Debt Overwhelming Millennials, But Most Agree That Future Looks Positive

A new survey conducted by Wells Fargo found that four in 10 millennials say they are “overwhelmed” by their debt.

The survey of more than 1,600 millennials between 22 and 33 years old and 1,500 baby boomers between 49 and 59 years old found that 40 percent of millennials described their debt as overwhelming compared to only 23 percent of baby boomers. Fifty-six percent of millennials reported they were living paycheck to pay check and 45 percent realized they needed to start saving for retirement after the Great Recession, though they hadn’t started.

The debt survey that was released last Tuesday, also found large differences between how men and women view their financial debt and worries. Sixty-one percent of men were reported to be saving compared to only 50 percent of women, therefore a higher number of women reported that they felt overwhelmed by their debt than men.

Karen Wimbish, the director of retail retirement at Wells Fargo, said “millennial women are starting out their working lives making far less than men and, as a consequence, are saving less and feeling less contentment at the start of their work lives.”

Forty-seven percent of the people surveyed said they spent at least half of their monthly paychecks paying off their debts, which included student loan, auto, mortgage, and medical debt. The largest amount of their money went on paying off their credit card debt.

Despite the overall feelings of overwhelming debt woes, millenials seemed optimistic about the future. Seventy-two percent of millennials said they “are confident [they] will be able to save enough to create the lifestyle they want in the future,” and 68 percent reported they thought they would have a better standard of living than their parents.

“The silver lining of the recession that started over five years ago is that a majority of millennials get that saving is a necessity and even equate it with ‘surviving’ tough times.”

Since the Recession, millennials have seen the effect it had on their families lives and do not want to be in the same situation so are racing to climb out of debt. Debts that were once ignored or pushed to the side are now being tackled head on by the millennials who are trying to pay off their debts as soon as possible so that they can start saving for a debt free future.

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