Drowning In Debt? Read This

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drowning-in-debt-slide op1Illustrated by Julia Stadler.
Here’s one area where Baby Boomers have a leg up over their millennial counterparts: stress over debt.

According to a recent Wells Fargo survey, 42% of people between 22 and 33 said they feel overwhelmed by the amount of debt they carried — nearly twice the rate of those ages 49 to 59 who feel the same way. To help pay down their obligations, 47% of young people are putting at least half of their take-home pay toward tackling the debt.

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What’s their biggest cause of concern? Student loans, with 36% saying it is their top financial worry right now, followed by non-student loans and daily expenses. The good news is that their debt concerns don’t seem to be diminishing the outlooks on their financial futures: The majority of millennials still believe they will have a better standard of living than their parents.

The younger generation also seems to recognize that saving for retirement is a priority, according to the report — although young women aren’t saving quite as much as their male cohorts: 50% say they are currently saving for retirement, versus 61% of men.

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That’s partially because some are earning less than men of their generation, although, according to CNBC, it may also be due to a lack of financial literacy or greater risk aversion when it comes to investing.

Still, the fact that they are already putting money away is a good sign. “The silver lining of the recession is that a majority of millennials get that saving is a necessity and even equate it with ‘surviving’ tough times,” Karen Wimbish, director of Retail Retirement at Wells Fargo, said in a statement. “But, 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 working lives.”

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