Money may not bring happiness, but having financial security is, as Forest Gump said, “one less thing” to worry about, declares Hoppy Kercheval, Talkline host for MetroNews in West Virginia. In his recent "Hoppy's Commentary", he cites new research that indicates that Millennials have plenty to worry about when it comes to their finances.
The study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) finds that large percentages of Millennials carry too much debt, are already dipping into their retirement, don’t have enough to cover an emergency and, perhaps most importantly, don’t know much about personal finances. Further,
the study found that just one in four demonstrated basic financial literacy, while fewer than one in ten had a more advanced understanding of money.
That stunning statistic may be part of the reason Millennials are struggling so with their finances. Consider these findings:
- Nearly 30 percent are overdrawing on their checking accounts.
- Four out of five Millennials have at least one long term debt and one out of five with retirement accounts borrowed from it within the last year to pay bills.
- Half with student loans say they are worried about their ability to pay back the money, while half also have carried over a credit card balance in the last 12 months.
- 28 percent of Millennials with a college degree have taken out expensive payday loans or sold items to a pawn shop within the last five years to get cash. The number increases to 50 percent when the Millennial has a high school degree or less.
PwC says these and other findings in the report show Millennials are financially fragile.
Additionally, as Kercheval points out, the young financial fledglings are generally not getting good financial information. Just one in four have sought professional advice on saving and investment.
As an employer offering our employee purchase program, you are helping Millennials obtain products and services through a financially-responsible budget process. Encouraging them to take advantage of our financial wellness platform is another positive step in improving their financial health.