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When Do We Feel Like an Adult? New Survey Shares ‘Signs’ of Adulting

By Allison Kade Oct 6, 2021

In this article

At Fabric, we believe tackling your “adulting” to-do list should be simple. 

But, when do we start to consider ourselves “adults”? According to a new survey conducted by OnePoll and Fabric, people think others should start feeling like an adult at age 25, although 30% didn't start feeling like an adult themselves until after that.

The survey worked to take the pulse on how adults nationwide are thinking about the future and aging. According to this original research, more than half of Americans (51%) feel like they're off track of where they should be in life, in general — with 39% feeling like they're being left in the dust by friends. 

The survey polled 2,000 Americans about all the parts of life that make them feel old and found that the top sign they knew they were an adult was when they finally had to think about saving money (35%).

Other top "adulting" signs were doing their taxes (32%), signing up for life insurance (29%) and sticking to a budget (29%).

Although half of Americans say they have open conversations about their finances with their families, 46% say that their family wouldn't know where to find their important financial documents if something happened to them. 

More than two in three Americans have life insurance that their loved ones can fall back on if something were to happen to them. Almost half of Americans (48%) are thinking about life insurance more than ever after the pandemic, though a similar amount (50%) are still not confident in their understanding of how life insurance costs are determined. 

That said, getting a policy isn’t always a walk in the park: Results showed that people would rather clean the toilet (32%), comfort a crying baby (30%), or watch paint dry (25%) than look into life insurance. Nearly two in five (38%) have given up on trying to get life insurance, usually after receiving two quotes, because of the confusing jargon and policy options.

We know improving one's health is a big part of growing up as well, so it’s interesting to see that the study also found that on average, people think they will be the most concerned about their health around age 35.

The good news is that in today's digital world, it's simpler than you might think. Convenient and easy-to-understand digital solutions can make these often-cumbersome tasks a lot easier. At Fabric, we make it easy for you and your spouse to understand and apply for affordable term life insurance, as well as manage it conveniently from Fabric’s mobile app or online. 

Additional key results: 

  • Nearly three in five people (58%) were afraid of taking on "adulting" tasks before living on their own, and a similar number of people wished they were better prepared to take on the responsibilities (56%).

  • People start getting excited about small adult life joys like buying a vacuum or organizing their cabinets at around 22 years old.

  • Still, half of Americans (51%) rely on elders in their life to help answer questions they have about "adulting," including paying taxes, taking out a mortgage or applying for life insurance.

  • Some of the biggest concerns that people have about becoming an adult revolve around not having enough money in their personal savings (41%), retirement accounts (35%) and covering health and medical expenses (30%).

  • These financial worries are compounded for respondents with kids; 35% of parents worry about not having enough money saved for their children.

  • Becoming a parent has made 43% more careful drivers, 31% more concerned about nutrition labels and 30% more interested in applying for life insurance.

Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by OnePoll on behalf of Fabric among 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact fabricpr@dottedlinecomm.com.

Fabric exists to help young families master their money. Our articles abide by strict editorial standards.

This material is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered. It is not, however, intended to provide specific financial advice or to serve as the basis for any decisions. Fabric Insurance Agency, LLC offers a mobile experience for people on-the-go who want an easy and fast way to purchase life insurance.


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Written by

Allison Kade

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Accidental Death Insurance policies (Form VL-ADH1 with state variations where applicable) and Term Life Insurance policies (Form ICC16-VLT, ICC19-VLT2, and CMP 0501 with state variations where applicable) are issued by Vantis Life Insurance Company (Vantis Life), Windsor, CT (all states except NY), and by The Penn Insurance and Annuity Company of New York (NY only). Coverage may not be available in all states. Issuance of coverage for Term Life Insurance is subject to underwriting review and approval. Please see a copy of the policy for the full terms, conditions and exclusions. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of Vantis Life.

All sample pricing is based on a 25-year old F in Excellent health for the coverage amount shown. All samples are for a 10-year term policy, unless otherwise stated. Term Life Insurance policies (Form ICC16-VLT, ICC19-VLT2, and CMP 0501 with state variations where applicable) are issued by Vantis Life Insurance Company (Vantis Life), Windsor, CT. Coverage may not be available in all states. Issuance of coverage for Term Life Insurance is subject to underwriting review and approval. Please see a copy of the policy for the full terms, conditions and exclusions. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of Vantis Life.

Fabric Insurance Agency, LLC (FIA) is an insurance agency licensed to sell life and accident insurance products. FIA will receive compensation from Vantis Life for such sales. The NAIC Company Code for Vantis Life is 68632. See the Terms of Use for additional information regarding FIA.

A.M. Best uses letter grades ranging from A++, the highest, to F, companies in liquidation. Vantis Life’s A+ (Superior) rating, which was reaffirmed in April 2020, ranks the second highest out of 16 rankings. An insurer’s financial strength rating represents an opinion by the issuing agency regarding the ability of an insurance company to meet its financial obligations to its policyholders and contract holders and not a statement of fact or recommendation to purchase, sell or hold any security, policy or contract. These ratings do not imply approval of our products and do not reflect any indication of their performance. For more information about a particular rating or rating agency, please visit the website of the relevant agency.

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