Is Age Just a Number? Not When It Comes to Money.

Principal’s new insights hub explores generational money matters

DES MOINES, Iowa–(BUSINESS WIRE)–This year, Generation Z is entering a workforce where many baby boomers
are still on the job. Millennials are worrying over mounting student
loans. Gen Xers are trying to balance lingering college debt with saving
for their kids’ education. It’s clear that these groups have different
needs and behaviors when it comes to money.

Today, Principal Financial Group® launched an insights
to help shed light on these generational differences.

“We know that money is a deeply personal matter, and how you manage it
is impacted not only on where you are in life, but also where you have
been,” said Bob Baur, chief global economist with Principal®.
“We want to use our findings to continue helping people make financial
progress wherever they are in life.”

What to do when mother doesn’t know best…and neither does dad

The new paper, “Filling
the financial knowledge gap for all generations
” confirms something
most of us know; millennials are much more open about sharing than other
generations. Even when talking about something as personal as money,
they are much more likely to turn to mom and dad for financial advice
(37 percent) than Gen Xers (27 percent) or baby boomers (22 percent).

The challenge is the existing financial knowledge gap across all
generations. Boomers—many of whom are parents to millennials—share
similar apprehensions about choosing smart investments, preparing for
retirement and structuring a portfolio. Younger generations are also
faced with different challenges and changing rules. Meaning the advice
they receive from their elders may be outdated.

“The good news is millennials want to talk and they want to do the right
thing,” said Jerry Patterson, senior vice president at Principal. “As
they work through how to pay down their student loans or whether or not
they can afford a car or a house, their parents can be a first stop, but
the best thing may be to bring in a professional.”

Across generations, people are more likely to trust a financial advisor
that is recommended by a family member. Millennials may even be open to
tagging along with their parents to meet with a financial advisor – 64
percent of millennials (and Gen Xers) say they’d like to receive
retirement planning advice in person.

More research to come

Gaining a better understanding of generations and their relationships
with money doesn’t start and end with one study. It’s not the first, and
it certainly won’t be the last.

The next research paper will dig into the relationships between
generations and money. Here, it will discuss how millennials prefer to
get financial advice and how boomers can have “the talk” with their kids
(the financial talk, that is).

To dig deeper and get tips on budgeting, managing student loan debt and
more, visit

Research study methodology
This research study was
commissioned by Principal Financial Group and conducted by The Center
for Generational Kinetics. The survey was administered to 1,203 U.S.
adults ages 22–70, with a 20% oversample of Millennials, ages 22–39.
Respondents were full-time employees with a minimum household income of
$30,000 and the eligibility to participate in their employer’s 401(k)
plan. The sample was weighted to the current census data for gender and
region and participants were screened for U.S. citizenship. The survey
was conducted online from January 28, 2016, to February 3, 2016, and has
a confidence interval of +/-3.1%.

About Principal®
helps people and companies around the world build, protect and advance
their financial well-being through retirement, insurance and asset
management solutions that fit their lives. Our employees are passionate
about helping clients of all income and portfolio sizes achieve their
goals – offering innovative ideas, investment expertise and real-life
solutions to make financial progress possible. To find out more, visit
us at

The Center for Generational Kinetics
The Center for
Generational Kinetics is the leading research and solutions firm that
specializes in Millennials, generational differences, and iGen.

The Center’s team of PhD researchers, strategists, and keynote speakers
help diverse clients solve tough generational challenges driven by
increasing generational trends and differences. Each year, The Center
works with over 150 clients around the world, from car manufacturers and
hoteliers to insurance, health care and technology. The Center’s team is
frequently quoted in the media about the effect of generational
differences on everything from shopping and parenting to working and

Principal, Principal and symbol design and Principal Financial Group are
trademarks and service marks of Principal Financial Services, Inc., a
member of the Principal Financial Group.

The Center for Generational Kinetics is not an affiliate of any company
of the Principal Financial Group.


Principal Financial Group
Hillary Gebert, 515-246-4942
Slusark, 515-362-0482