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Retirement reality check for Millennials

Estimated reading time: 1 minutes, 44 seconds

By Charles “Bo” Ives, President

CBS News recently published an article about why the Baby Boom Generation needs a “reality check” when it comes to retirement expectations. The numbers shared in the piece are interesting but also unfortunate. What’s most unfortunate is that a majority of Boomers expect to keep working indefinitely.

The article points out the need to plan and consider retirement at the earliest age possible. Boomers can learn a thing or two from current retirees, who wish they’d saved more, learned more about retirement savings and so on.

But what about Millennials? Shouldn’t we also be using the same recommendations in the article for this younger generation?

How many of those in their 20s to mid-30s are planning on working through the historical retirement age of 65 and remaining in the workforce? How many look at 65 as just a number and add 10 or maybe 20 years onto it when considering an actual retirement target year? Boomers seem to have a rational, though perhaps flawed, response to “the reality of longer lives and insufficient retirement savings” and have adopted a plan to work longer. Do Millennials have a similar strategy?

The need for Americans to practice a better savings plan has been a major focus in the investing industry of late, but it seems to continue to miss the targets. Or, at least, it hits only a portion of the necessary targets.

We have a major debt problem in our country. Primary factors are student loan and other education debt, credit card debt, car loans and home loans. And Millennials are increasingly saddled with such overwhelming debt burdens—and will be for many years to come.

Where is the outcry for early education and preparation for this subject in schools? Why do we not mandate savings and personal finance classes and opportunities in our schools? If we focus on the subject early enough and make it just as much of part of the education lexicon as, say, long division, we may see a Millennial Generation better prepared for retirement than their parents’ generation when they are surveyed in 20 or 30 years.

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