Members of Generation Z are just starting their work lives, but they already are thinking of their financial futures and even retirement, according to Morningstar’s report on Gen Z’s attitudes toward money, released Tuesday.

While all members of the newest adult generation said they use financial apps, they still trust people more than technology, which provides an opportunity for financial advisors who want to acquire them as clients, Morningstar said.

Generation Z Insights: How the Next Generation of Investors Approaches Retirement, Saving, and More,” written by Stan Treger, Morningstar’s senior behavioral scientist, asked 1,111 people born between 1995 and 2010 about their money attitudes at a time when they are beginning to form their financial habits.

For Gen Z members, “their spirits about their financial future are high,” said Morningstar. Nearly 60% said they are both happy and optimistic. “This is good for advisors and for financial planning, because of the relationship between optimism and motivation.” Advisors should ask for “a brief introduction to the adult children of existing clients, which can at least start the process of building a multigenerational relationship over time.”

Young adults may need a nudge from a financial advisor to convince them they can benefit from guidance, either human or AI. At this point, “Financial advisors are largely unfamiliar with young people’s financial practices, and young people are largely unfamiliar with financial advisors altogether,” the report said.

Treger added, “While Gen Z is tech-savvy and comfortable with using finance apps, they prefer to receive advice from a human advisor,” who they see as more trustworthy than technology. However, only 30% said they have seen an advisor, either on their own or with other family members.

Although they prefer a person, 63% of the participants reported that they also find financial apps to be useful.

The next generation of investors acknowledge the importance of financial education. More than half said they feel financial classes should be mandatory in both high school and college. Thirty-five percent of the participants in the Morningstar report identified themselves as investors and the majority said they were highly (57%) or moderately (19%) interested in learning more about investing.

For this young generation, paying off debt is more important at this point in their lives than saving for retirement, even for the 30% who said they want to retire before 65 years of age, the report said. Forty-one percent said they predict they will be a little more successful or much more successful in retirement than their parents.

“Retirement benefits at work are important, but not as important as insurance and a flexible schedule,” Morningstar said. “Thirty-one percent of the sample ranked retirement benefits as being in their top three most important workplace benefits. The most common first-place benefit was medical insurance, followed by life insurance and flexible working hours and flexible paid vacation policy.”

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