Matthew McConaghy
© Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection
Young Americans are constantly told by the media — and, sometimes, their own parents — that they think the world owes them a favor.

Millennials say people should be able to pay for their own housing at 22 years of age, pay for their own car at 20.5 years of age and be responsible for their own cell phone plan at 18.5 years of age, according to a new study from personal-finance site

In all three cases, the younger cohort's average response is about a year and a half earlier than when baby boomers feel these three landmarks of financial independence should happen.

"Millennials are often stereotyped as being entitled," Sarah Berger, a columnist and analyst at, said in a statement on the survey released Wednesday. "It's refreshing to see that millennials really do have high expectations of gaining financial independence and getting off their parents' payroll."

The survey tapped a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults. Those respondents living in the Northeast said parents should help with housing costs until their children are 24.5 years of age. That was two years longer than for Midwesterners, 1.5 years longer than for Southerners and about a year longer than for those who live on the West Coast.

But other studies show what millennials think they should do and what they actually do are two different things, and it's their parents (often times, baby boomers, who are helping to support them). The percentage of American adults who are living with their parents has reached its highest level in 75 years. Around 40% of millennials live at home, U.S. Census data analyzed by real-estate listing site Trulia recently found — the largest percentage since 1940.

This is backed up by data released earlier this year by the Pew Research Center. For the first time in more than 130 years, American adults aged 18 to 34 were more likely to live with their parents than with a spouse or partner in their own household, it found.

What's more, one-in-nine baby boomer parents said their adult children returned home within the last year, according to a recent report from financial services firm Fidelity Investments and Stanford Center on Longevity, which surveyed 9,000 employees.

Older millennials are 2.7 times more likely to live in their parents' home than people under 55 years old than in 1999, while Generation-Xers, who are now in their mid-30s to early 50s, were 2.2 times as likely to live with their parents, according to real-estate site Trulia.

While older baby boomers may have missed the property market bubble that burst just before the Great Recession, many of those homeowners did face double-digit interest rates that peaked at 20% in March 1980.

Nearly 70% of baby boomers said their children — who could be millennials or Generation X — should be doing more for their older family relatives, according to a recent study by AARP Public Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based non-governmental organization and interest group with members who are 50 years of age or over.

Millennials, however, shoulder more student loan debt than any other generation and face house prices that are far higher than their parents did at their age in a post-recession environment of stagnant wages. Student loan debt has reached $1.3 trillion as the cost of college has soared.

And spending no more than 30% of their income on rent or a mortgage, which was deemed a golden rule for decades, is now almost impossible for many young Americans. In 2017, the median amount most renters pay is 40% of their income on rent.

It's not unusual to have tensions over who worked harder at a younger between two generations. Bruce Cannon Gibney, who is 40 and a Generation X-er (born between millennials and a baby boomers) said baby boomers have appetite for consumption.

While it's hard to argue that millennials — and Generation X-ers, for that matter, who bought overpriced homes during the property boom — don't also have an appetite for consumption, those characteristics have resulted in bad policy decisions such as preferential tax treatment and entitlement programs, said Gibney, author of "A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Boomers Betrayed America."

And it's the burden of every generation to be blamed for the mistakes of the past by the cohort that follows. Gibney's provocative theory (or opinion) is indicative of a natural human tendency to want to explain the world and other people through the lens of group mentalities, Jennifer Deal, the senior research scientist at the Center for Creative Leadership, a leadership development organization with campuses in San Diego, Colorado, North Carolina and Latin America, told MarketWatch in March.