In 2020, the World Council of Credit Unions included key demographics in its annual Statistical Report. The survey revealed that the average age of a CU member is 53 years old, and most membership demographics skew older and male. The data is confirmed by GOBankingRates, reporting that Gen Zers and millennials are more likely to bank at a national bank or with online banks than with credit unions. These generations are quickly taking over the economy; they will be inheriting roughly $61 trillion 2042. This is cause for an alarm over the future of the credit union industry.
Many credit unions are seeking ways to keep the generational transfer of wealth within their institution. Not to mention, younger generations will need help investing and saving in the future. The average age to start saving for retirement is 32, and less than 30% of millennials have invested in the stock market, which means they have already lost a decade of compound growth. Credit unions need to consider these generations as a valuable part of their membership and offer investment services to support their financial health and wealth-building journeys.
Redefining Investment Services in a Digital World
Strategically building or revamping wealth-management offerings for younger members requires credit unions to think beyond how they’ve narrowly defined investment services, which is more than likely stocks and mutual funds. Traditional investment services support individuals with $500,000-$1 million in assets under management and often don’t have a plan to support the younger and less affluent up-and-comers. While these members may not have a high AUM now, they are the future.
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