Millennials face daunting obstacles

Ed Fulbright, CPA, CGMA, PFS
Fulbright Financial Consulting, PA
(919) 544-0398

The average millennial is facing unprecedented financial obstacles, and many, especially older millennials who entered the job market during the Great Recession, are financially well behind prior generations. In the coming years, this generation will be challenged to overcome their financial obstacles to set a stronger course for financial security.

Here's a snapshot of the average millennial, as summarized in a comprehensive Business Insider report1:

  • Income. The average millennial earns $35,592 a year, 20% lower than the average salary for a baby boomer at the same age after adjusting for inflation, according to a SmartAsset study based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

  • Net worth. The net worth of households age 18 to 35 decreased 34% since 1996, according to a Deloitte study. With an average net worth of less than $8,000, millennials are financially worse off than any prior generation.

  • Savings. Six in ten millennials have a savings account balance under $5,000, according to an INSIDER and Morning Consult survey.

  • Student loans. Millennials graduate with an average student loan debt of $29,800. Student loan debt nationwide now totals $1.5 trillion.

  • Support from parents. Half of millennials (53%) have received financial assistance their parents since turning age 21, according to the 2018 Country Financial Security Index.

  • Homeownership. Homeownership among this generation is at a record low, in part because homes are 39% more expensive than they were 40 years ago, according to Student Loan Hero.

  • Life milestones. As a result, millennials are delaying many of their life milestones. The median age of first marriage in the US is 27 for women and 29 for men. Forty years ago, the median age was 22 for women and 25 for men. And the US birthrate is at its lowest in 32 years. More women in their 30s are having babies than women in their 20s for the first time ever, according to a report from the CDC.

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1.  Business Insider, "Meet the average American millennial", July 2019

This publication is designed to provide general information and is for discussion purposes only. The effectiveness of any strategy is dependent upon each individual’s facts and circumstances. This article does not provide legal, tax or account advice. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error, the accuracy, adequacy, completeness or availability of any information is not guaranteed.