IMPROVING ECONOMY BOOSTS YOUNG DEMO
It’s been widely reported that for many Millennials, “30 is the new 20,” with many delaying major life milestones, like full-time employment, marriage and having children. However, new data from the American Express Spending & Savings Tracker suggests that as the economy continues to recover, Millennials will make 2015 a year of major purchases and life experiences.
With the generation becoming a little older and perhaps wiser, the American Express survey finds that Millennials, defined as young adults age 18-34, say they’re more likely than older generations to experience major life milestones in 2015 (56% vs. 33% Gen X, 20% Baby Boomers) and make a big ticket purchase, like a new home or car (59% vs. 43% Gen X, 34% Baby Boomers).
This could be the year that Millennials start shedding the image of living too long in their parents’ home, being delayed in finding a real career path and becoming truly independent. “Now, with an improving economy, the country’s 80 million Millennials say they will be wielding their wallets, a trend that will create an interesting new dynamic for retailers,” said David Rabkin, Senior Vice President of Consumer Lending Products, AmEx.
75% of Millennials say they expect to take a leisure trip in 2015, which is even more than Gen X (68%) and Baby Boomers (59%). Importantly, 33% of Millennials say they plan to buy a car this year, 27% will start a new job and 25% will buy a house or condo, while 23% expect to move to a new residence. Also in the major retail purchase area—22% expect to purchase a major household appliance in 2015.
How many will make their mothers happy by getting married? The survey found that 5% of Millennials expect to hear wedding bells this year. Still, that’s more than the 2% for both Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.
For Americans of all generations, the AmEx research says 2015 may be a good year, with more consumers feeling optimistic about their future finances (43% vs. 40% in 2014, 35% in 2012). Saving money still remains the top New Year’s resolution (58% vs. 33% in 2013), but the average amount Americans plan to save is slightly down from last year ($11,292 vs. $12,464 in 2014). Most (52%) plan to save from their primary income, while 23% plan to pare back on little luxuries (like morning lattes and manicures) and 20% plan to sell some unwanted items online.
Here’s a strange factoid from the survey: A majority of consumers say they’ll keep their savings at a local bank (57% vs. 55% in 2014) but more than half of those who keep their savings in cash plan to hide bills in a secret location at home (53%).