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On your own, but with Mom and Dad footing the bill

Key Points
  • More than half of adults between the ages of 21 and 37 are receiving financial help from a parent or guardian.
  • For parents, however, supporting grown children can be a financial burden when their own retirement looms. 
A whopping 87 percent of millennials say they have been broke in the past or are currently broke, according to a survey by CreditLoan.
Martin Dimitrov | Getty Images

Most people feel like an adult at age 18, but these days they might not become financially independent until almost a decade later.

In fact, more than half, or 53 percent, of millennials over 21 are receiving financial help from a parent or guardian, according to a new report by Country Financial.

One-third of the more than 1,000 adults polled still get money from their parents every month to cover expenses such as gas, groceries, rent and their cellphone bill, while 59 percent receive financial help a couple of times a year, the report said.

Hefty student loan bills from school, which are at an all-time high, have put a severe strain on most recent graduates' financial circumstances, according to Doyle Williams, the executive vice president at Country Financial.

"The biggest factor is the high cost of education and the accompanying debt that has come along with that," he said.

Seven in 10 seniors graduate with debt, owing about $29,650 per borrower, according to the most recent data from the Institute for College Access & Success.

In addition, sluggish wage growth and sky-high rents in many cities have made it unaffordable for some recent graduates to support themselves entirely on their own.

And even as hiring picks up, wages for new college grads have barely budged, when adjusted for inflation, from prerecession levels, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

Millennial money moves

A whopping 87 percent of millennials said they'd been broke in the past or were currently broke, according to a separate survey by CreditLoan. The generation defined "broke" as having less than $900 in cash or in a bank account, the survey said.

For parents, however, supporting grown children can be a financial albatross when their own retirement looms.

"The key is to set expectations," Williams said. That includes how much financial support will be provided and for how long, with the goal of getting to independence, he said.

"It may be a one-year plan for some families; it may be a five-year plan for others," he added, but "putting a plan together is critical."

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A growing share of millennials are living with Mom. ... Here's why
These are the ways student loans stop people from buying a house
Student loans take a mental toll on young people