Surveys: Young And Old Should Speak To Each Other

by | Jun 15, 2018 | Financial Planning

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get young professionals and older professionals to actually SPEAK to each other?  Perhaps lend a helping hand?
speak and lend a helping handWhat could each generation learn from the other?

Younger professionals could show more seasoned professionals how to work smarter and more productively.  For example, how to use technology to shorten “start to finish” times and building processes to help streamline otherwise mundane tasks.  The more veteran workers can “spread a little wisdom” by sharing their paths to “what got them there.”  How to save money, how to be a little smarter about big purchases, making investments, when to make changes, when to be patient.  Things not often taught in school (not to be learned from a website!).  Just getting these different generations to speak to each other can be very helpful.

Another benefit of getting these generations to speak and communicate better would be to help folks understand planning your future never ends, and that bend in the road up ahead could be a sharp left turn, not a gentle sloping runway.  We saw proof of these points recently by studying two surveys.

“Financially Optimistic Millennials Aspire To be Millionaires, Retire Early”
This survey, conducted by TD Ameritrade was illuminating (for me).  TD Ameritrade’s Chief Market Strategist (JJ Kinahan) explains: “On average, survey respondents expect to land a job in their chosen field and be completely financially independent by age 25,” noted Kinahan.  “This is a financially optimistic group that’s feeling positive about the economy, the job market and their own plans.”

Interesting.  Here are some additional highlights from the survey:

  • Half (53 percent) expect to become millionaires at some point.
  • One in four said they don’t expect to get married, and nearly that many (24 percent) don’t expect to own a home.
  • Nearly a third (30 percent) of millennials don’t expect to have kids.
  • Despite the general optimism, two in 10 said they’re never going to be able to pay off their student loans.
  • Nearly one in five (17 percent) haven’t yet achieved financial independence from their parents; for those who have, it’s usually moving out of the family home that triggers being financially cut-off.

Oh, there is one more tidbit I’d like to share from the survey.  Did I read this correctly?
“One milestone in particular is going to need some extra attention. Millennials reported that they expect to retire at age 56 on average (millennial men expect to retire even earlier, at age 53 on average). However, on average, they said they don’t plan to start saving for retirement until age 36, which could be more than a decade after getting their first real job.”

You can see the rest right here:

Now, compare that with a report recently issued by the Federal Reserve “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2017” issued in May 2018.

Regarding retirement, many adults (roughly 60%) feel behind in their savings for retirement.  Even among those who have some savings, people commonly lack financial knowledge and are uncomfortable making investment decisions.

  • Less than two-fifths of non-retired adults think that their retirement savings are on track, and one-fourth have no retirement savings or pension whatsoever.
  • Three-fifths of non-retirees with self-directed retirement savings accounts, such as a 401(k) or IRA, have little or no comfort in managing their investments.
  • On average, people answer fewer than three out of five basic financial literacy questions correctly, with lower scores among those who are less comfortable managing their retirement savings.

Again, if we can just get these different generations to speak with each other and share “what’s working” and also “what doesn’t work” we could accomplish great things!

“Could I borrow $400 please?”

We’ve written about this last point several times, but it is almost ALWAYS worth repeating.    From the same Federal Reserve report, “Four in 10 adults in 2017 would either borrow, sell something, or not be able pay if faced with a $400 emergency expense. This is actually BETTER than the results of this survey in 2013, when HALF of respondents said they could not raise $400 in a pinch.  Even without an unexpected expense, 22 percent of adults expected to forgo payment on some of their bills in the month of the survey.”

You can view the report from the Federal reserve here:

It would be beneficial to both groups if we could get older and younger groups to speak to each other, a lot can be learned!




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