It’s a great time to be a boomer – DIGIWIZ CENTRAL

It’s a great time to be a boomer

Boomers are thriving financially.

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Boomers have seen their financial well-being grow over the past year.Millennials’ financial well-being plummeted, and they’re worried they won’t get what they want in life.It shows yet again how millennials face an uphill economic battle that boomers don’t.

If you’re wondering who’s feeling good in this economy, it’s boomers — and definitely not millennials.

It’s yet another blow for the economy’s most recession-battered generation, and illustrates the unique bind that millennials are in.

According to Morning Consult’s latest iteration of its financial well-being index — which tracks how much security and freedom of choice respondents have, based on their financial situation — baby boomers are doing well. Their financial well-being score has risen by 4.04 from August 2022 to August 2023, compared to a .93 jump for all US adults. A one-point jump is associated with things like incomes increasing by $15,000 or a credit score going up by 20 points, according to Morning Consult — and that happened four-fold for boomers.

At the same time, though, millennials in particular are experiencing the opposite. Over the last year, their financial well-being has tumbled by .94 — the biggest decline across all age groups.

It’s yet another example of how millennials and boomers are having very different experiences in today’s economy, especially in the post-2020 era. The pandemic led to a boom-bust cycle of spending that for some — especially older Americans who had already established savings and owned property — meant a greater nest egg and stability. For younger generations, it meant piling debt and uncertainty.

You can chalk some of that current dreary financial well-being up to millennials’ life stage, according to Jaime Toplin, a financial services analyst at Morning Consult, who said it’s a bit of a “double-edged sword.”

“Millennials are a little bit more grown up than they were. They are in the middle of their peak earning years. They have families, they’re starting to own homes. Those are all good things,” she said.

On the other hand, life expenses might be piling up for millennials, especially with the return of student loan payments, Toplin said. About 26% of millennials hold educational debt, according to Morning Consult’s polling, compared to around 5% of boomers. And, as the well-being index reflects how consumers are feeling about their finances, millennials are not feeling so rosy.

Almost half of millennials said that, because of their money situation, they feel they’ll never have the things they want in life — a 4% increase from the previous year. That’s compared to 38% of all adults. Meanwhile, 55% of millennials reported that they were concerned that the money they have or plan to save won’t last; that’s a 3% increase from the past year, and 9% more than all adults.

That’s not to say that millennials are in entirely dire financial straits. The median net worth of Americans ages 35 to 44 was $135,300 in 2022, according to the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances, up from $105,610 in 2019.

But Americans ages 35 to 44 are also carrying the most debt out of any age group, per SCF, holding a median of $140,400 in debt each. According to Morning Consult, around 43% of millennials held credit card debt, compared to around 36% of baby boomers.

At the same time, boomers are “consistently doing much better than other generations,” Toplin said. They’re financially established, have a nice cushion of savings, and many don’t have to fret about saving for retirement anymore as they approach that milestone. They’re also benefiting from high interest rates on their retirement investments and rising home values. As the economy cools a little, and job prospects potentially slow down, boomers are once again set to thrive.

“That makes them in a really unique position to weather the storm, because the fact that they’re much more entrenched, they’re much more established, they’re much more secure financially — it’s translating into stronger sentiments about their own financial wellbeing,” Toplin said. “Whereas with millennials, they have a lot more on their plate to worry about.”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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