A great transition will be taking place within the next 10 years as a significant amount of wealth transfers from one generation to the next. Financial advisors and current generations are preparing for it, albeit with varying degrees of success.

The baby boomer generation is moving into retirement age and many are starting to think about what they leave behind and how their families will be provided for. At the same time, the younger generations, in particular millennials, are joining the workforce and starting to think about their financial futures.

Northwestern Mutual’s 2022 Planning and Progress Study found that 74% of millennials believe they need to improve their financial planning and 40% are now working with a financial advisor.

“The data we have is that more younger people are taking advice,” said Tim Gerend, executive vice president and chief distribution officer at Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual. “They recognize that they need help and they are seeking help.”

Adding to the urgency of protecting their financial outlook is the current state of the economy. With high inflation and turbulent economic times, millennials are worried about their financial future. The Prudential Pulse survey released this summer found that half of those millennials surveyed do not think they can ever retire. 

“They are feeling financially insecure,” said Caroline Feeney, chief executive officer of US. Investment and Retirement for Newark, N.J.-based Prudential Financial. “They said the pandemic has made it harder for them to save for the futire.”

Of all generations including Generations X and Y, millennials are the most worried about their financial future, according to the survey. They do not believe that they will achieve significant life goals including accumulating personal wealth or purchasing a home. Many are also bracing for similar economic problems like the ones the nation faced in 2008, as that is the period when many of that generation joined the workforce.

The pandemic prompted many to re-evaluate their priorities including their financial concerns. No generation did this more than millennials, Gerend said. As a result, they began seeking advice as about 24 percent of those surveyed in the Planning and Progress Study said they started seeing an advisor during the pandemic and have remained with them to this day.

Sara Stollberger, director of financial planning at New York-based Bridgewater Financial Advisors, has seen this impact first hand. Her firm has enjoyed an increase in the number of millennial clients over the past couple of years. She could not provide a specific number.

Advisors are making changes to their firms to accommodate this influx of new clients, and one way they are doing that is through technology. The younger generation soaks up information differently than previous ones. They want instantaneous access to data about their investments or a direct link to their advisor via text or video conferencing. 

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