I noticed a piece in the October issue of Employee Benefit Adviser, one of the many professional journals I read in order to provide the most current advice to my Indiana bankruptcy clients, called “Gen X and Y Fret Much, Save Little.” The article described a survey showing that Americans aged 19 – 39 are too concerned about paying bills and keeping their jobs to pay much mind to saving for their future. 50% of the Gen X/Y’ers responding to the survey said other financial priorities kept them from saving.
In addition, a Fidelity Consulting Group officer remarked, “Younger generations are more likely to use credit than to save for purchases, which results in an ongoing struggle with debt management.”
After more than two decades of practice as a consumer bankruptcy specialist, I tend to be somewhat less critical of younger Americans. I’ve found that, while debt often prevents savings in older generation people, debt presents a special challenge for my younger bankruptcy clients. The less well-educated tend to have lower incomes and, to a large extent, less job security. College-educated younger workers who come to see me about their debt problems often struggle with substantial student loan debt in addition to their overall financial concerns.
College educated or not, Gen X/Y, I find, lack basic money management training.
In my earlier bankruptcy blog, Bankruptcy And Being A better Father, I explained that the bankruptcy system was never meant to solve everyone’s problems. In fact, the more folks can rise to the challenges they face without filing bankruptcy, the more help and resources will be available for those truly in need of relief.
In The Good New Days, I was very emphatic about the fact that the problems and pressures that bring people to one of my four bankruptcy law offices around the state of Indiana very often have little to do with overspending on luxuries. In fact, today’s financial anxieties are focused on housing health, and education, and there has been an enormous rise in the cost of each one of these. Job instability, a function of our struggling U.S. economy, is the reason for much of Gen X and Gen Y’s lack of savings. According to one source, 45% of employees are forced to dip into their retirement plans – before retirement – just to get by!
Let’s face it – there’s no age discrimination in debt problems or bankruptcy!