lifestyles without the support.

Barron's Senior Editor Jack Hough believes these numbers are a direct result of what millennials face in terms of the rising cost of college and are making a rational decision by living together in bigger households.

"College is not sustainable as a cost on society right now. I think, if anything, the millennial generation will figure out a way to fix that in future years," Hough told FOX Business’ Neil Cavuto on "Cavuto: Coast-to-Coast" on Friday.

Hough also pointed to data suggesting that wages are far lower than they have been historically relative to corporate profit, which he predicts could lead to more wage pressure in our country.

The survey found a third of millennials get help with rent or mortgage payments from their parents. Two out of five who own homes also received payment money from their parents.


Four out of five early-adult households carry debt, usually education loans or credit card balances, according to the Survey of Consumer Finances. The average loan balance for those graduating with student debt is $36,888, or a $371 monthly payment over 10 years, according to Age Wave.

When asked how he thought this could impact those parents preparing for retirement, Hough said if parents have to put off retirement for a few years to help their children, "so be it."