A new survey from Truist, formerly SunTrust, finds that a majority of millennials who have a financial plan expect to reach their financial goals in the near term even though many are burdened by debt and lack retirement funds.
Eighty-six percent of millennials in the study said they had established personal financial goals for the next five years. At the same time, 69% reported that they had not created an emergency fund and 68% did not have a non-retirement savings account.
As the oldest millennials turn 40 this year, many members of this generation are pursuing life milestones different from their parents’. According to the survey, the top three goals for those with a financial plan:
- Debt repayment – 57%
- Travel – 48%
- Increasing the amount they save for retirement – 45%
These priorities outpace milestones such as homeownership, cited by 40%, and starting or expanding a family, cited by 30%.
“Long-term financial success is often the cumulative effect of many successful short-term goals and habits,” Joseph Sicchitano, head of wealth planning and advice delivery for Truist, said in a statement.
“It is encouraging that most millennials have identified financial goals, but achieving a goal requires a sustained commitment. Focusing on a short-term goal, like creating an emergency fund to cover unexpected expenses, can keep you on track to reaching your long-term aspirations.”
Wakefield Research conducted the study between Nov. 26. and Dec. 5 among 1,000 U.S. adults ages 23 to 39, using an email invitation and an online survey.
Eighty percent of millennials in the study said they planned to retire, among whom 75% said they would rely on personal or retirement savings, 60% on Social Security and 25% on an inheritance.
Only 40% of those who planned to retire reported that they had a retirement account.
Some millennials who had not started saving for retirement said they were relying on prior generations to help fund their retirement. Forty-six percent had received or expected to receive an inheritance, and 44% of these planned to use it to help fund their retirement.