Millennials in crisis? Survey says COVID pandemic and recession are creating bleak economic outlook for an entire generation

Lando Aviles /

With many of their best earnings years marred by recessions and an ongoing pandemic, millennials are burnt out — and their outlook on short- and long-term finances is far from optimistic, according to a new survey. Indeed, 45% of millennials surveyed said that because of their financial situation, they feel like they will never get what they want in life.

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Morning Consult’s survey, “The State of Consumer Banking and Payments,” shows that millennials experienced both an unprecedented recession and a unique pandemic in some of their early career years, but not all met the same fate.

Mark Pinto, chairman of Harbourfront Wealth Management, told GOBankingRates that from a societal perspective, millennials are in a unique position, stuck between radically different fundamentals compared to baby boomers and Gen Z. As such, Pinto said they experience a wide-ranging disparity in terms of financial goals as they are tasked with staying attuned to economic and information-based changes such as the proliferation of the internet and the birth of cryptocurrencies.

“If we look at baby boomers, this cohort hasn’t used the internet in the same way to learn about finances and when we look at Gen Z, they have a radically different approach to work ethic and While millennials are burdened with too many choices, factors such as affordability and living conditions remain barriers,” Pinto said.

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The survey finds that 30% of millennials say they are “completely” concerned that “the money I have or will save won’t last,” while 22% say they are “very” concerned. Additionally, 24% of millennials say their finances “always” control their lives, while 22% say they do so often. And 21% of them say they are “always” behind on their finances, while 17% say they are “often” behind on them.

Moreover, with “financial well-being” scores below 45, millennials in rural areas – or low-income, or both – are significantly worse off than millennial men (broadly defined, as category), millennials in urban areas and millennials with higher incomes, all of whom score several points higher, the survey notes. As for millennial women, they are only slightly above this threshold, with an average score of 45.19.

Chris Motola, financial analyst for Merchant Maverick, told GOBankingRates that “it is safe to say that after several recessions and a global pandemic, millennials in most of the world have experienced considerable headwinds when it comes to is about achieving financial stability. Even so, generations can be kind of a clumsy way of looking at the issues they face.

Motola added that the millennium results have a lot to do with being in the right place at the right time, with rural workers – especially women – finding it harder to find financial stability.

“Although still a long way from retirement, many millennials will need policies and services to help them manage their situation of circumstantial disadvantage,” he added.

The survey also notes that while millennials are more likely to report working toward any financial goal than the general population, their main goals are not long-term.

Learn: Looming recession? Decline in consumer sentiment is a strong indicator of economic slowdown
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Instead, they are the ones that would help improve their immediate financial well-being, according to the survey.

Millennials’ priorities include establishing an emergency fund (89%), creating and maintaining a budget (89%), and harmonizing their spending from month to month (87%). %).

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About the Author

Yael Bizouati-Kennedy is a former full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She has also worked as a VP/Senior Content Writer for major New York-based financial firms, including New York Life and MSCI. Yael is now independent and most recently co-authored the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare”, with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in journalism from New York University and one in Russian studies from Toulouse-Jean Jaurès University, France.

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