By Suzanne Woolley
More than half of young workers in the US don’t expect to do as well financially as their parents, according to a new survey.
Many young adults started their careers carrying student debt, and they’ve been hit hard by high housing costs and inflation. Many feel they’ll never be able to buy a home as high mortgage rates combine with scarce inventory of available listings to push affordability out of reach.
Rather than saving for a down payment, 42% of adults between the ages of 24 and 35 “generally agreed” that they live paycheck-to-paycheck, according to the survey released Thursday by the TIAA Institute and the AgingWell Hub at Georgetown University.
For respondents making less than $50,000, a full 60% said they didn’t expect to “do as well financially as my parents,” compared with 34% of workers making more than $100,000.
When young adults were asked about where they anticipated their retirement income would come from, personal savings (56%) and retirement plan savings (51%) topped the list, and Social Security was third (38%).
The survey analyzed financial attitudes and behaviors across gender, age, household income and race. It found that a higher percentage of Black and Hispanic/Latino young adults saved on a regular basis, at 33% and 36%, respectively, compared with 29% for White workers.
The survey found a significant YOLO contingent among young adults. When asked if “thinking about global challenges makes me just want to live for today” 48% identified with that statement. Another 42%, however, identified more with the statement that global challenges “makes me want to plan and be prepared for an uncertain future.”
The survey of 1,009 full-time employed Americans was conducted from March 2 to 7.
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