A former Hawke's Bay woman is on a mission to help teens become more financially successful, saying younger generations have it harder than their parents and grandparents.

Hannah McQueen, a chartered accountant, said it was while working with adults around financial success that she noticed young people were struggling.

"They [the parents] are trying to get ready for retirement and there is an assumption that their kids will be financially independent at some stage.

"And in most instances that just isn't proving to be true."


She said young people these days face much more financial difficulty than those of previous generations.

She said in her grandparents' day the income to house-price ratio was 1:2, meaning in today's money if you earned $50,000 a year, a house would cost $100,000.

"So two times your annual income.

"Back in those days you didn't need to be good with money, you just needed to not be bad."

She said the next generation had a ratio of about 1:3 or 1:4 and her generation was about 1:5.

"Millennials, the ratio is more 1:7.

"What that means is house prices relative to income are disproportionately higher than any other time in history."

This means young people have to save a lot more of a house deposit, and are less likely to be mortgage free by retirement.


"This is if they are good with money. If you are bad with money you've got no hope."

Higher living cost and higher levels of consumerism also contribute to the difficulty.

"The tools that these people, this generation, have to work with are the tools that are relevant to my granddad but they are not relevant to them."

She said advice young people tend to receive, around delaying gratification, does not work for this generation and millennials know it, leading to feeling despondent.

She said young people needed a personalised plan rather than general advice.

"How do we play to their strengths, how do we know what their strengths are, what jobs does that create, what income aligns with that job and is that enough to get them to where they want to be as quickly as possible?"

One young person who has been working with McQueen is former Havelock North High School student Asher James.

He said he started an internship with McQueen when he started university in 2017.

"Since then she has mentored me and worked with me," James said.

"It's been great, it's been definitely enlightening as to how much I didn't know."

He said he feels confident about his financial future.

He co-owns a property with his parents and, despite having not finished his degree, earns 20 per cent more than an average university graduate.

"I would definitely say it has put me in a position where I feel pretty financially comfortable, even though I am still a student."

McQueen will be in Hawke's Bay to run a seminar at the Hastings function centre on May 21 at 6pm. Tickets are available at: www.equipmenow.com/seminar.