I often have the opportunity to speak with college students or young people in the workforce about their challenges. One college student is concerned about how much he will owe when he graduates, a young mom wants to be sure her children are taken care of in case something happens to her. Their concerns are typical for this age group.
The truths are here for Millennials to become successful, even as they face a financial landscape that their patents and grandparents never dreamed of. Think about the differences. In the 1900's, the average life expectancy was between 46 - 48. No one needed to plan for retirement because if they lived that long, the family would most certainly take care of them. In the 1960's, life expectancy had risen to be closer to an average of 70, businesses provided pensions and social security helped supplement any personal savings. Credit cards were just burgeoning. Families still had little more than checking, savings, stocks and bonds and maybe a mortgage to juggle.
Millennials face a life expectancy pushing 80 or 90 years. They have debt before income, increased cost of living, and an array of financial products that will make your head spin. In spite of that, successful millennials have taken some cues from an older generation to build their lives. Based on the book's survey, some of them include:
- Keep your debt low. 60% of successful millennials have less than $15,000 in debt.
- Educate yourself. 89% have at lease some college education and 91% say they are financially savvy.
- Know where your money goes. 85% of successful millennials keep a budget.
- Save, save, save. 58% have more than $10,000 in assets, not including their home.
Becoming successful is not an overnight occurrence - it's a process. Millennials have the advantage of the internet to help them find the information and resources they need to wade through the financial noise. And they don't have to do it alone. They realize that having a financial advisor to help pull it all together, coach and encourage them, will help as they grow their own success.
Pamela J. Horack, CFP® of Pathfinder Planning LLC provides financial planning advice for a simple fee to young adults and working families in North and South Carolina through group classes, one-on-one planning, and ongoing advice.