Exclusive: Millennials Turn to Religion for Financial Advice

By FeaturesFOXBusiness

While Millennials increasingly are not identifying with any religion, a new report from Thrivent Financial shows that Millennials are the most likely generation to turn to a faith community, religious leader or faith-based financial education provider for financial advice.

After the Great Recession, Millennials are burdened with student loan debt, high levels of unemployment and underemployment and rising rent costs. With so many financial concerns, the largest group in the American labor force is looking to see who they can turn to when seeking advice.

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"Millennials have lost trust in the banks" said Vera Gibbons, a financial journalist.

While Thrivent did not survey participants on what kind of financial advice they receive, the survey shows that Millennials look for a variety of opinions involving their finances.

Callie Briese, a communications specialist for Thrivent, suggested that consulting with a faith advisor pushes individuals to look at their internal values and apply them to finances.

1. More Millennials Turn to a Faith Community for Financial Advice

Compared to Gen X and Baby Boomers, Millennials are more likely to turn to a faith community, religious leader or faith-based financial education. Thirty-eight percent of Millennials surveyed have turned to a faith advisor for financial advice. A faith advisor can stretch across a variety of religiously-affiliated entities, including but not limited to, a church-sponsored financial literacy course, a Bible group, pastor and reverend, according to Briese.

2. Americans Trust Religious Leaders More Than Significant Others for Financial Advice

According to the survey results, one in five Americans who self-identify as "religious" trust their faith community more than a significant other for financial advice. Millennials are especially more likely than Generation X or Baby Boomers to turn to a faith community, instead of a significant other, for advice on managing daily finances.

3. Consulting a Religious Leader Leads to Having a Financial Plan

Evidently, those who do consult a religious leader are more prepared for their financial future. Twenty-eight percent of those who turn to a faith community or leader are more likely to have a long-term financial plan, compared to 19% of those who have not turned to religion.

Thrivent suggested that turning to a faith advisor, someone who you trust, puts people in a mind set to take control of their finances, as opposed to not discussing finances with anyone.

"Banks need to develop more skills and experience to be involved in their clients' lives" said Gibbons, when suggesting how banks can regain Millennials' trust.

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