Financial Planning

Gen Y lapping the field in financial literacy

78316135 There's nothing like an economic downturn to bring out the frugality in all of us, is there? After all, when times are tight, people tend to spend less and save more.

Still, I have to wonder if anyone saw this one coming. Here's a quote from Reuters:

"A new survey from TD Ameritrade found that one in four 20-somethings funnel money into not one, but two different types of retirement accounts, a 401(k) or 403(b) as well as an IRA.

"But the news isn’t all good, especially for older Americans. The survey also found that just 16 percent of baby boomers are putting money into both types of retirement accounts, and fewer than one in three boomers are making 'catch-up' contributions, or contributing an additional $5,500 into employer-sponsored accounts."

Then there's this: An AICPA / Ad Council survey has found that 94 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds are "at least somewhat likely" to make saving a priority in 2012, "more than those who said the same about living healthier (90 percent), or losing weight (78 percent)." 

To recap: Gen Y -- those allegedly short-sighted, impatient, impetuous folks the generational experts keep warning us about -- are lapping the rest of us in the savings arena.

Chalk up another one for Benjamin Bankes, the Ad Council and the AICPA's "Feed The Pig" crew.

Speaking of whom, they've released a ton of new financial literacy resources with a common theme: Save. Then save some more. They include:

A series of new TV and radio PSAs. My favorite is at the right.
An infographic on how to balance saving and splurging.
A pretty cool, info-intensive, savings-centric Facebook page.
Lots of other stuff to look for, including a mobile website (it's on your mobile device) and QR codes that will drive consumers to the mobile site. In fact, according to the AICPA, Feed the Pig is the first Ad Council campaign to include QR codes.


Your job, CPAs, is to keep spreading the personal finance message. If the last few years have taught us anything, it's that we all need to get smarter about money.


Bill Sheridan