By: Kathy Lynch
June 17, 2014
A study released today by Wells Fargo reveals a distinct income gap between millennial men and women that sets up differences in their savings and sense of financial security, says the firm.
The survey found the median annual household income reported by millennial men was $77,000 versus $56,000 for women. For college-educated millennials, median income was reported to be $83,000 for men and $63,000 for women. In addition, college-educated millennial men reported median household investable assets of $58,500 versus $31,400 for women.
The survey also found that although 80 percent of millennials (22 to 33 years old) believe they should save "now" to "survive" economic problems down the road, just 55 percent are actually putting money aside for retirement. And the savings varies by gender with 61 percent of men versus 50 percent of women reporting that they are saving for their future.
Of the 55 percent of millennials who have started saving for retirement, 26 percent of men versus only 9 percent of women are saving more than 10 percent of their income.
Of the 45 percent of millennials who are not saving for retirement, 84 percent said it is because they "do not have enough money to save right now," with no difference between the genders.
Members of this group are struggling under the pressure of debt, says Wells Fargo. Forty-two percent said "it is their biggest financial concern currently." Over half of the millennials (56 percent) said they are "living paycheck to paycheck," regardless of gender.
Paying off student loans was the top concern for 29 percent of this group.
There is also a difference between millennial men and women in the confidence they feel about building their careers. Just one in ten millennial men are "worried" about their ability to build a career in their desired profession versus one in five millennial women.
"Millennial men are earning more, saving greater percentages of their income and report having more accumulated assets. Women are lagging behind men in their savings efforts, and this could explain why they feel less satisfied with their overall financial situation," said Karen Wimbish, director of retail retirement at Wells Fargo.
For the group as a whole, 57 percent of millennials cited "family" as whom they trust for credible information to help them make financial decisions followed by "financial institutions" (54 percent) and "personal finance experts" (50 percent).
Sixteen percent are using a paid financial professional, up from 8 percent a year ago. And there was a slight rise this year, 26 percent up from 20 percent last year, among those who want an advisor closer to their age who can potentially better understand their financial goals, says Wells Fargo.
Harris Poll conducted the 2014 Wells Fargo Millennial study between April 15 and May 2, 2014. Survey respondents included 1,639 millennials between the ages of 22 and 33.