TIAA-CREF’s Sean Wilson Talks Millennials and Money (Part 2)

The wealth advisor explains how young people approach money

A recent TIAA-CREF survey finds that millennials depend heavily on their personal networks when it comes to receiving financial advice.  TIAA-CREF’s Gen Y Advice Matters Survey polled a random sample of 1,000 young adults. The group in this sample demonstrated an interest in taking an active role in their finances. Among those who sought advice, a significant number said they were interested in budgeting (72%), saving for education (65%), or getting a handle on their student loan debt (53%). turned to Sean Wilson, New York based Wealth Management Advisor at TIAA-CREF, for more information on this study. Here’s part two of that conversation. What are some steps for improving financial literacy among millennials?

Sean Wilson: Millennials are among the largest, most diverse generation in U.S. history. Yet, many of them lack a firm foundation in financial basics, as they grapple with challenges such as student loan debt, underemployment, managing their finances, and making ends meet. As a group they might not like to be told what to do, yet they do need guidance in order to determine how best to plan for the future.

Some steps we would advise millennials to consider include:

  • Accessing social media, online and mobile channels on matters relating to personal finance
  • Taking advantage of your employer’s retirement plan adviser tools, consumer finance content and online advice from third party, credible sources such as Morningstar and Ibbotson
  • Meeting with a financial advisor by phone or in-person to build the beginning of a disciplined, sound savings plan
  • Asking questions from those they trust (as we noted in our survey findings) from experienced savers such as their parents, extended family and trusted adults What are some resources that TIAA-CREF has available for millennials to help them become financially healthy?

Wilson: TIAA-CREF helps build financial well-being and confidence by offering a variety of resources and interactive tools related to financial advice and goal-setting. Our new financial education platform, Starting Your Financial Life, is designed to deliver financial guidance to millennials, through the channels they choose and prefer. So far, the incorporation of this approach has significantly improved our customer communications with this key group, and we’re taking steps to integrate it further into more of our interactions with customers of all age groups.

We also offer educational programs focusing on trending financial issues and organizing financial empowerment workshops for women. The company offers in-person financial services at more than 100 offices across the country and provides access to licensed and trained phone representatives who can answer questions.

Go here for part one of this interview.

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