Difficulties in Gaining Financial Security for Millennials

Document Type

Issue/Research Brief/Blog

Publication Date



life event barriers, financial education, retirement


Across all generations, there is agreement that Millennials have a more difficult path to becoming financially established than others. This Society of Actuaries (SOA) report provides details on their concerns and responses to their financial situation compared to the four older generations: Gen X, Late Boomers, Early Boomers and the Silent Generation.

Millennials are not yet established in terms of home ownership and freedom from student debt and are worried about their financial future. Concerns around retirement, particularly regarding the value of their savings and the unknowns of health care expenses, outpace those of earlier generations, leaving Millennials more likely to feel overwhelmed by their financial situation. Millennial women especially feel overwhelmed, a difference prevalent across all generations. Interestingly, despite these difficulties, Millennials are also optimistic and are taking steps to address their financial priorities.

This report is the second in a series that analyzes financial priorities across generations. To gain insight on Millennials, the SOA conducted a survey, with Greenwald & Associates as part of its new Aging and Retirement Strategic Research Program, of 2,001 individuals, including 398 Millennials (ages 20–38), 399 Gen Xers (ages 39–53), 403 Late Boomers (ages 54–63), 401 Early Boomers (ages 64–72) and 400 members of the younger portion of the Silent Generation (ages 73–83). Key financial issues around financial goals, concerns and retirement preparedness are examined.