Your 20s can be a time of striving for better things. Even if you’re making financial progress, it can be difficult to know where you stand or how you compare to your peers.
A study released by Navient, a student loan servicer, and Ipsos, a market research company, may offer some insight. The companies surveyed more than 3,000 people age 22 to 35 about different aspects of their financial health. Here are some of the report’s top takeaways:
• More than 40 percent of people older than 30 are done paying student loans.
Sixty percent of the millennials surveyed said they borrowed to pay for college. Not surprisingly, the chances of paying off those loans increased with age. Forty-four percent of people older than 30 who borrowed for college are now debt free, compared to 29 percent of 22- to 30-year-olds who have cleared their student debt.
• 93 percent of young adults are saving for a goal.
The majority of young adults between the ages of 22 and 35—93 percent—said they are saving. But most of them haven’t saved very much. About half of consumers had set aside less than $1,000 total for all of their savings goals. That includes 6 percent who have not saved anything at all, even though they said they had a savings goal in mind. Most people are saving for near-term goals, such as a vacation or to build an emergency fund. Only one in three workers younger than 35 are saving for retirement.
• 42 percent like their jobs.
In total, 75 percent of the young people surveyed had jobs, including 62 percent of people with full-time jobs. That’s up from last year, when 69 percent of people had jobs, including 57 of people working full time. The shift means that fewer people are unemployed, studying or staying at home to take care of children. The more education you have, the greater your chances of working full time. The likelihood of having a full-time job also generally increased with age, but tapered off for people ages 34 and 35.
• The median salary for millennials with advanced degrees is $95,000.
Broke in your 20s? Life should get a little easier as you enter your late 20s and early 30s. The median salary for workers between the ages of 28 and 35 is $72,500, nearly double the median pay of workers between the ages of 22
and 27. Paychecks also are bigger for people with more education. The median pay for a worker with an advanced degree is $95,000, compared to $62,500 for workers with only a bachelor’s degree and $47,500 for workers with an associate’s degree.
• 24 percent of people 25 to 30 with a college degree have a mortgage.
Much is said about how low-paying jobs and student loan debt make it harder for young people to become homeowners, on top of rising rental costs and spiraling child-care expenses. But the report found that two major factors affected young people’s chances of owning a home: education and age. Sixty-five percent of people with at least a bachelor’s degree owned their homes, compared to 42 percent of people who had not finished their degrees.
—Jonnelle Marte | The Washington Post