NYLIM Survey Shows Gen X College Savings Focus

October 22, 2002 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - One thing you can say about Generation Xers, apparently, is that they're very much focused on paying their children's college bills, a new survey found.

According to a survey by the MainStay division of New York Life Investment Management LLC (NYLIM), nearly nine in 10 Gen Xers worry about how to pay for college and nearly half report they’re saving more for higher education than their parents did.

The majority of GenXers (58%) are very/extremely concerned about saving for their children’s education. Some 26% of the GenXers surveyed believe that education costs will be out of reach when their children are ready for college, the study found.

Higher education bills may sit atop Gen Xers worry list, but 67% of overall respondents and 57% of those with children don’t know about 529 college savings plan.

Most expect to foot college bills themselves, with only 17% expecting any assistance from their parents. According to the survey, current popular savings vehicles include:

  • mutual funds (27%)
  • separate accounts (21%)
  • 529 plans (18%)
  • money market products (12%).

The MainStay GenX survey, completed in May 2002, polled 530 consumers ages 23 to 35 on their investment attitudes, behaviors, objectives and priorities. Research was conducted by an online research firm. Respondents were US residents with investable assets of $50,000 or more.