Gen Z Driven to Save

Gen Z woman sitting in front of laptop holding her glasses and looking out towards the window with light shining through

I Shared with PlanSponsor Our Latest Insights into Gen Z, Their Personal Finances, and How the Pandemic Will Influence Those Habits Going Forward

  • Generation Z is already working on their retirement plans, even in their early 20s!
  • Our research shows that Gen Z seeks good benefits from current and future employers
  • COVID-19 has only strengthened these important Gen Z trends

I was excited to speak to Plansponsor earlier this month about Gen Z’s desire to start saving at an early age. As a Gen Z researcher, strategist, and author of  Zconomy, due out in September, I took a deep dive into the latest insights on Gen Z and their financial habits based on our research.

At CGK, the research firm where I am President, our research over the last several years is already pointing to this emerging generation being better savers than their Millennial predecessors. Coupled with the effects of the Great Recession of 2008 on their parents and the impacts of the pandemic starting to take shape on Gen Z directly, Gen Z’s fiscal cautiousness will likely solidify.

Leaders understand that these events will have profound effects on everything from recruiting and employee retention to the use of consumer credit, spending, and major purchases. I share these insights and what leaders need to know to engage this generation during my customized virtual events, podcasts, and interactive webinars. I am passionate about getting the data-driven insights into the national and global conversation about Gen Z.

Funding Retirement Accounts in Your Early 20s? Really?

Yes. Really. In prior times, recent college grads just starting in the workforce were not focused on putting away money for savings. Now, our studies are showing that Gen Z is saving money at a higher percentage than many would expect or predict.

As I shared with Plansponsor, “12% of Gen Z workers have initiated their retirement savings, while 35% plan to begin saving in their 20s. These are people that are 23 years old and younger, and they’re already saving for retirement. They’re doing more comparison shopping, they’re shopping more in thrift stores, they were the ones that have the emergency accounts.”

Gen Z Prefers Employers Who Offer ‘Solid’ Benefits

Companies that offer trendy perks such as ‘Tuesday Tacos’ as ‘deal-closers’ for Gen Z workers entering the workforce may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Our research shows that young employees want to receive solid health care benefits and retirement savings plans (e.g., 401k, 403b) that are matched by the employer more than just the latest fad perk.

Employers are going to have to compromise with Gen Z recruits, and Gen Z is willing to work with them. As I shared in the interview, “Sixty percent of Gen Z workers stated they would accept a 10% lower starting salary in return for a better benefits package. Already prior to COVID-19, these workers were showing that these benefits are important to them.”

For Gen Z, The Pandemic is Reinforcing These Ideas

The pandemic is what we call a Generation Defining Moment for Gen Z. During this time of uncertainty, people, including Gen Z, are looking for stability. For Gen Z, it is about laying a solid foundation for their future and being able to pay for healthcare.

The article notes the importance of health care engagement and gives the example of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs). These helpful and timely products are particularly important to Gen Z as they are likely to be at multiple jobs in their careers, and there is no penalty associated with HSAs.

Along with my co-author, Dr. Denise Villa, we write about what Gen Z is looking for, not only as employees but also as customers and trendsetters in our forthcoming book, Zconomy: How Gen Z Will Change the Future of Business—and What to Do About It.

How Can Leaders Adapt to Drive Results with Gen Z Right Away?

There are many challenges with the uncertainty happening now. Despite this, leaders must ensure that their business can engage Gen Z and emerge from these times stronger.

At CGK, we are closely researching how Gen Z and all generations are thinking about the economy, work, spending, brands, family, and much more during this ‘new normal.’ We are providing these insights to clients as executive briefings, webinars and strategic advisor relationships to help leaders be accurately informed with missing data and solutions to drive results during this important time.

Contact our friendly team here to learn how our research and generational strategies can help your team and organization through this time of uncertainty through our custom webinar, virtual keynotes, and more. We are all in this together.


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