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Economically challenged Arizona millennials are falling behind in major milestones

PHOENIX — Economic challenges are causing Arizona millennials to miss the mark when it comes to achieving life milestones, such as getting married or buying a home.

According to Rick Merritt, a financial planner for Elliott D. Pollack and Company, millennials are waiting longer to get married. The average age for millennials to get married is 29 for men and 26 for women.

They’re also waiting longer to make large purchases such as a house.

A major reason millennials are delaying typical major milestones is they are finding fewer higher-paying jobs available to them once they get their degree.

“Things are certainly better now than they were several years ago, but I think there’s still that fear and uncertainty coming out of college,” Merritt said.

Merritt said a blockade for millennials is large amounts of student debt. Data shows that increased debt forces more of them move back home with their parents after college.

“It (the number of young people living at home) is at the highest level that it’s been at in 30 years because of college debt and the increases in higher education that have occurred in the past decade or so,” he said.

Merritt said millennials will face an uphill battle to pay off that debt.

“It’s going to be difficult,” he said. “It may take a few years, and you’re going to have put off buying a home or other things that you want, but you have to have some kind of strategy to make that leap to a point where you’re going to be debt-free as much as you can.”

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