Back > Family  > Why Financial Independence Is Delayed for Millennials and Gen Z
Why Financial Independence Is Delayed for Millennials and Gen Z

Why Financial Independence Is Delayed for Millennials and Gen Z

Achieving financial independence has always been a significant milestone in life.

However, Millennials and Gen Z are taking longer than expected to achieve this goal. Various factors, including the changing dynamics of family support and low financial confidence, influence this delay.

This article explores the reasons for the delayed financial independence of these generations and provides tips for navigating this new landscape.

Almost Half of U.S. Parents Support Their Gen Z and Millennial Children

One striking trend in recent years is the increasing number of parents providing financial support to their adult kids, sometimes well into their 30s.

According to a survey by, almost half (45 percent) of U.S. parents provided financial support to their adult children. This stark statistic highlights the difficulty that many Gen Zers and Millennials face in the financial landscape of adulthood.

While the majority of survey respondents primarily support Gen Z adult children (ages 18-24), 36 percent of parents are also providing support to their millennial adult children. This support can include covering living expenses, paying off student loans, or helping with down payments on homes.

More than half (57 percent) of adult children receiving support from their folks are also living with them.

While parental assistance can be a lifeline for young adults, it can also hinder their financial independence.

Why Financial Independence Is Coming Later: Lowest Financial Confidence in Generations

Contrary to the enduring belief that their wasteful spending is to blame, a significant majority (68 percent) of Gen Zers and Millennials, as revealed in an Experian survey, assert that the current economic conditions impede their capacity to achieve financial independence as adults. These younger generations are encountering greater challenges in amassing wealth and affording the same opportunities their parents had due to the challenging economic circumstances they’ve inherited.

“Gen Z and Millennials are facing unique economic challenges that impact their financial confidence. Many came of age during the Great Recession, which left a lasting impression on their financial outlook. High levels of student loan debt, rising housing costs, and a competitive job market further erode their confidence”, says Richard Lerner, Senior Vice President of Investments at David Lerner Associates, Inc.

“Additionally, the gig economy boom and the increasing prevalence of contract and part-time work can result in income instability. The combination of these factors makes it harder for young adults to save, invest, and plan for their financial futures,” Richard Lerner adds.

Tips on Supporting Gen Z & Millennials and Their Financial Independence

  1. Open Communication: Encourage open and honest discussions about money with your adult children. Offer guidance on budgeting, saving, and investing.
  2. Financial Education: Equip them with financial literacy skills. Encourage them to seek resources and courses to help them make informed financial choices.
  3. Set Realistic Expectations: Discuss your expectations regarding their financial independence. Be clear about the level of support you can provide and any conditions that may apply.
  4. Encourage Independence: While providing support is essential, also encourage them to take steps toward independence. This may involve setting financial goals, creating a budget, and exploring opportunities for additional income.
  5. Build Emergency Savings: Emphasize the importance of having an emergency fund. This safety net can help young adults weather unexpected financial challenges.
  6. Invest Early: Encourage them to start investing as soon as possible, even with small amounts. The power of compound interest can significantly benefit long-term financial growth.


Financial independence is a crucial milestone on the path to adulthood, but it’s taking longer for Gen Z and Millennials to achieve it.

Factors like financial confidence, economic challenges, and family support play significant roles in this delay.

By fostering open communication, providing financial education, and encouraging responsible financial habits, parents and young adults can work together to navigate this changing landscape and ultimately achieve financial independence.

Unlock financial independence sooner with David Lerner Associates! Reach out to discover strategies for your Gen Z and Millennials children. Help them start their journey to financial freedom today!


Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable– we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

Your Investment Counselor

Skip to content