Survey Results For “The Millennial Next Door” is launching a free eBook on financially successful Millennials!

Cover of The Millennial Next Door Revealed survey eBook |

Click here for your free copy!

The Millennial Next Door” is based on a survey of nearly 600 Millennials who volunteered their financial progress. They also shared their fears and regrets, and gave their advice. (Disclosure: I’m not one of them, but my adult daughter is.) You might be part of this generation or Generation X, but the median age of the U.S. military has been in the low 20s for generations. Today, that’s Millennials.

The survey is not all good news, but you can emulate their achievements and learn from their failures. You’ll read how they got out of debt, kept saving, and invested. You’ll see their progress and their plans. Best of all, you’ll note that you’re not alone in your pursuit of financial independence.

This eBook grew out of the FinCon14 project about the “The Retiree Next Door” last September. “Millennial Next Door” was also produced by and another two dozen financial professionals. (Many of them are Millennials, but a few GenXers and Boomers sneaked in there too. Including me.) MoneyTips hosts a site of volunteer (free!) financial professionals (of all ages) to answer your questions about investing, loans, insurance, and retirement. After you’ve read this eBook, take a look at the questions answered on MoneyTips and consider getting answers to your own.

The retiree survey was designed by CFPs, CPAs, wealth managers, and personal finance bloggers. Responses were collected online during the last half of November. 588 Millennials self-reported (without verification) their situation and their advice. There are no scorecards or metrics, only their self-assessment of whether they feel they’re succeeding in their choices of location and lifestyle. Although 1% of Americans are serving in the military today and another 8% are veterans, only a handful of the respondents in this survey are in uniform. Some of them are veterans, but that question was not specifically asked.

Most of the successful Millennials reported that they’re earning between $25K-$75K/year. (It’s not all about the money.) Over 60% of them are working in traditional corporations, although 15% of them are already entrepreneurs. (The Web is skewing entrepreneur demographics to people in their 20s and 30s.) Most of them have more than $10K in assets, not including their homes.

Debt is a different issue. 41% report that they have less than $5000 in debt, which probably reflects typical credit-card use. Another 20% have less than $15K in debt. Of the “upper” 40% who are more heavily in debt, a third of that cohort have more than $50K to repay. It might be mortgages, but it’s more likely to be student loans. Millennials are the most highly educated generation ever, with nearly 90% of them completing at least some college. However, 30% of them report that their student debt is holding them back.

What else keeps Millennials up at night?

  • Saving enough for a comfortable retirement
  • Earning enough to afford their lifestyle
  • Paying off student loans
  • Living within their means
  • Maintaining their lifestyle if they lose their job.

Coincidentally, those same concerns applied to most of the respondents in last year’s “Retiree Next Door” survey. (Except for the student loans.) Maybe retirees and other workers have more in common with Millennials than the media would lead us to believe.

The good news is that the successful Millennials are setting financial goals and the majority of them are on track.

Their biggest financial stumbles have involved spending:

  • Credit/debit cards
  • Impulse purchases
  • Student loans
  • Not saving enough

Despite the inter-generational conflicts that the press loves to bemoan, the survey Millennials have a healthy mix of optimism and concern. They’re probably typical of every other generation since WWII.

Want to learn more? Join the MoneyTips community and download the free eBook. is one more way to learn financial literacy for free. You post a question anonymously on their site, and one of their credentialed volunteer members posts an answer. You can take the info and run with it, or you can request a callback from their experts. You can also search their directory to find a professional in a particular field or in your local area.

This is a fantastic way to get credible answers to your questions, and it’s far better than your average Internet forum of anonymous posters. It’s also a great way to anonymously test-drive a financial professional to see whether you’d like to sign on with them.

How is MoneyTips at answering military financial question? Hmm. They still don’t get many of those, although they discuss the basics of VA loans and student loans. Very few of the professionals listed on their site even mention military service, although more of them may have served. I’ll keep talking with the company about focusing on the military demographic.

In the meantime, I know a few CFPs who are military veterans and would be happy to help. If I can’t answer your military-specific question, they certainly can– and they can help you develop your plan, too.



Related articles:
How Many Years Does It Take To Reach Financial Independence?
Interviews And Quotes Via FinCon14
Questions On The 4% Safe Withdrawal Rate
Where are all the retirees? How do we ask for their advice?
The biggest obstacles confronting all retirees
How Should I Invest During Retirement?
Survey Results for “The Retiree Next Door”

About Doug Nordman

Author of "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement" and co-author of "Raising Your Money-Savvy Family For Next Generation Financial Independence."
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1 Response to Survey Results For “The Millennial Next Door”

  1. Peter Gregory says:

    The first thing I did when I got out of OCS in 1985 was start an allotment to the Vanguard Wellington, $300 first then increased as time, pay grade allowed, never stopped. 30 years later the results speak form themselves. When my son and daughter were born in 87 and 90, opened the same in their names and contributed through their lives. When my grandson was born, my son did the same.

    The take away is that sound money management, good financial sense is a learned trait and behavior, one taught by example and discipline. Millennials as a age cohort outnumber the Boomers in terms of raw number s. They are far more connected and possess more access to sound financial counsel and advice than any previous generation. If one takes the time to mentor and example good financial common sense, they will sooner to later buy homes, settled down, have babies and bail us Boomers out of the mess we have made in our public and private financial lives by and large.

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