Not having enough emergency funds tops the list across Generation X, Generation Y and Boomers
“It’s never too late to make resolutions and one area not to overlook is a person’s financial wellness. The findings in this survey reinforce the need for people to speak to a financial advisor and develop a tailored plan to accomplish their short and long-term financial goals,” said
1.Top Financial Concern
According to the survey, 84 percent of Generation Y, 83 percent of Generation X and 66 percent of Boomers have financial concerns. The top financial concern among each generation is not having enough money in emergency savings funds, (51 percent of Generation Y, 50 percent of Generation X and 34 percent of Boomers). A close second for Generation Y (42 percent) and Boomers (31 percent) is not being able to pay off monthly bills, while almost half of Generation X (48 percent) fears not being able to retire when they want.
“Most people have a spending issue that drives their insecurity. Setting aside a small amount of money can quickly turn into a few hundred dollars that can be seed money for an emergency fund,” said MDRT’s First Vice President,
2.Feeling Secure with Current Finances
The study reveals 38 percent of Generation Y, 40 percent of Generation X and 29 percent of Boomers feel having no debt would make them most secure with their current finances. Having more financial education ranked lowest among each generation, Generation Y (4 percent), Generation X (1 percent) and Boomers (1 percent).
MDRT’s Second Vice President,
Among credit card, mortgage, student loan and car debt, all three generations rank credit card debt as the debt they would choose to pay off first (29 percent of Generation Y, 40 percent of Generation X and 46 percent of Boomers). Generation Y ranks paying off credit card debt slightly higher than paying off student loan debt (29 percent vs. 28 percent, respectively). Paying off mortgage debt is ranked second for Generation X (29 percent) and Boomers (30 percent).
According to Heckert, “Mortgage debt is the last debt typically recommended to pay off. A mortgage is secured by the house and usually has the least amount of interest of any loan. It’s important to first pay off high-interest debt such as credit cards.”
4.Ways to Save
Respondents were asked what expenses they would cut first to save more money from a list including dining out and traveling less, reducing home, entertainment and clothing expenses, and buying less expensive groceries and brands. When asked how they would adjust their spending if they wanted to save more money, all three generations noted dining out less, Generation X (32 percent), Generation Y (32 percent) and Boomers (22 percent). Reducing entertainment and home expenses were the next two top saving areas.
“Saving just 5 percent on a monthly budget across all of these expenses could save the average family making
5.Top Financial Advice
When asked what the most important piece of financial advice is, Millennials said it’s to start saving/investing (29 percent) and make a financial plan (28 percent). Their older counterparts noted paying off high-interest debt as most important, Generation X (28 percent) and Boomers (28 percent).
Interestingly, close to half (48 percent) of Generation X said not being able to retire is one of their top financial concerns, yet only a mere 9 percent indicated saving more for a comfortable retirement was the most important piece of financial advice to know.
According to the study, 50 percent of Generation Y, 35 percent of Generation X and 25 percent of Boomers have not done anything to prepare for retirement. Ten percent of Millennials note they have spoken to an advisor to prepare for retirement, compared to only 7 percent of Generation X.
“The hardest part of a financial plan is finding the time to get started. The new year is an excellent time to take control of your finances—and your future—with a financial plan and stick to it,” Hanna said.
The study was conducted online from
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