Members of Gen X and Gen Y exude a sense of confidence about achieving key financial goals despite the obstacles they’re facing, shows a report by BMO’s Wealth Institute.
But the report, Wealth Generation: The Financial Challenges for Generations X & Y, notes this optimism may be misguided since both groups face a unique set of obstacles that could hamper their ability to achieve their financial goals.
Gen X is born between 1965 and 1979 and Gen Y members are born between 1980 and 2000.
The report gauged how the two cohorts feel about their ability to reach key financial objectives in life.
Purchasing a home: Overall, 68% of Gen X and Gen Y feel confident they’ll be able to purchase a home, with cohorts in Alberta and Quebec (71% each) and the Atlantic provinces (68%) being the most optimistic, and those in Ontario and the Prairies (67% each) and British Columbia (63%) being the least optimistic. However, an average home in Canada now costs nearly eight times the average pre-tax annual income of a full time job, compared to five times income in 1997. So Gen X and Y’ers will need to work harder, longer and save more than previous generations to accomplish the goal of home ownership.
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Sending their kids to school: Seven in 10 of those surveyed who plan to have children expressed confidence in being able to pay for their kids’ post-secondary education. The reality is it will be a challenge. Gen X and Y members are choosing to have children at an older age than previous generations, so they’re becoming “parensioners”— retirees with limited income and with children who are still young enough to attend college or university. Combined with the growing cost of post-secondary education (sending a child born in 2013 to university could be as high as $140,000), Gen X and Y are heading towards financial stress.
Comfortable retirement: Almost two-thirds of respondents were optimistic about saving enough to live comfortably in retirement. But many among both groups haven’t started saving for their retirements. Moreover, there are fewer jobs that come with employer-sponsored pension plans, and Canadians are living longer than ever these days, so they need to budget for a longer retirement. All these factors are making it an uphill battle for both cohorts.
Read: X missed the spot