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MANAGING MILLENNIALS

Who’s the most prepared for the future? Survey results may surprise you

When it comes to preparing for the future, Millennial small-business owners are seemingly the most concerned generation in recent history.

They are more likely than Gen X or Baby Boomers to have plans for natural disasters, retirement benefits, cyberattacks, and even business succession.

Those Millennial generation facts stem from Nationwide’s second annual Small Business Indicator, a national survey conducted online by Harris Poll in June 2016 among 502 U.S. small-business owners with fewer than 300 employees.

“Our survey challenges some common perceptions of Millennials,” said Mark Berven, president of Nationwide Property & Casualty. “By far, these individuals are the most prepared—and concerned—generation of business owners in recent history.”

For the second year in a row, Nationwide’s annual Small Business Indicator focused on key topics impacting business operations: disaster recovery, retirement planning, cybersecurity, and also business succession (new to the 2016 survey).

But the generational data had some of the most significant differences in percentages among small-business owners:

  • Disaster recovery: Millennials are most likely to have a disaster recovery plan in place (51 percent), versus Gen X (30 percent) or Baby Boomers (29 percent);
  • Retirement planning: Millennials are most likely to offer retirement benefits (59 percent); they are also most likely to offer their employees any of the following benefits (84 percent) versus Gen X (60 percent) or Baby Boomers (46 percent): medical insurance, paid time off, retirement benefits (e.g., 401(k)), workers’ compensation, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, short-term disability, long-term disability, and domestic partner benefits ;
  • Cybersecurity: More Millennials have a written cyberattack response plan in place (42 percent) versus Gen X (17 percent) or Baby Boomers (12 percent); and
  • Business succession: Millennials are most likely to currently have a business succession plan in place (61 percent) versus Gen X (32 percent) or Baby Boomers (32 percent).

While the reasons for Millennials’ preparedness may vary by individual, it’s a fact that they are now the largest, most educated and most diverse generation in the United States, according to the Council of Economic Advisers.

They are also the first generation to have had access to the Internet during their formative

years—and many of them joined the workforce in an era of great economic uncertainty.

“Some of our survey data may seem surprising,” Berven said. “But if you think about the risks many Millennials have experienced and grown up with—everything from cyberattacks to an economic meltdown—it makes sense that they would be some of the most concerned individuals out there.”


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