Eighty-three percent of affluent Millennials expect their personal financial situation to be stronger in a year.
The Census Bureau made it official last month: Millennials have overtaken Baby Boomers as the largest generation in history thus far. There are now 83.1 million of them, and they comprise more than one quarter of the nation’s population. There are a mere 75.4 million Baby Boomers.
Of these, there are 15.5 million affluent Millennials, according to a new LinkedIn demographic study that weights their present and future impact on the U.S. economy. As consumers who now spend $2 trillion annually, that impact is and will be sizeable.
Millennials have been tagged as a generation that is self-absorbed, entitled and lazy. The LinkedIn study paints a much different picture. Affluent Millennials, the study, finds are “disciplined and future-oriented.” Seven-in-ten agree that sacrifices they make today will pay off. In comparison, 57 percent of Affluent Gen Xers feel this way.
Lazy? Affluent Millennials are three times as likely as their Gen-X counterparts to have the life goal of establishing a charitable foundation (19 percent vs. 6 percent), while 30 percent are geared toward starting their own business (compared to 11 percent of affluent Gen Xers).
Millennials might also be called Generation D, as in “debt.” Two-thirds of Affluent Millennials, the LinkedIn study finds, have at least one loan that is not a mortgage. This is significantly her than Affluent Gen-Xers. This debt comes in the form of credit cards (67 percent), personal loans (43 percent), student loans (43 percent) and business loans (35 percent).
But affluent Millennials are also saving. Study respondents indicate they set aside a median of 24 percent of each paycheck compared with 18 percent socked away by affluent Gen Xers. Further, they are almost three times as likely to save more than half of their paychecks each month (35 percent vs. 12 percent).
A 2015 Spectrem Group wealth level study of Affluent households with a net worth of at least $100,000 (not including primary residence) finds some concerns but similar optimism in its youngest households.
As with previous generations, more than nine-in-ten consider hard work to be the primary factor in their financial success. Eighty-three percent of those 35 and under expect their personal financial situation to be stronger in a year, compared with 59 percent of respondents overall. Similarly, more than three-fourths (76 percent) report their financial situation is better than it was in 2014, compared with 61 percent of affluent respondents overall.
Far from self-professed know-it-alls, Millennials were the demographic most likely to self-report they are not very knowledgeable about financial products and investments (38 percent vs. 27 percent of Gen Xers). In turn, they were most likely to express concern about getting adequate help and advice to reach their financial goals (37 percent vs. 30 percent of affluent respondents overall).