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Millennials are postponing major life milestones because of debt

According to a new survey by NBC News and GenForward, about 75 percent of American millennials (those between 18 and 34 years old) have some sort of debt. Further, many are postponing major life events like buying a home, getting married and having children because of it.

The life event most likely to be moved down the road is buying a home. Just over a third reported delaying that. Fourteen percent said that they were postponing marriage because of their debt. Slightly more (16 percent) said they were delaying having children.

Many also have little if any savings. Nearly a third said that they have postponed saving for retirement. Sixty-two percent said that they owe more money than they have in savings. Just under a quarter admitted that they have no personal savings.

Nearly half of millennials with kids said that they would have a difficult time covering an unexpected bill of $1000. Slightly fewer who are not parents (39 percent) acknowledged that it would be challenging for them to be hit with it.

So how much debt are millennials in? About 25 percent have more than $30,000 worth of debt. That includes 11 percent who owe more than $100,000. Fewer than a quarter (22 percent) reported no debt.

Of course, millennials still have a lot of years ahead of them in the workforce, likely with increasing salaries, to pay off that debt. Perhaps that's why most of them said that they were optimistic about their financial future. Some 58 percent felt good about their chances of finding or maintaining a good job that would let them pay off their debt and enjoy the lifestyle to which they aspire.

Everyone's financial situation is different, of course. If you feel overwhelmed by your debt and don't see a way out, it may be wise to consult a financial professional or an attorney who specializes in debt relief to find out what your options are.

Source: NBC News, "Hitting Pause on Major Life Events," Andrew Arenge, Stephanie Perry and Ashley Tallevi, April 04, 2018

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