US teens have high hopes for finances, homeownership

by Steve Randall03 Apr 2019

American teens may be surrounding by technology but many of their aspirations are in line with previous generations.

Today’s 13-18 year olds want to be financially independent, have a good job, and own their own home according to a new survey from Citizen Bank and Junior Achievement USA.

But while 74% of respondents expect to have financial independence by age 30, just 60% believe they will be homeowners by then. Other expectations include beginning retirement saving (44%) and that they will have paid off student loans (43%).

“These survey findings show a disconcerting lack of confidence among teens when it comes to achieving financial goals,” said Jack Kosakowski, President and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. “With a strong economy, you would think teens would be more optimistic. It just demonstrates the importance of working with young people to help them better understand financial concepts and gain confidence in their ability to manage their financial futures.”

Being able to afford to live on their own is a concern of 45% of those surveyed, second only to paying for college (47%). They are less concerned about paying taxes (43%) and finding a fulfilling, well-paid job (40%).

Top goals
Getting a full-time job is the top financial goal of most respondents (62%) followed by graduating from a 4-year college (59%), no longer having to rely on parents or caregivers for money (53%) and saving enough money for a big trip or vacation (41%).

Perhaps reflecting the gender pay gap, among those currently in school, more female respondents (40%) than males (34%) believed they would make less than $35,000 in their first full-time job after high school.

“It’s clear that more has to be done to help prepare students for the future — whether it is through helping them navigate paying for college or educating them on how to manage their money by establishing savings and checking accounts,” said Brendan Coughlin, President of Consumer Deposits and Lending at Citizens Bank. “We are helping to equip our young people with the tools necessary so they can start on sound footing and make smart financial decisions.”


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