The media and politicians love to plant the seeds of discord between generations. Younger generations are alternately presented as either victims of the current power structure, and/or helplessly unprepared or unwilling to live in the “real world “.
I have found that nothing is further from the truth. Younger generations tend to be smarter, more diligent, and better prepared for the futures than the generations that came before them. I wrote about this in a couple of previous posts…
- Related: 8 Retirement Myths To Ignore
- Related: FIRE Advice For New Graduates
- Related: Gen X Stuck Between Boomers & Millennials
I recently ran across a new Charles Schwab survey that builds on this perspective. The company did a survey of personal finance habits across the generations: Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials. It shows that Millennials are very disciplined in their personal finance habits:
- 31% have a “written financial plan” (22% Boomers, 20% GenX)
- 36% have “specific savings goals” (17% Boomers, 25% GenX)
- 75% “regularly rebalance their investments” (64% Boomers, 66% GenX)
- 22% “work with financial advisor” (25% Boomers, 16% GenX)
- 64% “believe they will become wealthy in their lifetime”
- 81% are “confident they will meet their financial goals (54% Boomers, 65% GenX)
As you can see, Millennials are clearly as capable with their finances as any of the generations before them. While it would be nice to see even more of them have specific savings goals and written financial plans, I don’t think anyone can make the case that they are ‘behind’ other generations.
We are GenX-ers, but I can confidently say we were following all of these personal finance good habits when we were the same age as Millennials are now (in their 20s & 30s). I can remember the first time we ever met with a financial advisor (still in our 20s), he told us that we already at that point “in the top 1/2 a percent of all savers”. Certainly, being planful about your financial life from an early age is key to reaching FIRE!
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