Make way for Gen Z

Learn more about Gen Z’s financial concerns, needs, and preferences to better help them as they enter the workforce and start saving for retirement.

Who is Gen Z?

Lincoln defines Generation Z as those born in 1996 or later, but in this article we will examine just the oldest members of Generation Z who will be entering the workforce in the next several years—those who are 16-22 years old. Because this generation is so young, there’s uncertainty about the future—but they do know that supporting themselves is their number one goal. Close to 100% say that being financially independent from their parents and living on their own is a financial goal, but 58% of 16- to 17-year-olds and 24% of 18- to 22-year-olds don’t see this happening for at least five years.1 Almost as many consider graduating from college to be a goal.2

Top financial concerns and interests

51% of those ages 18 to 22 and 43% of those ages 16 to 17 are extremely concerned or very concerned about not achieving their financial goals.3 Other top concerns are paying off student loans, getting a full-time job when they need to, the future in general, and their level of financial knowledge.4 

They recognize their lack of knowledge—that’s a good thing. So what do they want to know? Their most cited topics of interest are paying for college, saving, and budgeting.5 They also have definite preferences for learning about financial topics. Face-to-face is the number one way to learn about finances for 30% of 16- to 17-year-olds and 21% of 18- to 22-year-olds.6 YouTube clips and general financial or company websites round out the top three.7  

Student loans continue to burden 

As we could expect, given their ages and the experience of previous generations, members of Gen Z need help with student loans. Helping them keep this debt to a minimum or use strategies to manage it may help ease the burden and prompt Gen Z to save for retirement earlier. They’ve already expressed an interest in budgeting—a tactic that may help them pay down loans and achieve other financial goals.  

Financial education is key

Financial education is vital to close the gaps in their financial literacy, and Gen Z has clear preferences about how they want help. Financial advisors or Lincoln retirement consultants can provide the face to face learning they most desire. Our robust website meets their needs by providing personalized tools, short videos, and relevant content about topics of interest. Members of Gen Z who live with their parents while they begin their careers may be able to start strong with retirement saving, so it’s important to educate them about the benefits of starting early. 

The uncertainty surrounding their future calls for flexible, personalized solutions. In addition to the customized tools in their online accounts, we offer Lincoln WellnessPATHSM, an online financial wellness experience that assesses their current financial state and helps them prioritize everyday responsibilities, set goals, and take actionable steps to improve their financial health. 

Tools can help Gen Z

Personal support. Customized tools. Relevant content. Help Gen Z today so they can be in a stronger financial position tomorrow.                                  

 LIMRA: Discovering Gen Z: Inside Their Financial World, 2017. 
 2 Ibid.
 3 Ibid.
 4 Ibid.
 5 Ibid.
 6 Ibid.
 7 Ibid.

Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation and its affiliates, including Lincoln Retirement Services Company, LLC, The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, IN, and in New York, Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, NY. Affiliates are separately responsible for their own financial and contractual obligations.