This article is by editor Linda Vergon.

According to a new Pew Research Center analysis, the number of young women living with relatives is rising – to levels not seen since the 1940s. Fully 36.4 percent of young women between the ages of 18 to 34 are not financially capable of striking out on their own these days – even though five times more of them are college-educated today.

The gender gap

Parents and young woman

It’s no different for young men. In fact, more men than women in this age group (42.8 percent compared to 36.4 percent) live with family members today.

But a recent survey on the gender pay gap indicates that men will earn far more than women by the time they reach their 50s, in part because of the types of jobs men and women typically take.

The most common job held by women was office manager and administrative support, which is likely to pay $45,100 annually according to the report.

The most common job held by men was computer software engineers, paying on the order of $88,700. But another factor to consider is that the Payscale study showed that men’s pay levels off at $75,000 per year at 50 to 55 years old; whereas, women’s pay levels off at $49,000 at 34 to 40 years old.

What is the answer?

Ironically, the Pew results come at a time of reported lower unemployment, underscoring how difficult it is to get ahead. We’ve been developing articles designed to help young people avoid student loan debt in the first place and to help them repay it faster. So what else can they do to gain the financial wherewithal to start their lives? Add your thoughts in the comments. Here are some suggestions to get the ball rolling…

  • Get better at budgeting
  • Get better at negotiating
  • Get better at investing

What do you say? How can young people amass the funds necessary to strike out on their own and thrive today?

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