Survey: Millennials don’t think Trump will affect their wallets. But they should
NEW YORK — Millennials don’t think a Trump presidency will matter for their wallets.
At least, that’s the conclusion reached by a recent survey. Young Americans are among those most likely to think the outcome of the election won’t make a difference for their financial security, according to Bankrate.com’s December Financial Security Index.
About 45% of respondents aged 18-35 said they think the results of the election won’t affect their personal finances either way.
Among Millennial respondents, 22% said they think Trump’s presidency will affect their finances in a positive way, and 26% said his win will have a negative impact on their wallets. Another 5% of Millennials polled said they don’t know what the election results mean for their finances.
Of those who expect a Trump presidency to be a good thing for their bank accounts, the main drivers cited were lower taxes and higher income. Those who expect Trump to have a poor impact on their wallet pointed to taxes and income as well.
Just over 1,000 people were polled from December 1-4 of this year.
In general, Millennials feel more financially secure than older Americans, said Bankrate.com’s Chief Financial Analyst Greg McBride. “They have the highest feeling of job security of any age group, which makes sense given their social media and technology skills,” McBride said.
Despite this overall sense of security, there are plenty of reasons for Millennials to pay attention to Trump’s policies:
His latest tax plan is likely to reduce taxes for most people. And while that could be helpful for some single Millennials, those who have children — or plan to — could end up paying more.
Trump’s plan is likely to result in tax cuts for those who opt for a standard deduction, as many Millennials do, explained Alan Cole, an economist at the Tax Foundation, a conservative think tank.
Currently, unmarried young Americans with no dependents and few assets can claim a $6,300 standard deduction and a personal exemption of $4,050. Trump would kick that standard deduction up to $15,000 and get rid of personal exemptions.
Overall, Cole estimates that Millennials would save a few hundred dollars in taxes.
But Trump’s proposed plan could actually raise taxes for some low- and middle-income families.
That’s because Trump would raise the lowest tax bracket to 12% from the current 10%. And he would drop personal exemptions and head of household status, which particularly benefits single parents.
But negotiations between Trump’s plan and a previous tax reform plan from House Republicans could change the outcome. Bob Williams, Sol Price Fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, warns that it may be too soon to tell what Trump’s tax plan will actually look like.
“What Trump’s plan is today might not be what Trump’s plan is tomorrow,” he said, adding, “Will there be another plan? We don’t know.”
Another big consideration for young people: changes to their health care plans. Trump said during his campaign that he would repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. But in a post-election interview, he said he might preserve some parts of the law. Of the Obamacare measure that lets children stay on their parents’ insurance until age 26, Trump said “we’re going to very much try to keep that.”
If Trump does repeal the act outright, millions of young people could see their health care disappear. It’s still unclear whether he would put a new plan in place that would prevent those currently on Obamacare from losing their insurance.
According to figures released by the Health department, more than 6 million Americans aged 19 to 25 were insured by the American Care Act since 2010.
The president-elect also promised to help young parents. Trump stressed the importance of more affordable child care during his campaign.
Under Trump’s proposed plan, parents could deduct the average cost of child care in their state, depending on the child’s age, for up to four children. That break would apply to any single parent making less than $250,000 per year, or a couple bringing in less than $500,000 annually.
The plan would benefit stay-at-home parents whose spouses work, and offer relief to working parents who wouldn’t owe federal income taxes.
Experts fear, however, that some of the provisions — like tax breaks on dependent care savings accounts — would end up helping upper- and middle-class families but offer little to low-income parents.
Trump has proposed an income-based cap on student loans that would limit graduates’ payments to 12.5% of their salaries. He’s also said that graduates would see their debts forgiven after 15 years of regular payments.
Trump’s proposal is somewhat similar to Obama’s student loan repayment plan. But a recent study found that the current administration’s plan could cost the government twice as much as anticipated, which could put the future of the policy at risk.