When looking forward to 2017, Millennials are showing New Year’s jitters.
The COUNTRY Financial Security Index survey, taken just days after the 2016 Presidential election, revealed a growing gap between Millennials and older generations when it comes to the sentiments of personal financial security.
When asked their view on the U.S. economic outlook for the new year, 41 percent of Millennials felt that they would be ‘worse off’ than 2016, with close to a third (30 percent) predicting the economy would be ‘a lot worse off.’
In stark contrast, all other generations felt more optimistic with each generation feeling ‘better off’ than they do ‘worse off.’
Apprehension among Millennials is also echoed across a range of questions about their personal finances:
- Overall financial security: 59 percent of Millennial respondents rated their overall level of financial security ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ compared to 37 percent reporting ‘excellent’ or ‘good.’
- Savings or investments: Nearly half of Millennial respondents (48 percent) reported not being able to set aside any money for savings or investments, while 42 percent of Millennials reported that they have set money aside.
- Ability to pay debts: 29 percent of Millennial respondents were not confident or unsure they would be able to pay their debts as they came due, compared with 38 percent of Millennials who were ‘very confident’ and 32 percent who were ‘somewhat confident’ that they could.
No matter what the future holds, Millennials who are less optimistic about their financial future are in a different life stage than other generations, and should plan accordingly.
“We are seeing a mix in confidence among people of all ages as they try to better understand the overall economic outlook and their own personal financial future,” said Troy Frerichs, director of wealth management at COUNTRY Financial. “That is why it’s important to create specific plans tailored to your life stage to help ease any anxiety, for Millennials and all other generations, and secure one’s financial objectives early and achievably.”
Although short term pessimism seems to be the case for the 18-34 group, in the long term their view is not as bleak.
Half of all Millennial respondents (50 percent) felt that it was likely they would have enough money to retire comfortably when the time came, versus 32 percent who thought it was unlikely.