Summary of Panel Presentation on "Getting Inside the Global Heads of Young Adults"

The second panel at the Young Adult Symposium, “Getting inside the Global Heads of Young Adults,” was focused on the social factors and policies that impact young adults’ perspectives of the world economy and their financial futures. Kinsey Dinan, Senior Policy Associate at National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University, discussed the dire financial reality of many young families struggling to make ends meet, and the “financial cliffs” they face. Kinsey and fellow panelist Jurg Siegenthaler, Ph.D., Professor emeritus at American University, discussed the opportunities for policies to cover financial gaps that threaten many families. Jurg referred to the need for social reform of social security and a “social trampoline” of safety net policies that mirrored people’s needs as they move through life. 

 David Madland, Executive Director, American Progress, American Worker Project, expressed how because young adults are facing lower paying jobs, higher debt and more costly healthcare, they are likely to be more supportive of universal healthcare, unions and other government programs than past generations. Lisa Greenwald, Senior Research Associate at Mathew Greenwald & Associates, elaborated on young adults’ financial framework, citing research that showed they still look to their parents for financial advice but are rethinking their retirement reality. There was panel discussion about the need to put a higher value on thrift and savings, education about retirement tools and incentives for young adults to participate in 401(k) or other savings programs.