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Millennials saving more but still feel behind

Managing finances can be a tricky balancing act for the young adults employed by your organization. Our 2020 Better Money Habits Millennial Report, which explores the money mindset of today’s young adults ages 24-41, reveals that while millennials are doing a good job saving for the future, they are torn between competing financial priorities, and stressed because they feel they may not be doing enough.

The good news: Nearly 1 in 4 millennials who are saving have $100,000 or more set aside—an increase of 8% from 2018. However, the report also shows that they still feel financially behind compared to their peers, and are juggling substantial debt.

Highlights from the report include:

  • More millennials are saving, with retirement as the top priority

    73% of millennials are saving for life milestones and future goals, a 10 percentage point increase compared to 2018. 75% are saving for retirement. 51% are building an emergency fund.
  • Millennials are practicing positive money habits

    Over the past year: 39% boosted their credit scores, 29% secured raises and 24% put away more toward their retirements.
  • Millennials started building their nest eggs on average earlier than older generations

    Millennials saving for retirement started building their nest eggs at 24 years old, on average―earlier than Gen X (30) and Baby Boomers (33).
  • Despite their financial progress, many millennials feel behind

    51% feel behind in their overall financial situation. 33% believe their peers are better off financially. 73% are not optimistic about their financial future.
  • The impact of debt

    76% percent of millennials carry debt of some kind, with 16% owing $50,000 or more, excluding home loans. Of those with debt, 76% say they can’t achieve their personal and financial goals because of it.
  • Millennials are willing to make trade-offs to stay on track

    Still, 90% of millennials are willing to make sacrifices to achieve a financial goal, including cutting back on dining out (70%) and eliminating vacations (35%).

Key takeaways

Download the complete report to learn more.

Take full advantage of our broad financial wellness resources to help educate your employees on positive financial behaviors. Talk with your Bank of America representative about financial wellness strategies.

Review our Financial Wellness Calendar and Employee Financial Education Resources portal to explore available educational materials.

Encourage your employees to access the Benefits OnLine® Education Center, a resource that offers a simple way to connect with relevant education, tools and guidance around topics like budgeting, saving, managing debt, homeownership, retirement and more.

Report methodology: Bank of America commissioned a survey of 1,903 respondents, ages 18-73 years old, to explore their views on personal financial matters. The survey was conducted online in English and Spanish during the period of September 12–September 22, 2019. This survey was conducted using the Ipsos KnowledgePanel®, a probability-based online panel designed to be representative of the U.S. population. Panelists are scientifically recruited into this invitation only panel via postal mailings to a random selection of residential addresses. To ensure that non-internet households are included, Ipsos provides a tablet and ISP connection to those who need them. Because of this probability-based sampling approach, KnowledgePanel findings can be reported with a margin of sampling error and projected to the general population. The margin of sampling error for national data is +/- 2.6 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

For the purposes of this report, millennials were defined as ages 24-41, with younger millennials ages 24-30 and older millennials ages 31-41, Generation X ages 42-54 and baby boomers ages 55-73.