This is a Father’s Day gift to pass from one generation to the next.
A significantly higher percentage of younger dads (aged 18 to 34 years old) talk about finances at least once a month with their spouse/partner than fathers who are older than 35, according to a recent MassMutual survey of 10,000 adults. Some 88% of younger fathers talk to their significant other about money versus 69% of older dads. There’s one caveat: The younger cohort says they are more likely to feel anxious when they do bring up the subject of money.
Both younger mothers and fathers are more open to talking about finance in their relationships, the data found. Some 83% younger mothers talk about finances at least monthly with their spouse or partner versus 55% of older mothers, a smaller percentage than older fathers. That, experts say, may reflect a generational divide where older men are more likely to view themselves as the breadwinners and less likely to talk about finances at home.
These results are backed up by data released in April by UBS Wealth Management USA UBS, -1.61% That survey of 1,474 people over the age of 18 found that 56% of married women leave investment and financial decisions to their husbands and 85% said they believed that their husbands know more about financial matters and investment topics. (More than half of divorcees and widows discover financial surprises like outdated wills and debts, UBS said.)
Younger fathers may have been harder hit by the Great Recession. The median wealth of a family headed by someone in their 30s is 34% below the level predicted by researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, based on the experience of earlier generations at the same age. The shortfalls of those in their 40s (minus 18%) and 50s (minus 11%) were far smaller. It used data from 47,776 families in the Survey of Consumer Finances between 1989 and 2016.
Alone among the six cohorts in the report, “The Demographics of Wealth,” the typical family headed by people in their 30s lost more ground between 2010 and 2016. “This represents a missed opportunity because asset appreciation is unlikely to be as rapid in the near future as it was during the recent period,” the report said. But it added that the younger you are, the more time you have to get back on track.
However, millennials are less likely than their predecessors to hit the typical 30-something milestones. In 1974, three in four 30-year-olds had gotten married, had a child, graduated from school and had lived on their own before marriage. In 2015, only one in three could say the same, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released last year. What’s more, the share of recent graduates moving back into their parents’ homes increased to 28% in 2016 from 19% in 2005.