NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Today’s Financial Challenges”


Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at today’s financial challenges.  Mike, every generation faces its own financial issues.  When you and I were beginning our careers, the big issues were double digit inflation, interest rates for loans at almost 20%, and fuel prices that seemed to never stop rising. For young people today just beginning their work careers, are the financial challenges different?

Mike:  Summary Answer

  1. Yes, the issues that we faced are not there today
  2. Instead, today’s youth face new financial challenges
  3. College grads will face an average college debt of $30,000
  4. Although mortgage rates are 4%, college debt and a tight supply make buying a home difficult – as a result, most are renting
  5. Investing is a challenge – just to do it, but then how – only the stock market has had good returns, but risky
  6. And then retirement – many youths thins Soc Sec won’t be there when they retire, and with company pensions more modest today, most are on-their-own for retirement – and most ignore until later
  7. So, although today’s young workers are the best educated, they still face important financial decisions
  8. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for N C State Extension