Younger Generation not Backing up Savings Intent with Actions

August 28, 2008 ( - New research from Fidelity indicates that when it comes to saving, Generations X and Y are often conflicted between their intentions and actions.

According to a Fidelity press release, 55% of Gen X and 44% of Gen Y agree that saving for retirement is a goal, but nearly the same number (51% among both generations) indicate other financial priorities prevent them from saving for retirement. Managing everyday finances, making mortgage payments, and managing credit card debt all rank higher than retirement saving as crucial goals for both generations. For Gen Y, making car payments, paying off school loans, and saving for a home also ranked higher.

Around half of each generation indicated that a workplace retirement plan is their number one tool for savings outside of their banking account (54% Gen X, 46% Gen Y), yet four out of 10 are cashing out assets from their workplace savings plan when changing jobs.

More than half (57%) of Gen Y and almost two-thirds (62%) of Gen X could not say they were making solid financial decisions, yet nearly one in five do not turn to any resource for financial advice. For those who do seek financial help and guidance, parents are the number one resource (43% Gen Y, 28% Gen X).

When changing jobs, 41% did not seek any guidance regarding their workplace retirement assets, the press release said. Of this group, 56% cashed out of their workplace savings plans.

Other research findings include:

  • Nearly eight out of ten respondents (77% of Gen X, 74% of Gen Y) named money as their biggest concern; however, money does not drive their career choices. Both Gen X and Y agree that career decisions are primarily driven by their quest for work/life balance (70% Gen Y, 63% Gen X).
  • 72% percent of Gen X and 78% of Gen Y state that being able to do all banking online is important to them. Almost half (49%) report they spend at least one hour a week paying bills or banking online, compared to 39% who report spending at least one hour a week on social network cites and 14% who blog. However, 87% of both generations say it is important to still have a local bank branch to depend on.

Another recent survey also found that younger generations say they have lofty financial values and goals, their actions do not yet match their words (See Actions Speak Louder than Words ).