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Younger Americans more optimistic about use of AI to reach financial goals

On Behalf of | Jul 3, 2024 | Financial News

A new survey finds younger Americans are far more optimistic about the potential of artificial intelligence to help them attain their financial goals, Financial Advisor reports.

The findings were contained in Northwestern Mutual’s 2024 Planning & Progress Study and revealed a significant difference among age groups.  Of the 4,588 U.S. adults surveyed, more than half of Gen Z’ers (57%) and Millennials (55%) say they are excited about the impact AI and generative AI (GenAI) tools could have on their financial lives.  That is compared to only 38% of Gen X’ers and 23% of Baby Boomers who say they are excited about this.

The research also found that 63% of Gen Z and 57% of Millennials said AI will “improve the customer experience in the financial sector, including with financial planning.”

But that opinion was shared by less than half of Gen X (44%) and Boomers+ (32%).

“Younger generations have just grown up in a more technologically rich context so it’s just more natural for them to lean into AI,” said Christian Mitchell, executive vice president and chief customer officer at Northwestern Mutual. “They just have an innate comfort or interest in AI as being a part of their lives, so we really believe that’s what’s driving the discrepancy we see across the various age bands.”

Respondents listed advanced data analysis as the top potential benefit of AI in helping to manage their finances.  The list of top five benefits included faster response times, increased efficiencies, improved customer service and greater opportunities for customization.

The breakdown of the various age groups consisted of Generation Z, those between 18 and 27, millennials from 28 to 43, Generation X between 44 to 59 and boomers who are 60 and older.

The survey found that despite the potential benefits of AI, 54% said they trust humans more when it came to planning their finances, while 15% said they would trust AI alone.

“The majority believe AI and GenAI can be a fantastic addition for a trusted advisor, helping financial professionals deliver even better results and experiences for their clients,” said Mitchell  “The bottom line is this: artificial intelligence can help organizations find human capacity, not replace it.”

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