Bob Brooks’ Prudent Money: “Is There Hope for Our Financial Future?”

June 14, 2017

Is There Hope for Our Financial Future?
by Bob Brooks
originally posted on:

It is important to see how younger generations are approaching money.  Without question, we need to see the younger generations shift in the way they handle financial responsibility.  Let’s face it – Generation X and to an extent the Baby Boomer generation are not doing so hot.

I write about Millennials and how they might be the most financially responsible because of their attitudes towards debt and that they have the highest savings rate. Of course, this survey on why their saving (which is not for retirement) is a little troubling.

Next up is Generation Z. Researchers don’t agree on when the Generation Z begins. The consensus is birth years between the mid 90’s to 2000 might offer the most hope for a shift in financial responsibility. The College Savings Foundation just released their eight-annual survey on how high school students decide and fund college. Apparently, this generation is tackling the high cost of college intentionally and responsibly and serious about how college is paid for.

Here are the results:

— How it can help their careers: 69% say career plans affect their school choice

— What are the costs: 79% say that costs are a factor on which college to attend; and 39% said it changed their direction (40% to community college) *

— Avoiding debt:  only 11% said they would take on debt (down from 20% last year).  Including those who would “possibly” take on student loan debt, the number also dropped to 63% from 71%

— Saving. 60% of students are saving – with nearly half having saved between $1,000 – $5,000 and over one quarter more than $5,000 22% of them are saving primarily in 529s. 60% of their parents are also saving with 32% primarily in 529s.

NOTE – that is more in savings than the majority of adults have saved.

— Jobs.  54% have already gotten jobs to earn money for higher education; and 85% said they would work during college – with 20% planning to work full-time.

— Changing course due to costs*. 39% of students said that costs had caused them to change their higher education paths.  Of those, here is how they changed course:

  • 41% said they were now planning to attend a state school
  • 40% said they are attending a community college
  • 9 percent will be attending a vocational or career school
  • 7 percent indicated that they will be working instead of attending school

Now compare that to my generation, generation X which is a financial train wreck.  We never put that much thought into selecting a college.  After all, we were “entitled” to get that college. education and lifestyle or should I say lifestyle and maybe a college education.

So, there is hope in our financial future after all!