Despite being ambitious and goal-oriented, the youngest American adults are “saddled with substantial uncertainties about their current financial status” and see “significant room for improvement” in how they manage their money on a day-to-day basis, according to the latest findings of Northwestern Mutual’s 2019 Planning & Progress Study.
Almost seven in 10 Gen Zers (69%) indicated they didn’t have much clarity on how much money they should be saving for later and how much they could spend now, according to a survey of Gen Zers — Americans born from 1997 to 2012 — that was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Northwestern Mutual from Feb. 20 to March 5.
More than a quarter (28%) of Gen Zers, meanwhile, viewed their generation as not at all responsible when it came to finances, which was “double that of the general population (14%) and well above the percentage” of millennials who said the same thing (22%), Northwestern Mutual said in announcing the findings of its study Tuesday.
And 57% reported not even knowing how much money they had in savings, which was significantly higher than the general population (46%) and their millennial counterparts (48%), the firm said.
Predictably, Gen Zers had far less money saved than those in the general population or millennials. While 8% of the general population and 9% of millennials indicated they had $25,000 to $74,999 in savings, only 2% of Gen Zers said they had that much saved, according to the data. Similarly, 3% of the general population and 4% of millennials had $75,000 to $124,999, but only 1% of Gen Zers had that much; 3% of the general population had $125,000 to $199,999, but 0% of Gen Zers or millennials; and 10% of the general population and 6% of millennials had $200,000 or more, but only 2% of Gen Zers.
It was the first time that Gen Zers were studied as part of Northwestern Mutual’s annual Planning & Progress Study. Although millennial debt was included in the 2018 edition of the report, it wasn’t cited for Gen Zers this time.