Troubled Finances of the Young and Restless

Fidelity looks into the minds, pocketbooks of generations X and Y.


Generations X and Y will represent 60 percent of the U.S. workforce by 2010. When it comes to money, a recent Fidelity survey found, both generations are—surprise!—conflicted. To me, it's interesting that Fido's definition of a gen X-er is someone born between 1967 and 1975; gen Y includes anyone born between 1976 and 1987. That means I hail from generation Y—yikes.

Here are a few take-aways from Fidelity's survey:

Money keeps us up at night. Nearly 8 out of 10 respondents said money is their biggest concern. It ranks higher than both family relationships and healthcare.

Dollars don't drive our career choices: Our job-related decisions are mainly influenced by a "quest for work/life balance," the survey found (70 percent gen Y and 63 percent of gen X said this).

Saving for retirement takes a back seat to debt. More than half of respondents said other financial priorities prevent them from saving for their golden years. Managing everyday finances, making mortgage payments, and managing credit-card debt all rank higher as crucial goals, Fidelity found.

We rely on mom and dad for financial advice. Parents are the No. 1 resource for guidance on our finances, although nearly 1 in 5 of us don't ask for advice, period.

Many of us are cashing out of our retirement plans. When changing jobs, 41 percent of respondents didn't seek any guidance regarding their workplace retirement assets. Of those, more than half cashed out of their retirement savings plans, Fidelity found.