The economic collapse has hurt everyone unless you’re in Washington or on Wall Street. One particular group that seems to have the most troubles now and in the future is the millennial generation (those born between 1980 and 2000). Studies, articles and reports consistently cite how millennials can’t find work, have worthless degrees and are deeply in debt.
Two new surveys depict just how bad millennials and new college graduates have it: one study found that millennials are relying on their parents for money to cover their daily needs, while a second poll discovered how debt levels are “overwhelming.”
According to research from the University of Arizona, which tracked more than 1,000 students over a six-year period from when they entered college in 2007 and left in 2013, half of college graduates are depending on their parents or other family members for financial assistance.
Fewer than half of the millennials say they work full-time and close to half of those respondents say they still rely on their family for monetary support. Of course, it could be their fault as they have chosen idealistic career objectives rather than employment opportunities that meet their financial needs, the study authors say.
The least important factor for these millennials is working at a company that offers a 401(k) program.
With a paucity of funds and a lack of employment prospects, many are postponing marriage, having children and acquiring home, whether or not they rely on their family for each expense or some help for minor costs. Only less than one-third said they are entirely self-sufficient two years after college.
“These people started college during the boom period, then the market fell apart and they came out of college into a very different environment,” said Ted Beck, president of the National Endowment for Financial Education, in an interview with CNNMoney. “There’s been a deferral of those things we would traditionally think people would start to do at this age. People are not willing to make those commitments until they’re on more solid ground.”
Meanwhile, a Wells Fargo survey conducted by Harris Poll found that 40 percent of millennials have debt levels that are described as “overwhelming” and this is their biggest financial concern right now. In addition, more than half (56 percent) are living paycheck to paycheck.
Nearly half (47 percent) of the millennial survey participants are allocating at least 50 percent of their incomes to different kinds of debt. The categories included credit card debt (16 percent), mortgage debt (15 percent), student loan debt (12 percent), auto debt (nine percent) and medical debt (five percent).
However, what might be labeled as a quandary, 80 percent of them say the Great Recession taught them that they have to save now for any future unforeseen event, rainy day or their retirement needs.
“People have to closely examine what they are spending their money on and figure out the best way to comfortably manage debt and savings levels,” states Karen Wimbish, director of Retail Retirement at Wells Fargo, in a statement.