In 2013, a Gallup poll found that only about one in every three U.S. households maintained a budget.1 A 2021 survey of 1,000 Americans found that 80% now say they have a budget.2
Americans are budgeting more due to the pandemic. Knowing where your money is going and making sure you're adequately funding your future could be helpful to maintain your lifestyle for the decades that you may live. Whether you're a Baby Boomer, Gen X-er, Millennial, or a member of Gen Z, there are a few things you may focus on to help you pursue your financial goals.
Members of Generation Z were born between 1997 and 2015. Some of the older ones are entering the workforce.3 Although there may be many pressures on a Gen Zer's wallet, making an effort to set aside some funds for retirement while still young is a strategy worth considering. The saying "time in the market beats timing the market" came about for a reason. A study of the S&P 500 returns from 1926 to 2011 found that a 20-year buy-and-hold strategy never produced a negative result, with annualized returns from 3.1% to 17.9%.4
Some of the oldest Millennials are pushing 40, while those at the tail end of this generation (generally defined as 1981 to 1996) are just in their mid-twenties. But whether you're an older or younger Millennial, you may benefit from reducing your debt and building up an emergency fund. Even though Millennials may be beleaguered by student loans, auto payments, rent, credit card payments, and other debt, putting a plan in place to tackle this debt while saving for an emergency may help you pursue financial independence.
As members of Generation X, or those born between 1965 and 1980, hit their peak earning years, a financial plan may help ensure that these earned funds are allocated to the appropriate savings and investment vehicles. If you haven't already started investing in an IRA, in addition to any 401(k) that's available, now might be the time to pursue that option. Investing in growth assets may also help build up your retirement nest egg.
Start thinking about what you'd like your retirement to look like. Once you're within striking distance of retirement age, it's worth spending some time planning your income needs, expected lifestyle, and other considerations, so you'll be better prepared when retirement comes.
With the youngest Baby Boomers just about to turn 60, retirement is front and center. Your financial planning concerns often revolve around turning your retirement assets into retirement income at this stage in your life. Consider whether to take Social Security early, on time, or late. Also, look into your asset allocations to confirm that your funds are invested in a way you're comfortable with.
Regardless of which generation you call your own, there are some important steps you may take that might significantly improve your financial future.
Investing involves risks including possible loss of principal. No investment strategy or risk management technique can guarantee return or eliminate risk in all market environments.
Asset allocation does not ensure a profit or protect against a loss.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is a capitalization-weighted index of 500 stocks designed to measure performance of the broad domestic economy through changes in the aggregate market value of 500 stocks representing all major industries.
All information is believed to be from reliable sources; however, LPL Financial makes no representation as to its completeness or accuracy.
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3 https://www.salesforce.com/blog/how-millennials-and-gen-z-are-different/4 https://www.investopedia.com/articles/stocks/08/passive-active-investing.asp