HOW 20-SOMETHINGS HAVE AN ADVANTAGE OVER THEIR PARENTS
Who says millennials don’t know how to save? See why many of them have better financial habits than their parents.
All the millennials who have a 401(k) now have a leg up on their parents, according to the Retirement Savings & Spending study that found millennials have better financial habits than baby boomers.
The study found even though baby boomers save more for retirement overall — they invest 9 percent of their annual salary into a savings account, while millennials contribute 8 percent — millennials pay more into their 401(k) than their parents, Inc reported.
And millennials give almost double the amount to their 401(k) than their parents do. This is part of the reason 72 percent of millennials are better off financially than their parents were when they were younger.
This comes despite the common perception that millennials don’t save for retirement. Recent studies show millennials can be considered the most money-conscious generation, according to Forbes’ Maggie McGrath.
“When (Millennials) have the means to do the right thing, it appears that they often do,” Anne Coveney, a senior manager at T. Rowe Price, told Forbes. “They are exhibiting financial discipline in managing their spending and are defying stereotypes that this generation is prone to spend-thrift, short-sighted thinking.”
The study, which surveyed more than 3,000 adults who contributed to 401(k) plans, said millennials have more access to programs and apps that can help them plan their finances, too.
“Their circumstances are probably a big part of what’s driving their behaviors,” Coveney told Inc. “They know to save. It may be because they’ve had the benefit of reading a lot on the Internet, and getting information from their employers. They also do use (financial) advice.”
Millennials are big savers because of the environment they have been raised in, Forbes reported. Emily Pachuta, a head investor for UBS, told al.com in 2014 that millennials grew up in an era where saving was necessary.
“They have a Depression-era mindset largely because they experienced market volatility and job security issues very early in their careers, or watched their parents experience them, and it has had a significant impact on their attitudes and behaviors,” Pachuta told al.com.
This should help millennials as they start their families. We’ve reported previously that some millennials, especially millennial women, are putting off marriage and having a family until their partners are financially secure. Saving for the future, though, will help millennials find some financial security.
Financial troubles are the biggest concerns for both old and new couples. And, according to a 2008 study from North Carolina State University, married couples who have financial harmony stay together longer because they have less money-related stresses to worry about in their marriage.
The study, which looked at 161 couples over a two-year period, found money management skills also make it easier for couples to work together in the relationship.
“Financial harmony is critical for validation, freedom, power, respect, security and happiness, the study said. “Couples must realize the great importance that money has in their relationships and learn to define guidelines for money management.”
Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret News National. Send him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @herbscribner.