The world has changed a lot in the past few decades. With that change comes a lot of positives, but it also means that the younger generations face new and difficult problems that haven’t been dealt with in the past. We’ve collected a few of them here to share with you.
Student loan debt has tripled over the past 15 years, as college tuitions increase dramatically and wages stagnate. This is a problem that primarily millennials face, each owing an average of $30,000 in student loans. However, as more and more Gen Zers go to college, they will likely take on the same burden, as circumstances around student loans like expensive tuition and living expenses will have stayed the same or increased.
This student loan debt can heavily affect the futures of those who borrow. Of those who took on student loan debt for college or university, 74% of Gen Zers and 68% of millennials had to delay a major financial decision– buying a house or car, starting a family, paying off other debt, and saving for retirement and emergencies– in favor of paying off their student debt.
High Housing Prices
Over the past 20 years, housing prices have increased greatly, with most markets having a 50-100% increase in price. That figure continues to increase with inflation, and this problem widely affects the younger generations. Even higher-earning millennials are renting and not buying, and Gen Z have also been hit particularly hard, with rent prices going up 16% for them (in comparison to 3% for Baby Boomers).
Saving for retirement
As mentioned, the many financial issues that younger generations face affect their ability to save for retirement. Because of this, many feel pessimistic about having enough money for retirement, especially because they don’t feel like they can depend on pensions the way that older generations have. 72% of millennials are worried about their retirement. Many are saving a substantial amount, but as they don’t have pensions, they’re instead using 401(k)s, which have higher fees and aren’t meant to carry the full weight of retirement.
Building a credit score.
The younger generations, on average, have lower credit scores than older people, with Gen Z having an average score of 674, millennials 680, Gen X 699, Baby Boomers 736, and the Silent Generation 758. This may be partially due to the fact that length of credit history is an important factor in determining credit score, and so younger people are already at a disadvantage. Plus, having a low credit score can make insurance rates, credit card interest, and other products more expensive. Building credit can be hard, especially because your rent and utilities payments will not be reported to credit bureaus– only mortgage payments. Because younger generations can’t afford houses right now, they’ve lost a good avenue for building credit.
However, there are ways in which you can get your essential bill payments reported to credit bureaus. One service you can use is NeonForLife, which allows you to split your essential bills in installments in order to spread them out, and then reports your payments to Experian Credit Bureau, helping you build your credit score while also making bill-paying more manageable. You can even put your bills on Autopay, taking a lot of stress off of your shoulders.
Images by Pavel Nekoranec on Unsplash, Siora Photography on Unsplash, and Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash (in that order).