Myth busted - when young Australians leave the nest

Media Release -

A TAL survey has bucked the perception that young Australians are staying at home substantially longer than their parents did.

The findings reveal offspring fly the coup and become financially independent at an average age of 23.

Surprisingly, this compares to their parents who left home only two years earlier at an average age of 21, according to the survey conducted by Australia’s largest life insurer TAL as part of its support for MoneySmark Week this week.

The survey also reveals this meets parents’ expectations: they say their children should leave home and become financially independent at about that age (age 22.7 years).

TAL Group CEO Jim Minto said: “Leaving the protection and comfort of the family home can be both exciting and daunting. It is a rite of passage. Ensuring you are financial protected makes the transition much easier.

“A crucial part of being financial independent is ensuring you can meet your obligations and commitments if for some reason you are unable to earn your income for a period. Income protection is a key form of life insurance for young people and moving out of home is a perfect time to ensure you have financial protection.”

While highlighting that the 30-something “failure to launch” cliché is an exception rather than the rule for those flying the coup, the survey also reveals far fewer children are leaving home before the age of 18.

Only three per cent of parents expect their children to leave home before 18, compared with 13% of parents saying they had moved out by this age.

Fourteen per cent of parents shied away from putting an age on the question – instead saying it should be dependent on getting a job or completing their education.

A number of parents did, however, seem resigned to having their children at home for the long term, with 8% saying their children “would probably never leave home”. In some cases there may be children with special needs or medical conditions.

Mr Minto said: “Looking at life it is clear that a person’s most important asset is their ability to earn an income because that is what sustains our lives.

“But what many young people do not fully appreciate is the impacts and consequences of what can happen when an income unexpectedly stops due to injury or illness. Youngsters will often insure their mobile phones but not themselves.”

TAL supports MoneySmart Week to improve financial literacy and because it wants to help Australians build, grow and protect the life they have created and the one they imagine for the future.

Tomorrow (4 September) TAL is hosting a MoneySmart Week event outside Customs House at Circular Quay, Sydney give people the chance to bring their futures to life through personalised illustrations completed in real time by professional artists. Details here.

Age for leaving home and becoming financially independent


Age when left home

Age you should leave home

Age children left home or will leave home


As soon as they finish education and get a job




Under 18




























None/don’t know




Probably never leave home




Average age

21.2 years

22.7 years

23 years

Notes to editors

This survey was undertaken online by Galaxy Research with 1,266 Australians, from the ages of 18–69 years old. Age, gender and region quotas were applied to the same and the dataset was weighted to national proportions. State based figures available upon request.

Further information:

Stuart Snell 02 9448 9879/0417 921 235 


About TAL: The specialist voice of life insurance in Australia

TAL is Australia’s largest life insurance company with leading competitive offerings in each of its core distribution channels: direct to customers; through financial advisers; and via group and workplace superannuation schemes. With in-force premiums of $2.2 billion, TAL provides more life insurance solutions to Australians than any other insurer. TAL is owned by The Dai-ichi Life Insurance Company, Limited, one of Japan’s largest life insurers.


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