Lincoln Financial Group’s M.O.O.D. of America Survey Finds Debt is the Number One Financial Issue Keeping Millennials up at Night

Study Shows that 18 to 34 Year-Olds Struggle to Plan for Retirement Amidst Competing Priorities, but Technology and Financial Advisors Play a Role in the Process

In Contrast, Baby Boomers and Generation X Cite Healthcare Costs as Their Top Concern

RADNOR, Pa.--()--Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE: LNC) announced today results of its Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction (M.O.O.D.) of America Survey, which found that debt is the number one financial issue keeping Millennials (48%) up at night as compared to healthcare expenses for Gen Xers (44%) and Baby Boomers (58%). According to the research, student loan debt (54%) is Millennials’ top concern. Seventy percent of those who are currently paying off their student loans say they are not managing the process very well.

The study went on to show that the 18 to 34-year-olds surveyed are facing a number of other challenges when it comes to planning their financial future:

  • Only 33 percent have a retirement account versus 48 percent of the general population.
  • Immediate payments make it hard for 74 percent to put money into retirement.
  • Four out of five say they are saving for other things like a new car or house instead of retirement.
  • Over half (60%) say they dread looking at or talking about their personal finances.
  • Only 31 percent of Millennials have life insurance versus 49 percent of the general population.

“It’s not a surprise our survey found that nearly three quarters of Millennials are finding it hard to balance living in the moment with planning for the future,” said Jamie Ohl, president, Retirement Plan Services for Lincoln Financial Group. “They are at a point in their lives where they are experiencing many major milestones— but it’s important they prioritize their future and create a strategy that can help them achieve their current and future financial goals.”

To raise education and awareness with Millennials, Lincoln Financial has a dedicated section on its website to help educate not only them, but all generations about various aspects of financial planning. The site includes tips, articles and other tools to help make informed decisions to get savers to and through retirement.

Technology and Financial Advisors Play a Role

When planning for various financial needs, the M.O.O.D. survey reinforced that technology plays an important role in the process for Millennials, yet they also still value a personal touch:

  • The next time they buy a financial product like an annuity or life insurance, they would prefer to do so online (41% versus 29% of the general population).
  • When selecting a financial product, Millennials are most influenced by recommendations from friends on social networks (49% versus 32% of the general population).
  • Millennials turn to their parents first for financial information (55%), followed by online search (39%).

Although the survey findings showed that just 16 percent of Millennials used a financial advisor when they made their last financial product purchase, those who have a relationship with a financial professional are completely satisfied with the guidance they receive (95%).

“A trusted financial professional is another valuable resource to help Millennials plan for the near future and their retirement,” said Ohl. “Beyond that, advisors are positioned to help all consumers not only understand their options, but also work with them to develop a plan that is tailored to their specific situation.”

About the M.O.O.D. of America

Results for the 2016 M.O.O.D. (Measuring Optimism, Outlook and Direction) of America poll are based on three national surveys conducted by Whitman Insight Strategies on behalf of Lincoln Financial Group in March and April 2016.

The M.O.O.D. of America survey was conducted among 2,267 adults 18 years of age and older across the United States, and included a sample of the General Population as well as over-samples to ensure data cuts by key demographic sub-groups that are of particular interest for this research. The final sample includes 405 African Americans, 402 Asian Americans, 402 Latino Americans, and 418 LGBT Americans. The margin of error is ±1.9% at the 95% confidence interval.

About Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial Group provides advice and solutions that help empower people to take charge of their financial lives with confidence and optimism. Today, more than 17 million customers trust our retirement, insurance and wealth protection expertise to help address their lifestyle, savings and income goals, as well as to guard against long-term care expenses. Headquartered in Radnor, Pennsylvania, Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. The company had $229 billion in assets under management as of December 31, 2016. Learn more at: Find us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. To sign up for email alerts, please visit our Newsroom at



Lincoln Financial Group
Holly Fair

Release Summary

Lincoln Financial Group's M.O.O.D. of America survey shows that debt is the number one financial issue keeping Millennials (48%) up at night--specifically, student loan debt (54%).


Lincoln Financial Group
Holly Fair