- Millennials are more likely than their parents were to delay pretty much every life event because of money, according to a new survey by Insider and Morning Consult.
- They’re putting off big things, like buying a home, having a medical procedure, and making a career move.
- But money is also affecting their love lives: Millennials aren’t just delaying marriage and kids, but beginning or ending a relationship because of it.
- Read more personal finance coverage.
The thing about life milestones, and even life transitions, is that it often takes a bit of money to make them happen.
That’s something many millennials don’t have a lot of. They’re still playing financial catch-up from the Great Recession while dealing with enormous student-loan debt and facing skyrocketing living costs.
And findings from a new survey by Insider and Morning Consult further highlight what a different financial world this is for them than it was for their parents.
The survey polled 2,096 Americans about their financial health, debt, and earnings for a new series, “The State of Our Money.” More than 670 respondents were millennials, defined as ages 23 to 38 in 2019; 730 respondents were baby boomers, defined as ages 55 to 73 in 2019.
It asked all respondents what life events they have delayed because of money concerns, and the differences between millennials and baby boomers were telling.
Millennials are more likely to delay pretty much everything thanks to money problems
The biggest difference is in homebuying: Half of millennials have delayed purchasing a house because they can’t afford it, compared to 23% of boomers. It makes sense considering the median price of home sales has increased by 39% since 1970, adjusted for inflation, according to a recent SuperMoney report that analysed US Federal Housing Agency Data.
About the same percentage of millennials have put off having a medical procedure, compared to 41% of baby boomers. It’s the closest gap between the two generations, if that shows how expensive healthcare is. National health care costs per person have increased by $US9,000 since 1970 in inflation-adjusted dollars.
Millennials are also twice as likely as boomers to have delayed career moves because of money concerns, including quitting a job and starting their own business.
There’s also the effect money has had on each generation’s love lives. It’s made millennials more likely to delay beginning and ending a relationship, as well as more likely to delay marriage. In 2017, the average age of a first marriage was 27 for women and 29 for men; in 1980, it was 22 and 25, respectively.
A delay in marriage can trickle down to a delay in childbearing. More 30-something women are having babies than women in their 20s for the first time ever – a difference that grew in 2018,Bill Chappell for NPR reported, citing a report from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention.
Again, it boils down to money: Finances are one of the top reasons why American millennials aren’t having kids or are having fewer kids than they considered ideal, Business Insider’s Shana Lebowitz reported, citing a survey by The New York Times.
But there is one thing millennials are doing better than their parents when it comes to money: talking about it.