Data and Research

Millennials Select Financial Security as Top Priority

A survey finds Millennials are more concerned with financial security over their smartphones, vacation time or cars. 

By Amanda Umpierrez editors@plansponsor.com | June 19, 2017

Being born and raised in the 1980s and 90s—when technological advances commenced—would inherently turn Millennials into tech addicts, engrossed in the habitual use of smartphones and social media. Right?

Not so, according to a study by Voya Financial’s Annuities and Individual Life business, which revealed Millennials are more concerned about their financial security rather than the latest Facebook update. In fact, 56% of Millennials surveyed said they would opt to save their financial security over smartphones, cars or vacations. Even more surprising, Baby Boomers were found to be more attached to their smartphones than Millennials, with 50% selecting financial security over phones, cars and vacation time. Furthermore, 20% of Boomers chose to keep their smartphone over financial security, while 15% of Millennials and 14% of Gen Xers selected their gadgets as well.

While the majority (53%) of Americans prioritize financial security, on average, 45% of Americans preferred the latest phones, vehicles or retreats over their financial security, according to the survey. Individually, 16% of Americans would keep their smartphones instead; while 15% would stick with vacations; and 14% would favor their cars over financial safety.

"We understand no one wants to sacrifice modern conveniences like our smartphones and cars to plan for retirement. Fortunately, this is where closely working with a financial professional can help every generation create a holistic plan that works for their lifestyle today, while also preparing them for tomorrow," says Carolyn Johnson, CEO of Annuities and Individual Life at Voya Financial. "A financial professional can suggest solutions to help all Americans see financial security could be within their reach."

Gen Xers, who are slowly nearing retirement, were the least likely to abandon vacations for financial security, with 20% selecting time off over savings. Boomers came in second, with 14% selecting vacation time, and Millennials at 13%.

The survey included gender differences as well, and found men are more attached to technology than women, with 21% less willing to hand over their smartphones, even if that meant losing financial security. Only 12% of women, on the other hand, would rather utilize their tech devices, and 51% were less disposed to yield financial security than men (56%).

"We all value the things that make our lives easier, more productive and give us joy — like spending vacation time with family and friends," says Johnson. "And while the goal of achieving financial security may feel daunting or perhaps even unreachable, Americans recognize its importance. The good news is — with some planning and guidance from the right resource — protecting our families, our income and our financial future is something we can all achieve."

More information about survey findings can be found here.

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