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At what age did you finally feel like an adult?

Perhaps it was when you turned 18 and could vote for the first time, or maybe you felt like you were officially an adult when you turned 21 and could order an alcoholic drink at a New Jersey bar. Some finally feel like true grownups when they are 25 and can rent a car. If you're like us, it was the first time you got a place of your own and gained financial freedom.

According to an article published by The Telegraph, researchers at the Royal Children's Hospital in Australia said adulthood isn't reached until age 24.

So why 24?

Well, today's youth aren't getting married or starting families until later in life as they delay these milestones in favor of continuing their education, according to the article. In fact, in New Jersey the median age for first marriages for women is 28 and 30 for men, according to information from Marriage.com.

For most young Americans, getting married and having kids isn't the driving factor behind whether they see themselves as adults. A Bank of America/USA TODAY Better Money Habits poll of 18 to 26 year olds conducted in 2016 found that gaining financial independence from mom and dad was key to feeling like a grown-up.

Of the over 2,000 people surveyed, 27 percent indicated they thought they reached adulthood when they turned 18 years old, while 33 percent said they didn't think adulthood began until at least age 21.

Since the scientists concluded that the age that people reach adulthood is 24, the study's lead author thinks programs that support young people should be extended beyond age 18, according to The Telegraph article.

At what age did you feel like you made the transition to true adulthood? Was it when you got married or had kids? Or was is when you were able to pay all your bills for the first time without leaning on the bank of mom and dad?

Also from this week's Forever 39 podcast — Why today's kids lack coping skills. PLUS: Is being your friend's therapist draining you? Click on the podcast player above to hear the entire episode. Share your thoughts on all of them below, on Twitter, on Facebook or at forever39@nj1015.com.

— Annette and Megan, Forever 39

Join us for next week’s podcast when we chat about signs of falling in love, spring road trips, and how to stop being so judgmental. 

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