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Gen Yers more likely to change habits after receiving advice

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Millennials rely much more on their personal connections for finance advice than does the population at large, according to new research.

TIAA-CREF arrives at this conclusion in its 3rd annual “Advisors Matters” survey. Conducted by an independent research firm, the study’s authors interviewed 1,000 adults nationwide to assess their attitudes, preferences and behaviors about receiving financial advice.

The research shows that nearly half of Millennials or Generation Y (47 percent) involve their parents in financial decision-making. This compares to less than one-fifth (19 percent) of the population at large.

Gen Yers also are more likely than the general population to rely on extended family members (22 percent versus 14 percent) and “other trusted adults” (31 percent vs. 21 percent) when seeking financial advice.

On which topics do Gen Yers most often seek financial advice? According to the report, the top three are managing a budget (72 percent), saving for education (65 percent) and managing student loans (53 percent).

“For Gen Y, the way in which advice is delivered is just as important as they type of advice they receive,” the report states.

The study notes, for example, that nearly 8 in 10 (79 percent) of Millennials say they want advice that’s customized for their age group. They also view as helpful:

  • Tools and calculators (74 percent)
  • Live seminars (68 percent); and
  • Webinars (67 percent)

Respecting personal financial questions, more than half of the survey respondents (55 percent) indicate that speaking with someone face-to-face is best.

The study notes, too, that Gen Yers who receive financial advice are more likely than the general population to make positive changes to their financial habits:

  • Change spending habits (76 percent among Gen Yers versus 62 percent for the general population)
  • Monitor spending more frequently (75 percent vs. 63 percent); and
  • Increase monthly savings (70 percent vs. 56 percent)


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