Nuanced approach

  • 6 March 2024
  • Blog | Leadership & Strategy | Blog

We look at Gen Z vs Millennials vs Gen X – and assess what information banks and PFAs should keep front of mind when engaging with each different generation. 

Gen Z – money conscious, savvy and open to being open  

Recent research carried out by Samsung reveals that Gen Zs, in a direct response to the cost of living crisis, are becoming more financially savvy. In fact, four in five said the current economic climate has made them much more monetarily aware.  

This is also prompting them to talk more openly about their finances – with more that 84% discussing money with peers, compared to just 57% of over-55s.  

The current climate is also making Gen Zs consider how to make their money go further – with two thirds stating they are now thinking more about financial markets and investing.  

Millennials – the pre-internet cohort who have had a tough couple of decades  

Margaret Doyle, Chief Insights Officer and Partner, Financial Services, Deloitte, says: “Millennials had to find their feet in turbulent times. They grew up during the [2008] financial crisis and then, of course, there was the pandemic. They've had a really tough couple of decades. But in terms of good news, a significant proportion of the millennial cohort are on the cusp of the largest-ever intergenerational wealth transfer.” 

Something else that makes millennials unique is the fact that those in the older age group within the cohort were raised in the pre-internet era but are now fully immersed in today's complex digital landscape.  

Doyle adds: “The vast majority of millennials are digitally capable, but unlike the next generation, Gen Z, they fondly remember the simpler, pre-digital world. This differentiates them from the youngsters.”  

Gen X – the sandwich generation, who have a good handle on personal finance  

This generation is made up of individuals born between 1965 and 1980. The older members of this generation are in their late 50s and at the tail end of their careers, while the youngest are in their early 40s and entering their peak earning years.  

What makes this generation unique is that their average age makes them both old enough to be financially responsible for elderly parents and young enough to still be supporting young children.  

These multigenerational needs might also have become even more pressing since the pandemic, with record numbers of adult children moving back home and with elderly parents needing new forms of care.  

According to recent research, this generation is primarily concerned about the effects that inflation, the stock market, and economy could have on their personal financial situation.  

Members of Gen X, however, have a good handle on the foundational components of their personal finance. An Investopedia survey found that 75% to 80% of Gen Xs feel they have an intermediate to advanced understanding of personal finance fundamentals, such as saving, debt management, and insurance.   

Visit our Knowledge Hub for more insights into the changing banking landscape and PFA trends.