The Ameriprise Financial Money Across Generations study found the children of boomers are much more reluctant to part with their money than the older generations, the company said in a press release. The adult children of boomers expressed the lowest level of confidence that now is a good time to purchase. More than one third (36%) said “now is a good time to wait” before buying, compared to 28% of both boomers and parents of boomers. The adult children of boomers were also the most likely to strongly agree with the statement, “I don’t like to be in debt at any time” (80% compared to 68% of baby boomers).
The survey also found Gen-Xers showed a lack of confidence in their own money management skills, the announcement said. When asked, “Do you think your generation, your parents’ generation, or your grandparents’ generation has the best money management skills?” only 15% of the adult children of boomers said their own generation had the best money management skills. Almost a third (31%) of Gen-Xers said their parents’ generation had the best money management skills, and 53% said the boomers’ parents’ generation is the best at handling money.
Despite the high levels of concern and lack of confidence about money, the adult children of boomers are the most optimistic generation about their financial futures. Forty-six percent of the adult children of boomers said they are very optimistic about their personal financial future, compared to 39% of boomers and 28% of the boomers’ parents’ generation. Additionally, 48% of the adult children of boomers said they are very confident in their ability to reach all of their financial goals over time, while only 36% of boomers and 34% of boomers’ parents indicated they feel the same way.
For four of six key financial goals, the adult children of boomers were most likely to say the goal is very important:
- Eighty-seven percent of the adult children of boomers said it is very important to them now, at this stage in their life, to assure a financially secure life (compared to 80% of boomers and 62% of boomers’ parents).
- Seventy-two percent of adult children of boomers said it is very important to them to substantially help their children or grandchildren pay for education (compared to 50% of boomers and 38% of boomers’ parents).
- Twice as many adult children of boomers (60%) said that it is very important to them to preserve wealth to leave to their children as did boomers (31%). Twenty-three percent of boomers’ parents said it is very important to preserve wealth to leave to their children.
- Over half of adult children of boomers (51%) said it is very important that they help assure a financially secure life for their parents (compared to 28% of boomers).
Ameriprise Financial launched the national study in April and May 2007. Telephone interviews were conducted among 1,001 affluent baby boomers (those with $100,000 or more in investable assets); 300 parents of baby boomers; and 301 children of baby boomers at least 18 years old.
Copies of the study report are available at ameriprise.com/presscenter .
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