Like the old Saturday Night Live skit where the disciplinarian “Dad” driving home his wayward daughter and boyfriend from school turns out to be the parent’s Morgan Stanley advisor, a crop of new studies suggest the millennial generation needs a good talking to — with advisors bolstering their parents.
Following up on a recent Pew study finding that nearly 22 million young adults are still living at home with their parents, Securian Financial Group recently surveyed 700 of these millennials and found them somewhat clueless about how they were impacting their parents’ finances.
Citing evidence of the young generation’s reputation for self-absorption—today’s young adults rank higher on the Narcissistic Personality Inventory than at any time since 1979—Securian notes that it remains unclear whether so many young adults remain at home because of the Great Recession or because they expect to be showered with parental aid.
Evidence that self-centeredness is a big factor came in response to the question: “Why do you live with your parents? (select all that apply).”
Nearly 40% said they wanted to save money in order to buy things they want, such as cars and travel—second to the more practical 48% wanting to save money to buy their own homes.
Fifty-three percent said they were jobless or underemployed.
Securian notes anecdotally that the narcissism of today’s youth is often ascribed to a generation in which young people were “rewarded for participating rather than achieving, accustomed to a self-customizing web-centric world, and having parents who solve problems rather than guide children to find their own solutions.”
That idea was evidenced by the more than three-fourths of respondents who said their parents encouraged them to live at home and the 91% who said their parents placed no conditions on how long they may stay.
Asked about how they contribute to household welfare, just 10% of these young adults pay rent, 8% provide no compensation whatsoever while the largest proportion, 82.4%, help with household chores. Just under half, 48.5%, say they help pay for household expenses such as bills and groceries.
The 18- to 32-year-olds surveyed (three-fourths of them under 26) displayed little awareness of their parents’ finances, with about half professing familiarity and half not.
But here’s the rub: