Are your offspring staying in your house -- and living off your dime -- well into their 20s? A recent survey suggests that's part of their plan.
If Junior has his way, there's a good chance he's planning to be on your dime until his mid-20s, while simultaneously believing his financial future is brighter than yours, new research shows.
About 29% of those surveyed expect to be 25 years or older before they are financially independent without their parents' help, according to a survey from Allstate Foundation and Junior Achievement USA.
That's up from 27% last year, and it's a large increase from the 16% who felt the same way just two years ago.
Rob Callender, the director of insights for youth research firm Tru, attributed this planned reliance on parents to the high jobless rate among young people. That figure stands at 25.1% for teens ages 16 to 19, according to government data.
As many middle-aged workers have taken jobs they're overqualified for, they've displaced younger people on the totem pole, Callender said. "It's like a reverse domino effect where it's displacing young people who may have the education but not the experience," he added.
Ironically, more teens are more optimistic about their future, despite believing that they will rely on their parents into their 20s and possibly beyond, according to several data points.
While teens expect to rely on their parents more, members of the younger generation also think that financially they will be as well off as or better off than their parents, with nearly 65% expressing this opinion, the Allstate/Junior Achievement survey found. That's up from up from 56% last year.
Teens were even more optimistic in Tru's survey, with 90% believing they'll be at least as well off as their parents.
"Even in the middle of the recession, they were optimistic," said Barbara E. Ray, a co-author of "Not Quite Adults: Why 20-Somethings Are Choosing a Slower Path to Adulthood, and Why It's Good for Everyone."
Ray added, "They know the trends, they know they're part of a larger trend, but they think it's going to be OK for them. It's kind of classic American optimism, but maybe a little unrealistic."
Overall, unemployment data paint a stark picture for young adults as they near the beginning of their careers. Although the overall unemployment rate edged down to 7.6% in May, the jobless rate for those 20 to 24 years old stands at 13.2%.
Faced with high unemployment, it's no surprise that many young adults have set up camp at their parents' homes. This "boomerang" set, which accounts for nearly three out of 10 young adults, has driven the percentage of those returning to their family homes to the highest level since the 1950s, according to a Pew Research Center report from 2012.
Author Ray said such an arrangement can help young adults build more secure futures.
"You can get your ducks in a row basically because you don't have to make decision based solely on money," Ray said. "You can go get that advanced degree maybe or not have to take jobs that might not be the best job to start you on a strong trajectory."
Despite the economic outlook. Ray described the 20-something cohort as "very optimistic."
As increasing numbers of teens rely on their parents, that puts added pressure on the so-called "sandwich generation," the group stuck supporting both their parents and their children at a time when they are trying to prepare financially for their own retirement.
According to a January survey from Pew Research Center, about 15% of middle aged adults reported providing financial support to both an aging parent and a child, with Generation X replacing baby boomers as the group most likely to feel the squeeze.
The Allstate survey also showed a lack of communication between adults and their kids about paying for college. Nearly three out of 10 teens said they had not talked with their parents about saving for higher education. These findings come even as student debt has hit the record $1 trillion mark, as measured by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
But, hey, at least mom and dad will be there to contribute financially later. (Or at least that's what their teens are planning.)