When it comes to generational finances, the unique needs of Gen Y and the Baby Boomers tend to hog the spotlight. However, a younger generation is approaching the age of money management. Generation Z, the children of Gen Xers and born during the early 90s, will soon require the skills to create their own financial strategies.
And, unlike Millennials and their parents, Generation Z are growing up in the aftermath of the financial crisis without the benefit of a strong economy.
The new age of money management
Saving and investing habits differ between generations -- and to younger consumers, doing so can seem intimidating. However, they're at the perfect age for getting started.
According to a survey by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), 15% of respondents say they wish they had started savings and investing earlier. Despite growing up amid a weak economy, this gives Gen Z a distinct advantage, as they enter their prime years for growing their funds. After all, they are without the financial responsibilities of Millennials and Generation Y: car payments, children and mortgages.
The FPSC also proves another interesting notion: those with a financial plan see better financial results. The FPSC study found 85% of people with comprehensive financial plans saw higher levels of financial well-being. With those overwhelming results, there’s no time like the present to get started saving today.
The A to Zs of saving
While setting a goal of saving is a good first step, putting those plans into action is equally as important. There is a wealth of resources available for Generation Z to take advantage of, including blogs and seminars.
As a parent of a Gen Z child, introducing your child to your financial advisor is a good first step.
Start up the Tax-Free Savings: With the TFSA contribution limit recently bumped up to $10,000 a year, those 18 years of age or older can start taking advantage of tax-free growth. With Generation Z not yet at their peak earning years, choosing TFSAs over RRSPs makes sense in most cases.
“A big recommendation would be to invest in the TFSA,” says Brox. “Whether they are investing in interest, dividends or capital gains, all the growth will be accumulating tax-free.”
An early start for education: With the cost of post-secondary education skyrocketing, it would be prudent for parents of Generation Z to start saving and investing early. The best way to accomplish that is with RESPS.
“This group of people will be well-educated and the cost of education is going through the roof,” remarks Brox. “Any type of government assistance they can get would be great. If you maximum RESP contributions, you’ll get $500 grant. You can even go back retroactive to the years you didn’t contribute and catch up.”
An entrepreneurial spirit
Growing up in a down economy, many in Generation Z will been forced to make their own opportunities.
“A lot them will have an entrepreneurial flair to them, which means they’re self-employed,” says Jeanette Brox, financial consultant at Investors Group. “When one is self-employed, one needs to protect their earning capacity, which leads into disability insurance. If they are going to be running companies with employees, they’d want to have group benefits for their employees.”