Even Boomers Agree: It's Tough to Get Ahead If You're Young

Even Boomers Agree: It's Tough to Get Ahead If You're Young

When it comes to money, different generations don’t always align. But there's one point on which all ages can agree: young people face an uphill battle.

A new poll from Heartland Monitor surveyed attitudes across generations, dividing participants into two broad groups: The "younger" cohort included those ages 18 to 24, as well as 25 to 29 year olds who self-identified as still starting out. “Older” respondents were those ages 30+ and 25 to 29 year olds who considered themselves to no longer be starting out.

Overall, the survey found that that 68% of younger respondents and 80% of older respondents believe that it's tougher for Millennials to “get started” than it was for generations past.


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Both groups feel that it's more challenging for today’s young people to support a family, find affordable housing, and manage personal finances and debt. The biggest difficulty? Landing a well-paying, steady job—with about 8 in 10 of all respondents agreeing that it’s become harder.

These perceptions suggest tuition costs and student loan rates are taking a toll. Indeed, the study showed that the 45% of younger people with student debt are markedly more pessimistic about the future than the other 55%.

Despite a bleak financial forecast, the survey also revealed surprisingly sunny attitudes among Millennials. Compared to their older counterparts, younger people were more likely to feel optimistic and self-confident.

While older participants named the economy or government policy as main determinants for Millennials’ opportunities, about 66% of younger participants picked “educational background” or “own skills and hard work” as the primary factors in determining future success.

If you’re feeling less-than-stellar about launching your own career, bring your job search into the 21st century with these 9 LinkedIn Super Secrets.


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