Half of Young Adults Say They Don’t Save

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Nearly all of the non-savers say they don't make enough money to start saving, or want to pay down debt first.

Most grads are surprised by the amount of debt they rack up in college, we wrote recently. Now another new survey says debt is the top financial concern for most young adults, topping day-to-day expenses and saving for retirement.

Wells Fargo released a survey of more than 1,400 adults between ages 22 and 32, and more than 1,000 baby boomers between ages 48 and 66. More than four in 10 young adults said their debt is “overwhelming” — double the rate of baby boomers who said so.

Just over half (51 percent) of young adults said they had not started saving money, even though 61 percent claimed they were “savers.” Those not saving yet said they plan to start by a median age of 30.

When the non-savers were asked what’s stopping them, 87 percent said they don’t have enough money to start saving or want to pay down debt first. Here’s what else they said:

  • 31 percent believe they would have been better off skipping the expense of college and going straight to work.
  • 64 percent said they financed college with loans.
  • More than 70 percent said personal finance should be taught in high scool and college, and most wished they had learned more about investing, savings and loans.
  • 52 percent are not confident the stock market is a good place to invest.
  • 25 percent said the best way to get ahead financially is to start a business.
  • Among those saving, a third said their motivation was the chance to build a bigger nest egg.

We have lots of advice on saving and investing; that’s what we’re all about. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the links below.

Stacy Johnson

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