Ross: More millennials need their parents help, but for how much longer

Feb 1, 2023, 8:19 AM | Updated: 9:20 am
BOSTON, MA - MAY 22: Gabriel Howson, 22, a recent college graduate, is pictured with his mother Monica Beato-Howson at her home in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston on May 22, 2018. As he opens the next chapter of adulthood, Howson, 22, has landed a $16-an-hour job at Brigham and Womens Hospitals shipping and receiving department, while he looks for a job in real estate investment. He has also moved back to his parents home in Dorchester - part of a new twist on the so-called boomerang trend that has come to define a generation of millennials. But now theyre moving back in greater numbers, and for a different reason than a decade ago, when employers werent hiring because of the recession. Today, younger millennials in Greater Boston are graduating into a robust economy, but a blisteringly hot housing market makes it difficult for many to spread their wings. (Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
(Photo by Barry Chin/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

A shocking revelation yesterday on the Gee & Ursula Show. Here is Ursula reading the latest statistics from Money.com on the number of millennials being subsidized by their parents.

“19% get help with groceries, 16% get money for utilities including cell phone bills, and almost one-quarter of millennials say their parents cover their rent,” Ursula said.

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And not only is this an epidemic among millennials, but it’s also an epidemic among KIRO employees.

“I just turned 30, and my parents still pay my cell phone bill,” Katrina from the newsroom said.

Gee couldn’t believe it.

“How much every month do you pay for your cell phone bill,” he asked.

“$0,” Katrina responded.

Thirty years old, and the parents still pay for the phone. And she’s not the only one on the staff riding the gravy train. Executive producer Andrew, who hides behind the name “Chef,” also gets the bread buttered on both sides.

“My wife and our two kids live with my folks, and we get a steep, steep discount on the rent,” Chef said.

And how about the Costco bill?

“Costco bill I don’t want to look at the Costco bill; that’s my dad’s bill, that’s not my bill,” Chef said.

“I use my parent’s Costco membership,” Katrina chimed in.

But wait – there’s more from Nick, who directs the Gee & Ursula Show.

“I moved back in with my dad. I’m living rent-free right now,” he said.

It’s like a milking competition!

So this is real, and I know because I myself once ran a closely held LLC known as the ‘Bank of Dad,’ which served an exclusive clientele.

And I know why this happens. In my case, a little Boomer Guilt, and a parental reflex, which I would describe as the “no-way-is-my-daughter-gonna-live-in-a-place-like-that.”

I will say that for a while, it was my wife who got herself a free ride on my daughter’s cell plan, and there was no social justice in that. But as they say at the Brown Bear Car Wash, “alright! You’re getting a deal today.” So we milked it– until the data charges got out of hand.

But here’s the thing that subsidized millennials need to understand, there’s a reason we need you to be on a solid foundation because you’re the backup.

If the debt crisis spirals and the economy goes all third-world, and the retirement checks start bouncing, there’ll be a knock on your door from a couple of old people saying – remember us? Our suitcases are right there in the trunk. Be careful with the pill bottles and my arch supports.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: More millennials need their parents help, but for how much longer