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Early Adulthood: The Pursuit of Financial Independence

For many, early adulthood marks that first step of freedom. Today, traditional milestones like home ownership and marriage take a back seat to achieving financial independence.

75% of early adults say becoming financially independent from parents is the key indicator of being an adult

Working to pay off debt

Getting rid of debt is a big part of financial independence. But for many early adults, work isn’t working. 46% plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

69% say the reason they’ll look for a new job is higher pay 69% say the reason they’ll look for a new job is higher pay

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Learn more about the struggle to become debt-free

Financial support vs. financial independence

While early adults may not want financial support, the truth is that many need it. In fact, 58% of those who received help from their parents couldn’t have afforded their lifestyles without it.

70% of early adults received financial support from their parents in the last year 70% of early adults received financial support from their parents in the last year

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Financial support is quite common.
Take a look at the pros and cons.

Women are quicker to gain financial independence

Higher debt coupled with lower-paying jobs have made “enjoying life now” less of a priority for women than it is for men. Among millennials, 11% more women have degrees than men.

2/3 of the cumulative student debt is held by women 2/3 of the cumulative student debt is held by women

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Explore how women are rising to the challenges of financial independence despite earning less

72% of early adults say they would benefit from more financial guidance. A financial action plan can make a big difference.

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Source: Age Wave and Merrill, Early Adulthood: The Pursuit of Financial Independence, 2019
Age Wave is not affiliated with Bank of America Corporation.