Millennials are Optimistic about the Future, But…

Young adults are more optimistic about the future than older Americans are, but they have major concerns about such things as retirement security, a new study finds.

This study, from insurer Northwestern Mutual, finds:

  • Among the generations, Millennials are least likely to anticipate more financial crises in the future (66% vs 76% for Gen X (ages 35-49) and 80% for Americans ages 50+).
  • A large majority of Millennials (86%) are confident that they will achieve their financial goals.
  • 4 in 10 believe the nation’s economy will improve in 2016 compared to fewer than a third of the general population and just a quarter of those ages 50+.

While Millennials are generally optimistic, they are extremely concerned about retirement security, with more than a third (34%) of them – double the general population – stating that it is “not at all likely” that the Social Security safety net will be available when they retire.

It’s not that young adults aren’t planning their finances. Indeed, according to the study more than half of Millennials (58%) consider themselves “highly disciplined’ or “disciplined” financial planners.

But this is the generation that came of age in the years following the financial crisis, and most of them worry about money.

In fact, Northwestern Mutual found that 1 in 20 Millennials worry about money on an hourly basis.

They worry about day-to-day expenses, unexpected expenses and student loan debt.

So, it’s not surprising that optimism mingles with grave concern in this generation. After all, how many young Baby Boomers worried about money on an hourly basis?

This unique set of qualities make Millennials particularly good prospects for credit unions: their concern about long-term financial planning meshes well with the kind of disciplined savings approach promoted by CUs.

Let’s hope that even more of these younger Americans find their way into the credit union fold.

Copyright Today’s Credit Unions