Be 100% independent
In a recent survey for the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE), 42% of those under 40 reported getting financial help from their parents as adults.

What's the problem with such well-intentioned aid? With a parents-as-the-backup mentality, you may struggle to get on your own feet financially.

"You feel less responsibility to take the steps necessary to secure your future," says Tim Maurer, co-author of "The Ultimate Financial Plan."

Step No. 1: Build an emergency fund


By Amanda Gengler @Money - Last updated April 05 2012: 6:25 AM ET
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Best money moves in your 40s and 50s

Three out of four successful retirees started saving in their 40s and 50s. A few smart moves make that easy.

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