This headline grabbed our attention: one in six millennials have $100,000 in savings. Surprising as the assertion seems, it was supported by a new Bank of America survey and based on responses from young people across the U.S. Now, new numbers that are specific to Texas are out.
David Bader, region executive for Bank of America, says that 60 percent of millennial Austinites are saving roughly more than the national average. The top priorities they consider when it comes to savings are emergency funds, retirement, and vacation and travel.
Millennial couples in Austin tend to keep their finances separate, and they delay important decisions like buying a house or starting a family based on financial reasons.
“Austin millennials’ parents say that financial considerations played a very large role in their decisions to start a family,” Bader says. “If millennials aren’t feeling they have saved enough, maybe they are putting off some of those things that other generations may have started earlier, whether be starting a family, owning a home.”
Bader says that the survey was a good opportunity to figure out the top priorities and concerns in terms of finances among their millennial clients. Bank of America over-sampled this population in six cities across the country, including Austin.
“We felt Austin was a great place to look just giving the density of millennials, as well as the job market,” Bader says. “Austin is being benefited of a very booming robust job market and unemployment data at very low rates, so for millennials in Austin, jobs have been a huge part of why it is so attractive to live here.”
In contrast to the common belief that millennials face uncertainty in terms of retirement, the survey shows that respondents actually have a desire to secure their finances for the future.
“I think we continue to underestimate millennials,” Bader says. “They came through one of the largest financial crisis that our time has seen, and I think that has helped to craft the way they view at their finances going forward. Millennials absolutely can and will reach that retirement with the right plan, focusing on their life priorities and making sure they are sticking diligently to that plan from a savings perspective.”
The landscape for millennials to save for retirement can be complicated, due to the fact that many in this age group do freelance work and don’t have an employer-sponsored savings plan, Bader says. He also adds that Bank of America offers free resources to help young people navigate that uncertainty, through the Better Money Habits website.
Written by César Lopez-Linares.