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Economy Tempers Teens' Optimism

Economy Tempers Teens' Optimism . / Credit: Teen Saving Image via Shutterstock

The past year has not been kind to the psyche of teenagers. That’s what a new survey found when looking at how U.S. teenagers felt about their financial futures. According to that survey, 56 percent of those ages 14-18  feel they will be better off financially than their parents. That number, however, represented a nearly 40 percentage point drop from last year.

Teens also think it will now take longer to become independent from their parents. According to the survey, just 18 percent of respondents felt they would be independent by age 20, compared with 44 percent in 2011. Still, the number of respondents confident of being independent by age 25 to 27 doubled from last year's total of 12 percent.

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"Despite recent reports that this will be the first generation in a century that is unlikely to end up better off financially than its parents, our young people have the opportunity to shape their own futures as long as they have the skills, knowledge and confidence to do so," Jack Kosakowski, president and chief executive officer of survey sponsor Junior Achievement USA, said. "Every parent's dream is for their children to be more successful than they are."

Part of the reason for this pessimism comes from the fact that teens are not doing a good job managing their money, Junior Achievement said. The number of teens who reported not budgeting their money properly stood at 34 percent, compared with 10 percent last year. Teens said that their main sources for money-management tips were school programs and their parents.

The information in the 2012 Junior Achievement Teens and Personal Finance survey was based on the responses of 1,059 people ages 14 through 18. The study was conducted by Junior Achievement USA and the Allstate Foundation.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily staff writer David Mielach at Dmielach@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @D_M89.

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