NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Women appear to be more financially independent than men, with boys more likely than girls to ignore or downplay financial advice from parents and other adults and more likely to be a financial drain on their parents when reaching adulthood themselves.
The data comes from Yodlee Interactive, a Redwood City, Calif., financial services firm.
According to Yodlee, women have distinct advantages over men in all areas of financial independence:
- Women are 32% less likely than men to need their parents to bail them out financially.
- Just 31% of women get financial support from mom and dad or in-laws, 10 percentage points lower than men.
- Women are less likely to even live with their parents in adulthood, (25%, compared with 32% of men).
That carries on through middle age. The Yodlee survey says men 35-to-44 years of age are twice as likely to tap into their parents financial savings as women and more than three times as likely to take the "prodigal son" approach and move back home with mom and dad.
Why? Yodlee's data show men are about twice as likely to be unemployed, while women who live at home do so for altruistic, devoted reasons -- they are twice as likely to move back home to "take care of their parents."
To get younger men on an even keel, the prescription is simple, but challenging: Parents need to do a better job educating their children on money management issues in concrete terms, so sons especially won't ignore the advice.
"These results stress the need for more communication and education around financial independence, because ultimately if this learning doesn't start at home, it may result in a child never leaving home," says Joe Polverari, a general manager at Yodlee.
"Many people think that once you become an adult, you become financially self-sufficient," Polverari says. "This survey shows that this isn't always the case, as dependence on parents' financial help varies greatly among American adults."
It may appear an uphill climb, but parents need to teach their kids at an early age to start saving (opening a bank and an investment accounts are great 'real-world" ways to do that.) Parents should also want their kids on the dangers of debt (especially taking on too much debt, or living beyond their means, which is the fast path to creating life-long debt problems.)
The more financial knowledge a parent can convey, the less likely a child will become financially dependent later on in life. That's a victory on two fronts - it will give young adults much-needed financial support, and keep more money in mom and dad's savings account.