The Young-Adult Deadbeats

Here’s a reason for marketers to seek older rather than younger customers: The younger ones are more likely to stiff them on the bill. So we gather from a Rockefeller Foundation/Time magazine poll that asked people whether they’ve failed to pay a bill on time in the past year.

Sixty-two percent of the poll’s 18-29-year-olds said they’ve done this within the past year, vs. 45 percent of the 30-39-year-olds, 34 percent of the 40-64s and 16 percent of those 65 and older.

Meanwhile, one solution to the credit crunch is to hit up your friends for money. An outright majority (58 percent) of the poll’s 18-29s said they’ve borrowed money from a friend in the past year. So did 22 percent of the 30-39-year-olds, 17 percent of the 40-64s and 7 percent of those age 65-plus.

Given numbers like these, it’s no surprise that the poll’s 18-29-year-olds were more likely than their elders to say they’re worried about their personal economic security. Fifty-six percent of them voiced this concern, vs. 47 percent of the 30-39s, 49 percent of the 40-64s and 32 percent of those 65 and older. Indeed, it’s small miracle that as many as 24 percent of the 18-29s believe they’re saving enough money for their retirement. This puts them not far behind the baby boomers in this respect (30 percent of whom think they’re saving enough), even though retirement is already staring many boomers in the wrinkly face.