News & Events

The Conflicted Generation? New Study Reveals
Millennials Are Optimistic About the Future But Restless in the Present

MILWAUKEE, Aug. 17, 2016 -- Millennials (ages 18-34) foresee a bright future for the nation's economy as well as their own financial outlook, according to the latest findings from the 2016 Northwestern Mutual's Planning & Progress Study:

  • Among the generations, Millennials are least likely to anticipate more financial crises in the future (66% vs 76% for Gen X (ages 35-49) and 80% for Americans ages 50+) 
  • A large majority of Millennials (86%) are confident that they will achieve their financial goals  
  • 4 in 10 believe the nation's economy will improve in 2016 compared to fewer than a third of the general population and just a quarter of those ages 50+

Though generally positive about their long-term prospects, Millennials do have some concerns about retirement security with more than a third (34%) of them – double the general population – stating that it is "not at all likely" that the Social Security safety net will be available when they retire.

"It's encouraging to see that Millennials are striking a balance between being realistic about the implications of extended longevity and remaining positive about building a solid financial future," said Rebekah Barsch, vice president of planning for Northwestern Mutual. 

The research released today is part of the 2016 Northwestern Mutual's Planning & Progress Study annual research project exploring Americans' attitudes and behaviors toward finances and planning.

Steve Forbes and John Schlifske on
"Econo-ME: Ensuring Your Financial Security in the New Normal”

Northwestern Mutual hosted a speaker series with Steve Forbes, chairman and editor in chief of Forbes Media and John Schlifske, Northwestern Mutual chairman and CEO. The three-day tour saw over 4,000 attendees in total and included panel discussions in Miami and Palm Beach, FL; Washington, DC; Hartford, CT; Raleigh and Charlotte, NC; and Milwaukee, WI. In Charlotte, where there were over 400 in attendance, Steve and John discussed their thoughts on the economy, the markets, and how individuals and business owners can ensure financial security in the new normal. Key insights presented at the events were:


  • Managing risk is the cornerstone of financial security for individuals and families in today’s economy. According to Schlifske, a foundation of risk management is the key to protecting yourself and those you care about against the financial challenges that occur when people live too long, die too soon or become sick or injured. 
  • Unforeseen threats will continue to affect our national economy. Natural disasters such as the earthquake in Japan or unrest in the Middle East impact today’s consumers. However, Schlifske and Forbes agree that our nation’s economy will continue to overcome these obstacles in the long-term based on our markets and infrastructure. 
  • The fundamentals of financial security to build wealth include long-term savings. Forbes recommends that consumers stick with the basics such as putting money away week after week and working with a trusted advisor on a holistic plan. 
For more thoughts on these and other business topics, visit the Northwestern Mutual Special Features page of
To view photos from this event, click here.


Northwestern Mutual financial representatives have the opportunity to determine their own financial futures while making an impact on others.

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