The US Lifestages in Financial Services Market Report 2022 identifies consumers’ attitudes and behaviors towards financial institutions by lifestage, how to turn life stage into a product, and the impact of COVID-19 and inflation on consumers’ financial goals. This report covers the US financial services market size, market forecast, market segmentation and trends in the financial market in the US.

Life Stage Banking Services: Current Market Landscape

US financial lifestages & financial priorities often align according to our US financial services market research. Financial needs and goals of seniors, Millennials, and Gen Z might be vastly different from each other.

What is the main challenge of marketing financial services in the financial industry?

The size and complexity of the US financial services industry is one of many challenges and necessitates the specified lens of lifestage analysis to scrutinize how consumers’ needs and goals evolve at various points.

What are some of the barriers to accessing financial services in America?

Currently, record inflation is significantly impacting consumers’ purchasing power, with younger consumers on tighter budgets more likely to be impacted. Moreover, our US financial services market research shows that surges in housing costs driven by lack of supply further enhance financial pressure on consumers in the hectic lifestage of young adulthood.

US Financial Services Industry Growth: Market Share and Key Industry Trends

Our US financial services industry report predicts that recent inflation will dampen the US financial services industry growth. It will also have a substantial impact on consumers’ spending power, with the affordability of goods and services influencing financial outlooks for everyone. However, these effects are more likely to directly impact younger and lower-income consumers, who felt the greater brunt of the economic consequences of the pandemic and feel more stressed about balancing their financial responsibilities.

As the volatility of the economy subsides, consumers will be able to readjust to a more stable economic environment and plan more confidently rather than reflexively maintaining the conservative behaviors driven by inflation concerns.

A Life Cycle Segmentation Approach to Marketing Financial Products and Services:
  • 43% of Millennials hope to build emergency savings within the next 12 months.
  • 30% of Gen Z want to save for a new home within the next 12 months.
  • 65% of Baby Boomers consider having a comfortable level of income as the most important measure for financial happiness.
  • 45% of Millennials think that being able to help out their family financially is the most important measure for their financial happiness.

Future Trends in the Financial Market: Turning Life Stage into a Product

Many consumers feel the need to learn more about investing to achieve future financial security and are concerned about retirement – financial brands can improve their position of advocacy with resources to assist them in long-term planning.

What are the main challenges for the financial services industry in the next 5 years?

According to our US financial services market research an aging workforce will continue to prolong financial planning as consumers adjust to the increased age of Social Security eligibility. Moreover, the descending birth rate will cause a lower percentage of the population to the age into adulthood, making young Gen Zers a prized consumer group to institutions in the US financial services industry.

What are the recent trends in financial services?

Attitudes towards banking preferences are shifting and will create ample opportunity for challenger brands to increase their US financial services market size through digital experiences that meet the expectations of young consumers. High-earners are embracing diversified accounts with various financial institutions, giving niche competitors the opportunity to gain a foothold in the US financial services industry.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our US Financial Services Market Research.

US Financial Lifestages & Financial Priorities: Quickly Understand

  • Turning life stage into a product: What are the top life priorities by generation?
  • What are short-, medium- and long-term financial goals?
  • Consumers’ top factors that define financial happiness.
  • Life stage banking services: Sources of financial information by lifestage.
  • A life cycle segmentation approach to marketing financial products and services: Personal finance attitudes and behaviors by lifestage.
  • Attitudes toward financial institutions by lifestage.

Covered in this Report

Brands: Bank of America (Merrill), Delta, Fidelity, Vanguard, Edward Jones, and more.

Expert Analysis from a Specialist in the Field

This report, written by Patrick Rahlfs, a leading analyst in the US financial services industry, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the financial market in the US, and adds expert context to the numbers.

Financial goals constantly evolve as consumers face complex personal decisions and the need to weigh financial implications of major life pursuits. The youngest group of consumers are learning about personal finance through numerous digital channels, yet their priorities remain diverse as they focus on education and career. Financial concerns proliferate and debt accumulates as consumers get married, start families and face the front ends of large commitments like mortgages. However, with experience, middle-aged consumers gain confidence through the completion of financial goals and begin to prioritize a broader concept of financial success through investment and planning. Finally, the oldest segment of consumers view finances as the direct means to the end of enjoying a happy, healthy life. While the intricacies of this journey are unique for each individual, an understanding of the inflection points along the continuum provide insight into opportunity areas for financial brands to provide the maximum support.

Patrick Rahlfs
Patrick Rahlfs
Senior Research Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Young adults are information gatherers
      • Figure 1: Personal finance channels, by generation, 2022
    • Millennials are doers
      • Figure 2: Short-term financial goals, by generation, 2022
    • Gen Xers are planners
    • Market overview
      • Figure 3: Category outlook, 2022-27
    • Opportunities and challenges
    • Young consumers are digitally engaged and expanding consideration of alternative competitors
    • Niche solutions battle deepened relationships, as convenience is key
    • Key consumer insights
    • Financial concerns broaden over time
    • Debt is viewed as a necessary evil for younger consumers
      • Figure 4: Measures of financial happiness, by generation, 2022
  3. Market Size

    • The US population is aging
      • Figure 5: US population, by age, 2016, 2021, 2026
    • Annual births declined for the sixth straight year
      • Figure 6: Number of US births (in thousands), by year, 2010-20
  4. Market Factors

    • Average age at first marriage continues to climb
      • Figure 7: Median age at first marriage, by gender, 2010-20
    • Home ownership rates are rising, but still down
      • Figure 8: US home ownership rate , Q1 2010-Q4 2021
    • Serious credit card delinquencies outpace other loan forms
      • Figure 9: Percent of balance 90+ days delinquent by loan type, Q3 2003-Q4 2021
    • Retirement may be postponed due to Social Security changes
      • Figure 10: US labor participation rate by age group, 2000, 2010, 2020, 2030
  5. Competitive Strategies

    • Bank of America counsels customers to enjoy today, let Merrill help invest
      • Figure 11: Bank of America Merrill email, 2022
    • Luxury appeals primarily to young consumers
      • Figure 12: American express delta skymiles reserve upgrade direct mail piece, 2022
    • Fidelity addresses retirement concerns of Gen Xers via newsletter
      • Figure 13: Fidelity viewpoints email, 2021
    • Vanguard emphasizes the journey of investment on social ads
      • Figure 14: Vanguard paid Facebook ad, 2022
  6. Market Opportunities

    • Older consumers want to spend time enjoying life
    • Investment brands can expand their footprint by reaching minorities
      • Figure 15: Edward Jones paid Facebook ad, 2021
  7. The Financial Services Consumer through Lifestages – Fast Facts

  8. Life Priorities

    • Top life priorities are different for each generation
      • Figure 16: Life priorities, by generation, 2022
    • Financial concerns broaden with age
      • Figure 17: Financial position versus career, by generation, 2022
    • Employees who earn less than $75k annually are looking to improve their financial position
      • Figure 18: Life priorities, by age and income, 2022
    • Single adults are more likely to prioritize career
      • Figure 19: Career versus family responsibilities, by marital status, 2022
  9. Short-, Medium- and Long-Term Financial Goals

    • Building emergency savings is the most common short-term goal across age groups
      • Figure 20: Short-term financial goals, by generation, 2022
    • Buying a home is the lone financial goal most likely to be achieved in the medium term
      • Figure 21: Buying a home, by time frame of goal, 2022
    • Mortgage payments are consumers’ most significant long-term goal
      • Figure 22: Paying off a mortgage, by time frame of goal, 2022
  10. Financial Happiness

    • Younger consumers prioritize family over income and debt
      • Figure 23: Measures of financial happiness, by generation, 2022
    • Luxuries are most important to younger individuals
      • Figure 24: Importance of luxuries, by generation, 2022
    • Men focus on retirement while women prefer to manage debt
      • Figure 25: Importance of luxuries, by gender and generation, 2022
  11. Personal Finance Channels

    • Younger consumers turn to digital channels to learn about finance
      • Figure 26: Personal finance channels, by generation, 2022
    • Higher-earning young adults consume financial podcasts
      • Figure 27: Financial podcast consumption, by age and income, 2022
    • Gen Xers are the largest audience for financial websites
      • Figure 28: Financial website consumption, by generation, 2022
  12. Personal Finance Attitudes

    • Mobile banking is crucial to young consumers
      • Figure 29: Attitudes toward digital payments and banking, by generation, 2022
    • Parents are even more dependent on digital banking
      • Figure 30: Attitudes toward digital payments and banking, by generation and parental status, 2022
    • Debt concern peaks among Millennials
      • Figure 31: Debt stress, by generation, 2022
    • Minority consumers have an appetite for investment information
      • Figure 32: Attitudes toward investing, by age and race, 2022
  13. Attitudes toward the Financial Services Industry

    • Higher-earning consumers accept diversified financial accounts
      • Figure 33: Preference toward financial institution, by age and income, 2022
    • Gen Z remain skeptical of non-traditional banking accounts
      • Figure 34: Consideration of non-traditional banks, by generation, 2022
    • Fathers are the key demographic for robo-advisors
      • Figure 35: Attitude toward robo-advisors, by parental status, 2022
    • Sharing values with financial institutions is a secondary concern for consumers
      • Figure 36: Preference of shared values with financial institutions, by generation, 2022
  14. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Consumer survey data
    • Marketing creative
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


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