Financial wellness is hard for many people, and today’s economic climate makes it even harder. Millennials in particular face staggering challenges, which we have met head-on with our Empower Their Lives program.
“In a world of avocado toast, themed yoga classes and “athleisure apparel,” it would seem “wellness” stands at the forefront of millennials’ minds. But how far does the definition of wellness span for these individuals? While some argue that Fitbit doesn’t go quite far enough to digitize the pursuit of complete physical wellness, few notice that financial wellness represents an aspect of millennial life that is far from, well … healthy. Likewise, financial institutions can do more to aid millennials in taking those first important steps. The question is, how?
First, the basics. Millennials have not yet mastered the fine points of financial wellness, albeit for many reasons: lower employment rates, smaller income and towering student loan debt among them. As to that last factor, the total figure now surpasses $1.3 trillion, while the average Class of 2016 student carries $37,172 in student loan debt. To put that in perspective, a graduate who wants to dedicate $400 a month to paying down that $37K figure will need ten years to do it, assuming a 5 percent annual interest rate. With that kind of albatross, who would expect millennials to have any funds to invest, let alone buy bank products?”