Failing to save for retirement tends to be the biggest financial regret among Americans but millennials still want it all, they want it quickly, and without much sacrifice, data from a recent Bankrate.com study suggests.
Perhaps unsurprising given the older generation’s general stereotyping of millennials as having less ambition and work ethic combined with an immediate gratification self-pitying me-first perspective on life, the survey finds that Americans ranging in age between 18 to 37 say that while they don’t have much savings, they still want to retire early. Well perhaps there’s ambition of a sorts, but ambition without the work and preparation.
Of those millennials already saving, the median retirement account balance is about $19,100. But overall, roughly two-thirds of millennials have nothing saved so far — concludes a National Institute on Retirement Security report (NIRS).
The data shows that “younger Americans are hoping to retire in their early 60s, according to Bankrate’s survey. For millennials, 61 is the ideal retirement age.”
This is especially surprising given that as we’ve discussed time and time again, America’s millennial generation is burdened by debt, effectively precluded from home ownership and increasingly disgruntled and pessimistic about their future prospects for wealth and happiness. But perhaps they are also a bit delusional or at least less than realistic at times, especially on the topic of personal finances and the future.
Add to this that it’s no secret that people are living longer and many are staying in the workforce long past the traditional retirement age of 65, but it appears there’s a vast disconnect between millennials’ goals and their preparations to reach those goals.
Though stating that obviously “early retirement is something that seems very appealing,” the Bankrate study analysts conclude:
If only wishing made it so. Of those millennials already saving, the median retirement account balance is about $19,100. But overall, roughly two-thirds of millennials have nothing saved so far, according to a February report by the National Institute on Retirement Security.
And a bit more modest, the study further finds “half of baby boomers think it’s best to retire at age 65 or older. Nearly 1 in 5 (17 percent) Americans ages 73 and older say you should wait until you’re at least 70 to retire.”
Among the data used by Bankrate is from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), which recently found that about 66 percent of people between the ages of 21 and 32 have yet to save a single dollar toward their retirement fund, based analyzing Census data collected in 2014.
Researchers for NIRS cite the “harsh economic landscape” millennials encountered when they first entered the workforce, especially the years between 2008 and 2012.
“Reality begins to set in as you advance toward retirement age,” observes Bankrate’s chief financial analyst, Greg McBride, who concludes, “I think that’s why you see those in the Silent Generation having the highest age estimate and the boomers being the next highest. A lot of those Gen Xers and millennials that say 60 or 61 today, they may put a different number on that and in another 20 years.”