Survey: More than a third of teens don’t believe they will be financially independent from parents by age 30

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A new survey shows more than a third of teens don’t believe they’ll be financially independent from their parents by the age of 30.

The new Junior Achievement survey focused on 1,000 teens ages 13 to 18.  The survey found only 44% of teens believe they will begin saving for retirement by that age. Junior Achievement says the lack of confidence is concerning.

“Incredibly shocking,” said Kacy Wendling, the director of development for Junior Achievement. “There’s so many startling realities that we’re facing specifically in Indiana in our economy and Junior Achievement, our entire mission is to empower young people to own their future success.”

The survey also found that most teens’ top financial goal for the future is getting a full-time job (62%). Other financial goals included graduating from a four-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%).

Junior Achievement created BizTown several years ago to help kids as young as elementary school prepare for their future.  Students get the chance to see themselves as CEO of a bank, a mayor, a marketing specialist and more. The students play roles of successful adults while learning the steps to get there.

Wendling added that parents and teachers notice how kids catch on after being a part of the program.

“Students or my kids are seeing what I do every day and they understand the bills I’m paying, the money I’m putting away for our retirement and our savings. They understand, and they get it now,” said Wendling.

Even students attending BizTown are catching on with the skills they need to succeed in their future.

“There’s all these different kinds of jobs, but since there’s a few jobs missing, I’d like to explore those more,” said student Peyton Cook.

“You can save up for very important stuff in the future like an apartment or something like that when you move out of the house," said student Luke Fisher.

According to the Junior Achievement Survey:

In terms of teen top financial concerns for the future, those included paying for college (47%), not being able to afford to live on their own (45%), paying taxes (43%) and finding a fulfilling, well-paying job (40%).

Other findings include: Most teens (64%) turn to their parents or caregivers for financial advice, followed by family members (38%), friends (30%) and online resources, such as articles and social media (27%) Most teens making money have some sort of bank account (61%), while the rest save their money unbanked, such as in a shoebox, piggybank or other method.  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.  More teens (22%) earned money in 2019 by working independently, compared to 2018 (16%). Most teens depend on gifts for spending money (64%), while many receive allowances for doing chores (32%).

“We’re having conversations with our fifth graders who are talking about taxes and loans, conversations you don’t even have with adults,” said Wendling, “For students to start thinking about wants verses needs, savings, giving back, the sooner the better to create that pathway to success.”

Junior Achievement is also hosting a walk and run called the 4.01K Race for Financial Fitness on April 28.  It’s a family-fun way to show the importance of getting kids to start planning for their financial future.

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