Wanted: Financial advisors to educate Generation Y

By Emily Hutto


I am a member of Generation Y.

I'm a Millennial, so my iPhone is an extension of my hand, and I use it to tweet, pin and check in on a regular basis. I put it off as long as I could, but I did eventually have to move back in with my baby boomer mother post college. I'm a consumer. I'm political, but not religious. In fact the only thing I do religiously is listen to Jimi Hendrix. A recent blog on Huffington Post says that members of Generation Y are likely to listen to the music that their parents liked. And I'm no exception.

I'm also no exception when it comes to the effects of the recession, which hit Generation Y the hardest, according to a report by reportlinker.com. The article "Young, educated and unemployed: A new generation of kids search for work in their 20s," published on GOOD.is in 2010, quoted Yale School of Management economist Lisa Kahn, who predicted that members of my generation, mainly those who graduate into poor job markets (I'm one of these lucky ones who graduated smack dab in the middle of the recession.), will likely earn $100,000 less over a 20-year period than those who graduated any other time.

That article was discouraging, as was the unemployment that I faced immediately after graduating college. Then my parents switched insurance plans. I was under 26 years old and still eligible for their insurance under PPACA, but their plan only applied to Colorado state residents, and I was living on the West Coast at the time. From unemployment to low projected earnings to the steep cost of health insurance, the financial plagues of my generation dawned on me all at once.

The studies conveying how unprepared and nervous Generation Y is for retirement are countless. Tuned-in advisors can't miss them, and should carefully consider the impact that my 60's-music-loving, tech savvy demographic can have on their business. Whether or not we are ready for investing (and let's face it, most of us aren't) or even financial planning, it's about time all of us Gen Yers start educating ourselves about the volatile market we find ourselves in.

My hope for Generation Y is that they will read about our age group's financial burdens before they have to experience them first-hand. And as we begin our research, I hope our future financial advisors are there with open arms, prepared with resources and literature to help dig us out of the trenches.