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Study reveals many teens worry about financial independence

Posted at 6:27 AM, Apr 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-30 08:18:49-04

April is financial literacy month, and a new survey indicates 1/3 of teens don't expect to be financially independent at 30 years old.

The survey, by Junior Achievement and Citizens Bank, polled 1,000 teenagers across the United States.

Roughly 1/3 of those surveyed said they expect to still be financially dependent on their parents when they're 30.

At Milwaukee Collegiate Academy, students said certain aspects of adult life, and being financially independent, still worry them.

"I think the hardest thing will be to determine what I want vs. what I need as I'm spending my money," said senior Daeton McGhee. "Just making sure I'm always saving."

"Teens our age, I don't think they take the financial stuff as seriously as they should until they hit reality," added MCA junior Iman Patterson.

But Patterson said one way that reality is setting in for her and her classmates: is through an economics class they're all required to take.

Part of that class involves teaching students how to plan out their spending - a lesson teacher Jesse Marshall said he hopes they'll use as they move forward through life.

"Planning is the most important thing," Marshall said. "Because that encompasses everything: saving, investing, spending, all those things."

Ajamou Butler, the school's Family & Community Engagement Liaison Officer, said he thinks children in communities of color often don't learn the basics of money management.

"There's a generational gap as far as the teaching of finances and economics," Butler said. "I think teenagers nowadays have no idea of money management because their parents also had no idea about money management."

Maya Adams, a senior at Milwaukee Collegiate Academy, said she's hoping to be financially independent and on her own when she's 30 years old.

"I'm hoping to be done with college, owning a home, and working full time by then," she said.

Other interesting notes from the Junior Achievement and Citizens Bank survey include:

-- 74% of teens believe they'll own a car by the time they're 30-years old

-- 60% of teens expect to own a home at 30-years old

-- 44% believed they will be saving for retirement by the time they are 30-years old

-- More than half of respondents named getting a full-time job (62%), graduating from a 4-year college (59%), and no longer having to rely on parents or caregivers (53%), as their top financial goals for the future