Playing Catch-Up in the Game of Life.' -2-

05/19/19 02:50 PM EDT

As millennials approach middle age, more are asking for help from their employers. Ford Motor Co. two years ago expanded its financial-planning services after internal surveys found that the top monetary concern of millennials was saving for retirement. Ford's planning services include one-on-one reviews of employee investments. All 80,000 U.S. workers are eligible.

"A good number of them are in their 30s and are thinking about longer-term planning," said Julie Lodge-Jarrett, chief talent officer at the Dearborn, Mich., auto maker. "While they want to save, and they inherently get the importance of saving and planning, they don't know how to do it."

Zillow Group Inc., the Seattle real-estate company, earlier this year began offering a student-loan repayment program, contributing $25 a month toward the employee's balance. The benefit was initiated after workers asked for help tackling college debts, said Dan Spaulding, the company's chief people officer.

About 580 workers have signed up, the company said, and they carry an average loan balance of about $28,000.

Mike Maughan, head of global insights at Qualtrics in Provo, Utah, which researches millennials, said the financial picture of the generation is rosier than it appears: "Millennials are much scrappier than we give them credit for."

Employers have told Mr. Maughan that the desire of millennials for on-the-job feedback shows they are eager to improve their skills.

One other bright spot: Millennials are entering their prime earning years just as baby boomers retire. That should fuel demand for their skills and lift their earnings. "The job market is so much better, so much stronger than it was 10 years ago," said Mr. Emmons, of the St. Louis Fed. "That's a huge benefit."

Write to Janet Adamy at janet.adamy@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 19, 2019 14:50 ET (18:50 GMT)

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