Much has been made about the shaky financial footing of Millennials. And it’s true; young adults today have high rates of unemployment and student-loan debt, which can keep them in a holding pattern when it comes to starting their adult lives.
But a recent study released by the St. Louis Fed took a look at Millennials who had managed to take the first step in creating independent households—getting a job and finding their own place—in order to see how the financial health of young Americans today stacks up to that of previous generations.
"Financial well-being early in life... has important implications for lifetime wealth accumulation; recent evidence suggests that today’s young adults may have accumulated less wealth than their parents had at the same age. However, because they are still in the beginning of the life cycle, today’s young adults may be better equipped to weather economic upheaval than older generations, especially in the long run," the study found.
The research looked at adults aged 18 to 34 and compared their finances in a variety of categories, like overall net worth, total debt, and assets, to young adults of the same age as far back as 1989. The study found that though their overall net worth was less, many employed Millennials weren’t doing that much worse when compared to their predecessors.