Which Generation will worry the Most?

By COUNTRY Financial, Special for  USDR

In a national survey taken just days after the 2016 U.S. Presidential Elections, a gap exists between Millennials and older generations with regards to how each group views their overall personal financial security, as well as the state of the U.S. economy in the coming  year.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index® score year-over-year remained largely flat from December 2015, rising by just 0.2 points from 66.6 to 66.8. However, the score among Millennials was the lowest among all the age groups polled, at just 60.9, compared to 66.6 for Gen X respondents (ages 35-49) and 69.2 for Baby Boomers (ages 50-64). The Silent Generation (ages 65+) registered the highest Index score at 71.2. Excluding Millennials, all other age groups were significantly more optimistic about their finances with their average Index score registering an uptick from 68.0 a year ago to 68.7 at the close of the  year.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index examines Americans’ current sentiments of their overall level of personal financial security on a scale of 0-100 with 100 indicating the highest level of security and compares that to previous years. It also measures Americans’ confidence level in a variety of individual personal finance topics such as their ability to pay back debts, set aside money for savings or investments, and retire comfortably, among  others.

“As we transition from the recent election results and head into a new year, we are seeing a mix in confidence among people of all ages as they try to better understand the overall economic outlook and their own personal financial future,” said Troy Frerichs, director of wealth management at COUNTRY Financial. “That is why it’s important to create specific plans tailored to your life stage to help ease any anxiety, for Millennials and all other generations, and secure one’s financial objectives early and  achievably.”

Millennials uneasy about their overall financial  security

When polled about their view on the U.S. economic outlook for 2017 after the outcome of the recent presidential elections, 41 percent of Millennials felt that they would be ‘worse off’ than 2016, with close to a third (30 percent) predicting the economy would be ‘a lot worse off.’ In stark contrast, all other generations felt more optimistic with each generation feeling ‘better off’ than they do ‘worse  off:’

  • Millennials reported feeling 24 percent ‘better off’ vs. 41 percent ‘worse off’
  • Gen X reported feeling 34 percent ‘better off’ vs. 31 percent ‘worse off’
  • Baby Boomers feeling 33 percent ‘better off’ vs. 27 percent ‘worse off’
  • Silent Generation feeling 45 percent ‘better off’ vs. 17 percent ‘worse off’

This uneasy sentiment among Millennials is further echoed across a range of questions about their personal  finances:

  • Overall financial security: 59 percent of Millennial respondents rated their overall level of financial security ‘fair’ or ‘poor’ compared to 37 percent reporting ‘excellent’ or ‘good.’
  • Savings or investments: Nearly half of Millennial respondents (48 percent) reported not being able to set aside any money for savings or investments, while 42 percent of Millennials reported that they have set money aside.
  • Ability to pay debts: 29 percent of Millennial respondents were not confident or unsure they would be able to pay their debts as they came due, compared with 38 percent of Millennials who were ‘very confident’ and 32 percent who were ‘somewhat confident’ that they could.

Millennials became more optimistic when looking at their finances over a longer term. Half of all Millennials respondents (50 percent) felt that it was likely they would have enough money to retire comfortably when the time came, versus 32 percent who thought it was  unlikely.

About The COUNTRY Financial Security  Index®
Since 2007, the COUNTRY Financial Security Index has measured Americans’ sentiments of their personal financial security. The Index also delves deeper into individual personal finance topics to better inform Americans about the issues impacting their finances. Survey data, videos and analysis are available at www.countryfinancial.com/newsroom and on Twitter at  @helloCOUNTRY.

The COUNTRY Financial Security Index was created by COUNTRY Financial and is compiled by GfK, an independent research firm. Surveys were conducted using GfK’s KnowledgePanel®, a national, probability-based panel designed to be representative of the general population and includes responses from approximately 1,006 U.S. adults for national surveys. The margin of sampling error for a survey based on this many interviews is approximately +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of  confidence.

About COUNTRY  Financial®
The COUNTRY Financial® group (www.countryfinancial.com) serves about one million households and businesses throughout the United States. It offers a full range of financial products and services from auto, home, business and life insurance to retirement planning services, investment management and  annuities.


All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.