Younger generations are often unfairly characterized by their elders. In the late 1960s the Greatest Generation, who grew up during the Depression, accused baby boomers of being anti authority. Some were.
When their turn came, the baby boomers said that the millennials (those born between 1980-2000) were lazy and entitled. Some have been.
But this “young” generation (the oldest of whom are now in their early 40s) has proved to be anything but lazy and entitled when it’s come to saving for their retirement.
According to a report by Wells Fargo, millennials started saving for retirement at an average age of 25. This is younger than Generation X (30), and much younger than boomers (36).
According to CNBC, this earlier start is due in part to the fact that 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts are more of the norm for this generation than previous age groups.
Millennials have accepted another reality about retirement, and that’s the likelihood that many of them will need to work to supplement their income. A survey conducted by The Harris Poll of adults 33 to 40 (older millennials) found that 61% believe they will work in some capacity in retirement. Only 25% said they didn’t think they would.
But as CNBC points out, not all older millennials see the need for some kind of employment in retirement as a bad thing, or even as a result of not saving enough. On the contrary, many see it as an opportunity to slow down and do work they’re interested in.
Joseph Coughlin, director of the AgeLab at MIT, says that increasing longevity will change the way millennials approach their later years, including the number who choose to work. He adds, “Many millennials are likely to want their retirement to be more than simply walking along the beach, playing golf, and sipping wine.”
Recent studies have shown a positive correlation between working past the traditional retirement age and healthier cognition. It’s very satisfying to be active in a role where your contribution is valued.
If you work with me to save for retirement, you should also be planning what you will do during retirement. Now is the time to be exploring the interests, including work opportunities, that will make for a satisfying transition to that new stage in life.