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Millennials Want Help Understanding Where the Money Goes: New York Life Survey

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What You Need to Know

  • A New York Life survey found millennials were more likely than other age groups to say they felt prepared for a financial emergency.
  • However, millennials were the most likely to want help from a financial professional.
  • Gen Z participants were more likely than millennials to already use a financial professional.

Millennials may be acting tough, but many are hungry for advice from financial professionals about what happens when the cost of living goes up, according to new survey data from New York Life.

The life insurer organized an online survey of about 2,200 U.S. adults, then broke some of the results down by age group.

The survey team found that the millennials in their sample expressed much more confidence about their finances than other participants: 31% said they feel prepared for a financial emergency, compared with just 24% of all survey participants.

About 24% of millennials, and 35% of male millennials, said they absolutely know what they’re doing about their finances

A Post-Inflation Generation

The oldest millennials were babies in 1981, the last year when the United States experienced a price inflation rate over 10%, and many of the millennial participants showed some concern about expense control.

New York Life talked about the expense issue in terms of costs paused during the COVID-19 social distancing period that will now return.

The survey team asked, “Thinking of how various costs of living are returning simultaneously as we near the end of the pandemic, would you like the help of a financial professional when creating or updating your [financial] strategy?”

About 28% of the millennials said they would like help thinking about the cost of living, compared with 13% of all adults.

Millennials’ interest in expense planning could create an opportunity for financial professionals: Only 5% of the millennial survey participants work with financial professionals, compared with 12% of all survey participants.

Even the Gen Z survey participants were more likely to be getting financial advice than the millennials. About 50% of the Gen Z participants said they would like to talk professionals about the cost of living, and 7% said they already work with financial professionals.

Generation Glossary

New York Life uses the generational definitions developed by Pew Research Center.

The center classifies baby boomers as people born from 1946 through 1964; members of Generation X as people born from 1965 through 1980; millennials as people born from 1981 through 1996; and members of Generation Z as people from from 1997 through the yet-to-be-determined year when Generation Alpha started.

(Image: Shutterstock)