Gen X & Gen Y – Dialing Financial 911

by Manisha Thakor

Six Reasons Why Gen X & Gen Y Need Some Serious Financial TLC  

  • They’re scared: They’ve entered their adult years during a gut-wrenching economic and job market.  With unemployment over 9.5%, they’ve seen their parents struggle.  Over 7 out of 10 Americans are now living paycheck-to-paycheck.
  • They are making poor decisions: As a result of that fear they are not making the best long-term decisions for their futures. A recent ICI study shows only 34% of investors under age 35 are willing to take substantial risk with their retirement money – the exact time in their lives when they should take that risk.
  • Something as “simple” as a 20-year head start can give you 5x more money: Let’s take 2 people.  Jane starts saving $5,000 a year at age 25 for her retirement every year until age 65 and gets an average return of 7%.  Jane has a $1 million nest egg by retirement. Joe starts saving $5,000 a year at age 45 for retirement every year until age 65 and also gets an average return of 7%. Joe has $200,000 in his next egg. That 20-year head start gave Jane 5x more money. That’s why learning the basics of personal finance – how to budget, get out of debt, and save so you can get that retirement fund funded in the key early years is so vital.
  • Young adults consume information differently so there’s a delivery challenge when it comes to education: Studies shows that young adults want their financial education delivered in a 21st Century way. They want it web-based with robust, interactive tools. And unlike their “I’ll do it myself” parents, these emerging adults want help and guidance.
  • Nearly half of Gen Y has below average financial fluency: A study by The National Foundation for Credit Counseling showed that nearly half of this generation did not understand how to save and budget and that 45% of them have no savings!
  • The financial world is geometrically more complex: Part of the reason for the above statistic is due to the fact that financial literacy is not taught in schools as a core life skill.  Young adults often rely on parents who were brought up in “financially simpler” times and aren’t equipped to help. They are also bombarded by so many more unrealistic media images about what “normal” lives are like.

So, what’s the solution?

If you or someone you love is a Gen X or Gen Y-er… encourage them to self-educate.  Here are five of my favorite personal finance sites – all of which I’ve either written for or read regularly myself:

What about you – any additional resources to recommend to Gen X & Gen Y?

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Manisha Thakor

From Manisha's linkedin profile page:

Manisha Thakor is the Director of Wealth Strategies for Women at Buckingham Strategic Wealth and The BAM Alliance. 

Manisha and her colleagues provide both evidence-based wealth advisory services for high-net-worth households and core asset management solutions for women and families nationwide with $80,000 or more in investible assets. 

An ardent financial literacy advocate for women, Manisha is the co-author of two critically acclaimed personal finance books: ON MY OWN TWO FEET: a modern girl’s guide to personal finance and GET FINANCIALLY NAKED: how to talk money with your honey. She is on Faculty at The Omega Institute and serves as a Financial Fellow at Wellesley College. Manisha is also a member of The Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Experts Panel, a member of the 2015 CNBC Financial Advisor’s Council, and wearing her financial educator’s hat serves as a part of TIAA-CREF’s Women’s Initiative. 

Manisha's financial advice has been featured in a wide range of national media outlets including CNN, PBS, NPR, The Today Show, Rachel Ray, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The LA Times, Real Simple, Women’s Day, Glamour, Essence, and MORE magazine.

Prior to joining the Buckingham team, Manisha spent over twenty years working in financial services. On the institutional side she worked as an analyst, portfolio manager and client relations executive at SG Warburg, Atalanta/Sosnoff Capital, Fayez Sarofim & Co., and Sands Capital Management. After this she moved to the retail side and ran her own independent registered investment advisory firm, MoneyZen Wealth Management. 

Manisha earned her MBA from Harvard Business School in 1997, her BA from Wellesley College in 1992 and is a CFA charterholder. She lives in Portland, OR where she delights in the amazing Third Wave coffee scene and stunning natural beauty of the Pacific NorthWest. Manisha’s website is MoneyZen.com.