Survey Shows a Third of Adults Under 45 Get Financial Help From Their Parents


For all the disdain heaped upon today’s young adults, the reality is that Millennials and Gen Xers are facing far nastier economic prospects than their parents and grandparents ever did. Unemployment, college tuition, student loans, rent, and healthcare costs have all gone up while job security and the promise of social security have dwindled. So it’s not too surprising that a new survey from the Society for Grownups found that 1 out of 3 young adults gets some kind of monetary support from their parents, often in the form of a family cell phone plan.

The for-profit Society for Grownups offers financial planning classes for young adults. Curious about their clients’ feelings about—and relationship to—financial independence, they partnered with Wakefield Research to survey people between the ages of 21 and 45.

More than one-third of respondents said their parents make some kind of financial contribution, whether that’s buying groceries, covering rent, paying for insurance, or, most commonly, including adult children on a family cell phone plan.

And support was not restricted to the youngest young adults; 30 percent of respondents in their 30s and 21 percent of those in their 40s said they, too, were the recipients of “significant, ongoing financial support” from their parents.

Writer Elizabeth Weingarten is in her late twenties and remains on her parents’ plan. It’s an easy, unobtrusive way to get help, she writes for Slate, since removing her from the plan would actually take more work on her parents’ part than continuing to pay. And her parents are totally on board. “It makes us feel connected to you!” her mother said. “It’s not an umbilical cord, it’s more like a little connective wisp. It’s as much for us as it is for you.”

The Society for Grownups noted that a majority of young adults getting support are doing so because they feel it’s absolutely necessary—70 percent of respondents who get money from their parents said they’d be unable to support themselves otherwise.

But as Weingarten’s mom said, this is a two-way street. More than a third of respondents said they were preparing to offer financial support to their parents in the next seven years.

[h/t MarketWatch]

Know of something you think we should cover? Email us at

Live Smarter
These Are the Top 25 U.S. Cities With the Lowest Cost of Living

Coastal cities like New York and San Francisco bustle with excitement, but residents pay plenty of hard-earned cash to enjoy perks like Central Park and world-class museums—and to pay their sky-high rents. If you’d rather have a full bank account than a hipster ZIP code, consider setting down roots in America’s most affordable region: the Midwest.

Niche, a data analysis company, has ranked the 25 cities with the lowest cost of living across the United States—and the top 10 are all located in America’s heartland. Their selections were based on factors including access to affordable housing, food and fuel costs, and median tax rates, all of which were gleaned from U.S. Census and Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Indiana was the most-represented state in the list’s top 10 section, with Fort Wayne, Evansville, and South Bend nabbing the first three spots. The remaining cities were mid-sized metropolitan areas in Kansas, Ohio, Iowa, and Illinois, all of which offer urban conveniences at a fraction of the cost of their coastal counterparts. After that, other cities in the mix included municipalities in Texas, Michigan, Alabama, South Dakota, and Minnesota.

Check out Niche's top 25 list below, and visit their website to view their methodology.

1. Fort Wayne, Indiana
2. Evansville, Indiana
3. South Bend, Indiana
4. Topeka, Kansas
5. Toledo, Ohio
6. Wichita, Kansas
7. Akron, Ohio
8. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
9. Davenport, Iowa
10. Springfield, Illinois
11. Rochester, Minnesota
12. Dayton, Ohio
13. Springfield, Missouri
14. Wichita Falls, Texas
15. Kansas City, Kansas
16. Odessa, Texas
17. Cleveland, Ohio
18. Indianapolis, Indiana
19. Abilene, Texas
20. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
21. Montgomery, Alabama
22. Lansing, Michigan
23. Des Moines, Iowa
24. Brownsville, Texas
25. Warren, Michigan

Switzerland Flushes $1.8 Million in Gold Down the Sewer Every Year

Switzerland has some pretty valuable sewer systems. As Bloomberg reports, scientists have discovered around $1.8 million worth of gold in the country's wastewater, along with $1.7 million worth of silver.

Scientists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology examined sewage sludge and effluents, or discharged liquid waste, from 64 water treatment plants and major Swiss rivers. They did this to assess the concentrations of various trace elements, which are "increasingly widely used in the high-tech and medical sectors," the scientists explained in a press statement. "While the ultimate fate of the various elements has been little studied to date, a large proportion is known to enter wastewater."

The study, which was recently published online in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, revealed that around 94 pounds of gold makes its way through Switzerland's sewage system each year, along with 6600 pounds of silver and high concentrations of rare metals like gadolinium and niobium. For the most part, these metals don't harm the environment, researchers say.

With gold and silver quite literally flowing through their sewers, is there any way that Switzerland could turn their wastewater into wealth? Scientists are skeptical: "The recovery of metals from wastewater or sludge is scarcely worthwhile at present, either financially or in terms of the amounts which could be extracted," the release explains.

However, in the southern canton of Ticino, which is home to several gold refineries, the "concentrations of gold in sewage sludge are sufficiently high for recovery to be potentially worthwhile," they conclude.

Switzerland is famous for its chocolate, watches, and mountains, but it's also home to major gold refineries. On average, around 70 percent of the world's gold passes through Switzerland every year—and judging from the looks of it, much of it goes down the drain. As for the sewer silver, it's a byproduct of the chemical and pharmaceutical industry, which is a cornerstone of Switzerland's economy.

[h/t Bloomberg]


More from mental floss studios