People starting their careers often worry about their finances, and many don’t know whom to trust for advice, according to a study published Wednesday by Fidelity Investments.
Thirty-three percent of survey participants in the 25-to-34 age group — millennials or Gen Yers — identified their parents as the top choice as advisors on money matters, but 23% said they trusted “no one” when it came to advice about money, making this the second most common response.
This lack of trust may indicate that Gen Yers tend to be more independent and prefer making their own money decisions, Fidelity said in a statement.
That doesn’t necessarily translate into peace of mind, however, as 39% said they worried about their financial future at least once a week.
Women in the study tended to be less confident than men, 19% of whom insisted they never worried about their financial security, vs. only 2% of women who said the same.
“Feeling financially ‘on their own’ about finances also could be fallout from the Great Recession, since many Gen Yers witnessed their parents and grandparents struggle with the impact of job losses, tighter budgets and/or declining retirement accounts,” Fidelity Investments senior vice president Kristen Robinson said in the statement.
“Whatever the reason, this generation fortunately has a big advantage — the luxury of time, as nothing is more powerful than the impact of saving early and often.”
The new Fidelity study was a follow-up to the firm’s 2014 Intra-Family Generational Finance study, an online poll of U.S. parents and their adult children that examined the levels of agreement between families on key financial topics.
The follow-up study, conducted in early April, was designed to gain a millennial perspective on many of the first poll’s financial questions. It examined 152 adults born between 1980 and 1989 who had at least one living parent.
The study revealed a strong connection between Gen Y and family. Besides trusting their parents most on money matters, 76% of Gen Yers said they did not have any difficulty starting conversations with parents about saving and investing for the future.
This openness is encouraging, Robinson said, because engaging in frank family financial conversations helps ensure that families are in agreement about goals, and enhances the chances for long-term security.
However, notwithstanding this openness, 49% of participants said they did not ever receive financial advice from their parents, and 27% said they had told their parents nothing when it came to money.
This could be a matter of finding the time, given challenging schedules, Fidelity said. Another factor could be that although 59% of millennials considered their parents good financial role models, a sizable 41% did not. Planning Ahead
The survey found many positive signs that Gen Yers were thinking long term and taking steps to save early. Forty-seven percent had already started saving for retirement, with 43% indicating they had a 401(k) and 23% an IRA.
Furthermore, of the top issues Gen Yers said they were trying to tackle, 52% placed “accumulate more for retirement” at the top of the list.
“This trend toward saving is encouraging, especially since the oldest of this generation are now juggling competing demands, such as saving to buy a house, raising a family or starting a college fund for their own children,” Robinson said.
Still, that many Gen Yers do not have money in a 401(k) is cause for concern, according to Fidelity. It means that some who have access to a 401(k) or workplace plan are not taking advantage of the “free money” on the table in the form of a company match nor of the related financial guidance available through a workplace plan.
Fidelity noted that professionals suggest saving 10% to 15% of one’s annual pay for retirement, inclusive of both personal and workplace contributions.
“Finding ways to turn positive savings habits into more deliberate investing strategies can make a huge difference—and may provide the peace of mind many millennials desire,” Robinson said.
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