Millennials May Prove To Be The Best Generation With Their Finances

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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…

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!

Image Credit: Pixabay

7 thoughts on “Millennials May Prove To Be The Best Generation With Their Finances

  1. Those are some promising stats. Although my three children are technically not millennials, they are following these good behaviors as well. I wish I could say the same. We are late bloomer Gen Xers when it comes to personal finance. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our son is GenZ – he is in college now, but is really smart with his money. Hopefully his habits will continue when he graduates and starts making a good salary!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 31% have a “written financial plan” (22% Boomers, 20% GenX)

    Does this mean 31% of those surveyed? Can’t believe it means 31% of general population of those whose age falls into the category of Millennials.
    ________________________________

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    1. It says 31% of Millennials surveyed have a “written financial plan. The Charles Schwab survey has a sample size intended to make it representative of all Millennials. Same approach for the Boomers & GenX-ers who are even less likely to have a written plan.

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  3. Love this post, super promising statistics.

    My one issue with all of this is that you don’t examine the flip side.

    TD Ameritrade recently did a study and found that only about half of all millennials invest in the stock market, and they don’t start saving for retirement until 36 on average. Median wealth among millennials in 2016 was lower than among similarly aged cohorts in any year from 1989 to 2007.

    What are your thoughts on this?

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    1. I’m not familiar with that specific study. Do you have a link? One TD Ameritrade study called ‘Millennials and Money 2018’ has a confusing question which asks “At which age did you or do you expect to complete [saving for retirement] for the first time, if at all?” The answer to that is age 36, but the phrasing of the question is so convoluted, I’m not sure it means anything. There is no comparison to other generations.

      This study … from Transamerica, suggests Millennials start Savings at age 24 on average; https://transamericacenter.org/docs/default-source/retirement-survey-of-workers/tcrs2019_sr_what_is_retirement_by_generation.pdf

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