Millennials are a unique generation in that they never lived in a time when computers, cell phones and other now-common technologies were not present. In addition, many experienced considerable financial hardships as a result of the most recent major recession, or they knew people who were hit hard. These are only a few reasons why they have a unique perspective on the world, and this worldview relates to how they spend, save and invest their money.
Millennials Spend Frivolously Yet Save Regularly
Compared to older generations, millennials generally spend more money on many large line items in a typical budget, including groceries, gas and eating out. They likewise spend more money on cellphone service, but they spend less on cable TV and Internet service. In addition, they may be more likely to have large student loan balances because of the rising cost of a college education. Despite these facts, some studies and surveys indicate that many millennials are focused on saving regularly and heavily.
A Focus on Financial Security
One survey from Bank of America indicated that one in six adults in this generation had at least $100,000 in savings. This is an age group that spans from 23 years old to 37 years old. Because many of these individuals either experienced severe financial stress during the recent recession or witnessed the recession’s effects firsthand, the rate of savings by millennials indicates that these individuals are financially conservative overall and are focused on bolstering their security to prevent future hardship. In fact, they may be more likely to have a reasonable emergency fund than some older generations. One reason why millennials may have a sizable nest egg earlier than previous generations on average is because they are starting to save and invest much earlier.
A Need for Estate Planning
While many millennials are finding a way to save and invest a considerable amount of money earlier in life, they often overlook the importance of estate planning (UpChurch Law has a great piece on that). Some younger adults do not feel as though estate planning is necessary at their relatively young age. Others may not believe that they have enough assets to worry about taking this step. In reality, there are many reasons why millennials should be protecting their assets through estate planning. Estate planning helps you to prepare for the possibility of serious accidents or debilitating injuries. In addition to planning for unexpected injuries and illnesses, it also helps you to plan for the possibility of a very early death in your young adult years. It protects you against financial loss if you are in a serious long-term relationship with someone who you are not legally married to. It also covers all assets rather than liquid assets.
Many millennials are understandably focused on improving their financial security and planning for the future, but they often fail to think through all possible scenarios. Through estate planning, millennials can better prepare themselves for serious issues that may arise going forward. Because of how important estate planning is, it makes sense to seek a consultation soon as a first step.