3 financial stressors affecting every generation. Millennials, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers all have something in common — they’re stressed about their emergency savings, retirement and housing.
Every generation, from Millennials to Baby Boomers to Gen X, has varying financial pain points. However, they all have a few stressors in common — concerns over emergency savings, retirement costs and housing. When asked what financial wellness meant to them in a survey by PwC, the top answer across all generations was not being stressed about their finances.
For Millennial and Gen X employees, not having enough emergency savings for unexpected expenses topped their list of financial concerns. For Baby Boomers, emergency savings came in just behind not being able to retire when they want to as far as their most pressing financial challenge. All generations have reason to be concerned, as a recent survey by Bankrate found three in 10 U.S. adults have no emergency savings and couldn’t cover three months’ worth of living expenses.
Additionally, only 18 percent of Americans say they could live off of their savings for at least six months. Experts think part of the reason for the widespread lack of savings is that incomes haven’t kept pace with rising household expenses.
A recent study by AARP found that at least two in five survey respondents from each generation were not confident that they will have enough money to live comfortably throughout retirement. Nearly half of people across the three generations said they hadn’t put away any money for retirement at all. This is particularly troubling, because the longer people wait to save for retirement, the longer they’ll have to work to sustain their preferred lifestyles. More than 80 percent of today’s employees expect they’ll need to work in retirement to sustain themselves financially, according to research by PwC.
More than 75 percent of AARP’s respondents also agreed that Social Security and Medicare are important to their personal retirement. An overwhelming majority of Baby Boomers (95 percent) said it’s very or somewhat important that Social Security is there for them in retirement. With the future of these programs uncertain, it’s worrisome that so many Americans are aiming to rely on these them in retirement.
Although buying a house is a quintessential part of the American Dream, there are many barriers in place that prevent people from making the purchase. For Millennials and Gen Zers, the biggest obstacle to buying a house is the high cost of the down payment on a home, according to research by Freedom Debt Relief. That’s the second-biggest concern for Baby Boomers, who are most stressed about the cost of the monthly payment on a house.
Many people are also unable to afford a home because of debt that they already have. Credit card debt makes up a majority of debt that people across generations have, with 46 percent of Americans reporting they have credit card debt. This makes it one of the bigger burdens for people trying to save up more to buy a house.
All this financial stress is damaging the quality of the workplace, as employees are spending an average of 3-5 hours per week at work worrying about their personal finances. Financial wellness programs like Best Money Moves can help. Best Money Moves is mobile, gamified and easy-to-use. It provides practical, unbiased help so employees can make smarter financial decisions and manage the debt they have.
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