While Millennials are busy sharing rides, workspaces, and Snapchats, they’re also facing increasingly difficult financial situations, according to the Stanford Center on Longevity.
The Millennial situation
The Sightlines Project from the Stanford Center on Longevity shows that two-thirds of Millennials (ages 25 to 34) are in debt. Nearly a third of Americans under 35 carry debt that’s more than 20% of their household income. (In 2016 the average credit card debt for Americans 35 and under was $5,808, according to the consumer website ValuePenguin.) And among all college graduates, 25 to 34 years old, student debt has risen fivefold since 1995 to just under $24,000, according to the Stanford Center on Longevity.
Millennials are delaying home purchases and retirement plans in order to make their monthly loan payments. That could mean reduced assets when they’re ready to retire, the report says.
But there’s hope.
What can Millennials do?
- Start immediately. Start yesterday.
- Seek financial guidance from accredited professionals who can help you build your long-term wealth. Speak to people you trust—parents, teachers, bosses, or coworkers to help you find someone to work with.
- Look for apps that can help you to start saving or investing your money. The Acorns app allows you to grow your personal wealth by investing your spare change.
- If your employer offers retirement plans like a 401(k), take advantage of every plan you reasonably can. Some employers even match at least some of your contributions. That’s free money you won’t get anywhere else.
A healthy long-term financial strategy is only as good as the health of its owner. A healthy lifestyle not only supports years of happiness in financial security but can also add to an individual’s personal wealth.
So how are Millennials faring when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle? Not well, according to Life Planning in the Age of Longevity: Insights for Millennials from the Stanford Center on Longevity.
Obesity and sedentary behavior are on the rise. About 42% of Millennials don’t exercise enough, according to the Stanford Center on Longevity. And when we say enough, we mean at least 150 minutes of exercise per week. Roughly 40% don’t get enough sleep (seven hours per night recommended), and almost 75% don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables (five servings a day).
Those who lead healthy, risk-averse lives stand a good chance to see the age of 90 or even 100. Consider this when you think about retiring at age 65. You need to plan for 25-35 years of retirement time, making long-term financial security even more important.
Combining early financial preparation and a healthy lifestyle with high amounts of social engagement to create a stew of good behaviors, will allow for a greater chance at happiness later in life.
Early financial preparation can help turn around the difficult financial situation that many Millennials have inherited. Especially when paired with a healthy lifestyle and social connectedness. Get started by becoming involved in the conversation on our Savings and Retirement discussion board.
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