What Would You Do?

Generational Investing


This is an interesting time in the world of finance.  We have volatility back trying to make up for lost time, talk of trade wars, virtual currencies, tax reform and countless others.  Most articles nowadays are either overly negative, beating a dead horse or just fluff designed to grab your attention. So, as you can imagine looking for Weekend Word topics of late has been challenging to say the least.  In my attempts to find a topic for this week I stumbled across a very interesting chart that I thought was worth sharing.

A recent study by LendEDU polled 1,000 Americans of the three most recent generations (Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers) on what they would do if they were to come into $10,000 tax free.  Visual Capitalist then took the data and created the chart you see here.

I don’t want to delve into the data too much because it generally speaks for itself, but what really stands out to me is the focusing of priorities as we age.  Baby boomers are focused on retirement, using their funds to eliminate debt, contribute to 401(k)s or savings accounts.  As the participants get younger the focus is similar, but Gen Xers are focused on their children’s education.  Lastly, we have the Millennials who are all over the place.  The common ground for all generations is debt and the desire to pay it down.

One of the big negatives we’ve seen from an economic standpoint for the past few years is growing debt in the form of student loans and credit cards. As planners, we run into issues when statistics and people’s priorities don’t line up, like what we see with retirement savings. This chart gives us a little hope that people are seeing through the noise and prioritizing paying down their debt and getting themselves in a better financial situation for the future.