A strong financial future depends on many things, especially finding ways to cut down on debt at an early age. Some young people could already be ahead of the curve in this regard, while older Americans may be struggling more.
Americans between the ages of 20 and 29 have a debt average of $17,100 per person, according to a report from PNC. This was significantly lower than older Americans polled, who had an average of $35,600. One in three of those in the younger crowd also had no debt whatsoever, while one-fifth of older people said the same.
“Financial maturity in this generation has noticeably shifted,” said Cary Guffey, financial advisor at PNC Wealth Management. “Younger millennials just entered adulthood when the economy shifted downward and as a result, it’s clear they’ve become more cautious by avoiding debt.”
College debt is becoming less of an issue for some. The report noted that young people had a college debt level of $31,800 in the most recent measurement, approximately 30 percent lower than the $45,000 recorded in 2011.
However, there are still some financial issues that young people need to work out. Savings remains a problem for many, as the savings frequency dropped 6 percent from 2011, the report explained. Even with these difficulties, younger people were at a higher likelihood to save than older Americans.
Finances may be better in 2014
Even with some issues, there could be some positivity coming from many Americans in the coming weeks and months.
More than 30 percent of individuals think that they will have a better financial year in 2014 than they did in 2013, according to a report from Country Financial. The last time the poll was this optimistic was in 2007, when 42 percent reported this.
“It’s great to see more Americans are optimistic about their 2014 financial situation. Creating a financial plan – or reviewing your existing one – will help ensure that confidence remains throughout the year,” said Joe Buhrmann, manager of financial security support at Country Financial. “While there are outside factors affecting financial security you can’t control, focus on those you can control when laying out your short-term and long-term financial goals.”
Nearly half of Americans are planning on getting more money from their job, while another 14 percent expect their debt to diminish, the report added.