October 3, 2018 Herb 0Comment


Photo Credit: AARP

It’s not a surprise this writer.  Millennials and Generation Xers are as concerned about their personal finances, debt levels and the nation’s economy, as aging Baby Boomers, says a newly released AARP survey.  While poll after poll shows that Social Security and Medicare remains as popular as ever to Baby Boomers, this study’s findings reveal that Millennials and Generation Xers also see the value and importance of these programs.

Just days ago, the Association of Young Americans (AYA) and the Washington, DC-based AARP, released this study, it is the second in their series of research findings that take a very close look at the similarities and differences in the opinions of these three generations.

Comparing the Opinions Across Three Generations

“Across generations, economic concerns and financial security are a top priority for Americans,” says Ben Brown, Founder of AYA.  The goal of collaborating with the nation’s largest aging organization on this survey was to “garner additional insight into how the sentiments of older and younger Americans overlap when it comes to both personal and national financial security.”  These study’s findings show that “ all three generations care deeply about programs that ensure long-term financial success for individuals, families, and our nation as a whole,” adds Brown.

AARP Senior Vice President Jean Setzfand noted that  “AYA and AARP began working together because we know that older Americans and younger Americans have far more similarities than differences. As we look into the future, financial and retirement security is going to be a concern for all of us. By doing this research and learning about sentiments of different generations, we can work together to strengthen these programs to ensure the long-term financial security of current and future generations.”

According to AARP’s poll findings, released on September 27, 2018, almost half (49 percent) of Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers report feeling somewhat satisfied with their financial situation while 37 percent, feel not at all or not too satisfied. About a third (31 percent) say they couldn’t cover their expenses for a full month if they had no income to rely on, and two-thirds (66 percent) count their debt level as a major or minor problem, says the AARP study.

Social Security, Medicare Popular Across Generations

There is strong support for Social Security and Medicare among the three generations studied by pollsters. The AARP survey finds that 8 in 10 (78 percent) agree Social Security is key to retirees with just about everyone in agreement (96 percent) that the program is very or somewhat important. Nearly 9 in 10 (86 percent) say it’s very or somewhat important that Social Security be there for them when they retire including 78 percent of Millennials, 89 percent of GenXers, and 95 percent of Baby Boomers.

As to Medicare, AARP survey findings indicate that 9 in 10 (86 percent) agree Medicare is important to people’s health in retirement. Slightly more (92 percent) say it’s very or somewhat important Medicare be there for them when they retire including 86 percent of Millennials, 95 percent of GenXers, and 97 percent of Baby Boomers.

Although the survey respondent’s positively view the nation’s economic growth, they still say they are anxious about retiring.  This might just be why…As to emergency savings, over half (53 percent) said they could only cover expenses for 3 months or less if they lost their income including 61 percent of Millennials, 56 percent of GenXers, and 43 percent of Baby Boomers.

Survey respondents also admitted that they are not putting enough money away for their retirement. Almost half (47 percent) across the generations say they have not put away any money for retirement including 52 percent of Millennials, 44 percent of GenXers, and 44 percent of Baby Boomers, which again stresses why Social Security remains so important across generations.

Even when expressing concerns about financially surviving retirement, the AARP survey found that over a third  (35 percent) across the three generations sought financial advice to plan their retirement from a professional financial adviser, although 76 percent said they believe such advice would be very or somewhat trustworthy. About half (47 percent) have credit card debt, while 4 in 10 (43 percent) have mortgage or car loan debt, and 3 in 10 (31 percent) have student loan debt for themselves or someone else.

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