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Study: 70% of Millennials ‘Intimidated’ by Investing

Millennials and Money Survey - 70% of millennials are "intimidated" by investing. 81% wish they had been taught more about personal finance as a child. 53% believe health insurance is a significant financial burden.

Press Release

Contact: Kevin Langin, 402-602-3541
Release Date: October 2, 2019

Study: 70% of Millennials ‘Intimidated’ by Investing

–2019 'Millennials and Money' Survey Data Released by First National Bank of Omaha–

OMAHA, Neb.  October 2, 2019 – First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO) today released the results of its 2019 Millennials and Money Survey. The survey examined the habits, behaviors and preferences of Americans 23 to 38 years old on an array of financial topics—from spending to student debt to charitable giving to using cash vs. Venmo.

According to the survey, 70% of millennials say they want to do more investing but the process intimidates them. An additional 73% say that, overall, life since beginning their early 20s has been more expensive than expected, and 81% say they wish they had been taught more about personal finance as a child.

“Millennials are facing a unique set of financial circumstances and challenges, as well as opportunities—from college debt to rising healthcare costs to the availability of new tools and technologies,” said Jerry J. O’Flanagan, executive vice president, Consumer Banking Group, First National Bank of Omaha. “For Millennials, and those of any generation, the solution for a healthy financial future starts with education—which is then followed by planning and discipline. The younger a person starts learning about money, the better the outlook for their long-term financial health.”

Among the survey’s additional findings:

  • Spending and Saving: 72% admit they spend more money per month than they should, while 66% say they have begun saving for retirement and 44% say they keep a financial budget and stick to it.
  • Student Debt: 48% of those with a college degree that took on student loan debt say their degree was not worth the cost, while 52% say their degree was worth the cost.
  • Health Insurance: 53% say health insurance is a significant financial burden for them.
  • Cash vs. Venmo: 46% say they are most likely to use cash to pay $20 to a friend, while 28% say they would use Venmo.
  • Giving Back: 50% say they are most likely to donate goods (e.g. old clothes), while 23% say time (e.g. volunteering) and 21% say money.
  • Financial Independence: 38% say they do not receive any financial support from parents or relatives.

This survey is a follow-up to First National Bank of Omaha’s 2019 State of Homeownership Survey, which found that 79% of Americans consider homeownership as part of the “American Dream.”


The survey was conducted online using Survey Monkey. One thousand and fifty-nine participants were polled, spanning across the United States. The demographic of those polled represented Millennials, defined as aged 23-38, with a broad range in geographic location and gender.

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