University of ArizonaNorton School of Family and Consumer Sciences

The Truth Behind Gen Y’s Financial Optimism

On the surface, Gen Y, those ebullient 20-somethings smiling into their phones as they snap selfies, can seem glowingly optimistic about their futures. Despite the major recession they’ve already faced (and seen their parents struggle with), they often tell researchers that they think they will eventually find their footing and establish a standard of living at least as good as the one they enjoyed growing up with their parents.

The real stories behind those happy faces, though, tells a far more nuanced tale and shows just how much hardship many Gen Yers have faced. A new longitudinal study from the University of Arizona's Take Charge America Institute, sponsored by the National Endowment for Financial Education and the Citi Foundation, gives a glimpse of the struggle – and resilience – of this generation.


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