Gen Y women are putting marriage and starting a family on hold to get their own financial houses in order, according to a new cross-generational survey of 900 Australian women.
More than half (53 percent) of Millennial women—generally in their 20s and early 30s--said that financial pressures were compelling them to delay starting a family, compared to 30 percent of Gen Xers. Fifty-six percent said that the financial security of their partner is an important factor in deciding when to get married. Forty percent of Gen Xers—those in their 30s and mid-40s—share this attitude vs. 24 percent of baby boomers.
Contrary to how this generation is often portrayed by the media, Gen Y respondents to the Westbrook survey exhibited more conservative attitudes toward saving and spending. More than a third (35 percent) save 11 percent more of their monthly, compared to 24 percent of boomers and 23 percent of Gen X (18 percent of Millennial women save 20 percent of their income each month).
More than a third (36 percent) said they would not get married until they had saved enough money to afford the nuptials they want.
Millennials are also, at this stage of their lives, more career-minded, the survey found. Fifty-three percent (compared with 27 percent of Gen X) said they would return to work following the birth of a child to maintain their career track, while 58 percent said they would like to progress to the top of their profession.
Preparedness and preparation are key to a secure financial future, and financial advisors can play a key role in achieving financial goals, noted Larke Riemer, Westpac Director of Women’s Markets in a statement. “It is important that women feel empowered to make the best financial decisions at each stage in their lives. Our research shows that 49 percent of Gen Ys seek financial advice from friends and family first, which means they may not take the important step of seeking professional financial advice.”
Riemer also emphasized that it is never too late to set and save toward realistic goals. Sixty-one percent of Gen X, for example, said that they wished that had started earlier to save for a home, while 44 percent said they wished they had done something different with their retirement plans.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.