Talkin’ ‘Bout My Generation
Millennials and financial planning
By most definitions, if you were born between 1981 and 1996, you are a millennial . That generation does not represent any particular set of beliefs, values, attitudes or habits, despite the attempts of countless pundits, bloggers and social scientists to insist that it does. If you are a millennial, you don’t have to love technology, live in your childhood bedroom or go on vacations with your parents. It most likely does mean, however, that you grew up during times of financial prosperity and entered the workforce just as much of that prosperity had evaporated into underwater mortgages, layoffs, bankruptcies and wage cuts.
Advisors at some of the area’s leading financial institutions say planning and preparation are especially important for millennials who have gotten a slow start in the investment arena. Financial planning can also provide a guiding light to a financial future many might have thought out of reach.
Summit Credit Union
Financial planning is a necessity for everyone, no matter one’s age, income, assets or circumstances, and no two people are identical when it comes to their financial history or financial future. There are trends, however, and factors that are common among one group of people and less common for others. Millennials navigating this financial landscape can benefit greatly from Summit Financial Advisors’ breadth of experience and Summit Credit Union’s commitment to helping people.
“Summit Credit Union takes a very educational approach,” says David Solheim , financial advisor with the Summit Financial Advisors team. ” We’re here to educate, not to sell. What we really want to do is help members improve their finances, and the moment they get outside their comfort zone is the time to talk to a financial advisor. As with anything, the more knowledge and comfort, the easier it becomes. Having someone to help makes it better. ”
If you are a member of the millennial generation, chances are, you had recently entered the workforce or were just about to enter it when the U.S. economy was laid low by the 2008 national housing crash and the ensuing recession. It was the nation’s worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, and we still feel the effects of it a decade later.
Through no fault of their own, this slow financial start has impacted some millennials’ ability to accumulate savings for retirement and other life events that call for financial planning, including a job change, death in the family, birth, marriage, divorce and buying or selling a home.
“On the other hand, time is one of the most valuable assets in investing, and because millennials are relatively young, they have that advantage right now,” Solheim says.
Additionally, with so much investment information available online for free, the opportunity for financial self-education available to millennial investors is something previous generations didn’t have, for better and for worse.
“It can be overwhelming, and you can quickly get in over your head,” Solheim says. ” At the very least, they need to make sure the information they have is accurate. The opportunities to educate investors are as plentiful as they have ever been. ” Get your questions answered by scheduling an appointment with a Summit Financial Advisor at 800-236-5560 or stop into a branch.
Securities sold, advisory services offered through CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. ( CBSI ), member FINRA / SIPC , a registered broker/dealer and investment advisor. CBSI is under contract with the financial institution to make securities available to members. Not NCUA / NCUSIF /FDIC insured, May Lose Value, No Financial Institution Guarantee. Not a deposit of any financial institution. CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc. is a registered broker/dealer in all fifty states of the United States of America. FR-2737097.1-0919-1021
UW Credit Union
One thing we hear most often about millennials is that they are often mired in rising, crippling debt because of student loans and other factors. This is not true of all millennials, of course, but to the extent that it is true, UW Credit Union has solutions for members who work with them.
Xia Xiong is a UW Credit Union member who was burdened with a car loan at an extremely high interest rate because, as is the case with many millennials like Xiong , he had no credit history. As a result, he quickly owed more than his vehicle was worth.
When Xiong was involved in a winter-weather traffic accident that totaled his car, his insurance company paid only a portion of what he still owed on the vehicle. Then Xiong had to pay off his remaining car loan on the damaged vehicle while also making payments on a used car.
Because Xiong is a UW Credit Union member, Debbie Lipske , a UW Credit Union consumer lending sales specialist, stepped in to help him. She was able to get Xiong’s remaining balance transferred to a personal loan with a low interest rate, ultimately saving him more than $150 a month.
Lipske and Xiong then delved further into consumer debt to learn how to properly manage it, first understanding exactly what it is. In working with Lipske , for example, Xiong learned that carrying credit card debt greater than one-third of the suggested limit lowered his credit score more than he realized.
“I love what I do because I get to help people, and help members help themselves,” Lipske says. ” We often start with a member who is a bit behind and, in a year or two, if they continue on the right road, we get to see them in a better spot. We have helped a lot of people improve their financial situations through student loan refinancing when they thought there was nothing they could do. ” —
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