Forty-two percent of Millennials say their health is their greatest asset, followed by their job/paycheck.

Getting their first job and making financial decisions make Millennials (ages 18-31) feel like adults. And more Millennials say they feel grown up with those two events compared to moving out of their parents’ homes and starting a family.

The Hartford discloses this finding in its “Gen Y Speaks Survey. In December 2013, ORC International’s Millennial Generational CARAVAN Omnibus conducted the online survey of more than 500 adults, ages 21-31, who are employed full-time or self-employed and have attended college.

“Gen Y is growing up and redefining everything, including what it means to be an adult,” says Lindsey Pollak, Millennial career expert and spokesperson for The Hartford’s My Tomorrow Campaign. “While Millennials are moving out and getting married later compared to previous generations, they are no longer kids but leaders who are hitting key milestones in their professional and personal lives.”

The Hartford’s national survey finds that Millennials consider becoming an adult when:

  • Getting their first job – 51 percent;
  • Making financial decisions – 50 percent;
  • Moving out of their parents’ homes – 38 percent;
  • Starting a family – 27 percent; and
  • Getting married – 23 percent.

Forty-two percent of those surveyed say their health is their greatest asset, followed by their job/paycheck (26 percent). However, Millennials say starting a family was the top event that triggered the need for both life and disability insurance (62 percent and 43 percent respectively). Getting married and landing their first job tied (32 percent) as the second milestone that results in the need for disability insurance.

“It is notable that Millennials are waiting until they have a family to protect themselves with life and disability insurance, leaving them exposed to the impact of an injury or illness,” Pollak says. “That’s why it is important for them to invest in themselves starting with their first job. My message to Millennials is: Protect your potential. You are totally worth it.”