By Jessica Mora, CFP®
Client Advisor Associate
A millennial is defined as a person reaching adulthood in the 21st century (currently those between ages 22-37). This group makes up 25% of the overall population, now equal in size to the baby boomers. While this group is one of the most tech savvy, well-educated and diverse generations, they often get a bad reputation, especially when it comes to finances. So where do all the misconceptions stem from?
Overgeneralization: Millennials are broke.
Truth: Due to the high inflation of tuition rates, this group is burdened with some of the highest student debt and paying these loans off often takes precedence over other financial goals. This leads to a catch-22. While millennials want and need financial advice on managing debt, budgeting, saving, and investing, they are frequently overlooked as financial planning candidates because they may not have significant capital available now to invest. However, Kaplan data anticipates this group will inherit nearly $18 trillion in wealth from their parents. This would mean millennials will potentially witness one of the largest shifts in wealth first hand. Building a solid foundation and early education are important now more than ever.
Overgeneralization: Millennials have poor money habits.
Truth: According to a recent study from Bank of America, millennials’ saving and spending habits are on par with prior generations. This research reported 63% of millennials to be saving and 54% to be working with a budget, only slightly less than baby boomers. In 2017, an average of 8.6% of after-tax earnings went towards discretionary spending. Again, equal to and even less than older generations demonstrating similar spending patterns. Kaplan anticipates millennials to outpace baby boomers with an estimated $2 trillion in annual buying power by 2025.
Overgeneralization: Millennials have no interest in investing.
Truth: The millennial generation has witnessed two stock market crashes, the “Dot Com Crash” of the early 2000’s and the “Financial Crisis” of 2008. These events lead to skepticism and distrust of the financial markets. While this group still has financial goals of making large purchases, such as a home, building a nest egg, and saving for retirement, they need professional guidance to understand the benefits of investing while simultaneously mitigating risk.
Ultimately, investing for a lifetime is a long road. By avoiding mistakes and missteps early, investing regularly, and with a bit of prudent financial management, the emerging wealthy individual can be well on their way towards a productive future and retirement. Mission Wealth can chart a reasonable course of action to help an individual start down this road with the best foot forward.
If you have a dependent in the millennial age group, know that your advisor at Mission Wealth is happy to help provide resources or answer any questions they may have. While this gives them an opportunity to begin building a relationship with a trusted advisor, it provides us the opportunity to better help you with your estate and legacy planning. By giving your children the tools they need for financial success, you can feel more confident by gifting or leaving future inheritances.
We suggest Kaplan Financial Education as a resource, or the Investment News article "6 Myths About Millennials That Could Harm Adviser Businesses".
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