Observations on life

Those millennials. 

1974/76 to 1994/2000. Take your pick of the various birth date ranges suggested for millennials. 

Regardless, they are old enough to know better or so you would think. But …

 And yes, they can afford to save. What they can’t do is set their financial priorities and standard of living.  


5 replies »

  1. I was working for over 16 years before I got my financial act together and that would make me 34 at the time. The early 1990’s were not kind. I was contributing to my 401K but lost 56% its value due to market loses by 1994. Luck for me I didn’t sell. With kids, a house, and high energy prices, I could not keep my head above water until about 2003. My retirement future is really based on working the last 13 years which I have done very well at saving. I do not think too many $50k or less families can save a lot for retirement. I would be happy if they had an emergency fund which would prevent getting into unexpected debt so that at some point they can save for retirement instead of paying off loans or credit cards.


  2. JRATT has it right, but I have the same conclusion from a different perspective. Assuming birth dates of 1975 – 1994, that means the oldest individual is 40 and the youngest is 20. Choosing the median age, that would be 30, and I can confirm that I, a very diligent saver (in hindsight), had all of $0 saved for retirement at age 30 (actually, I was in debt, and had a slightly negative net worth). Back in those days, I worked for employers with retirement plans. And, I can confirm that I had no vested DB plan benefit, either.

    Today, well, let’s just say at age 63, that I have many multiples of my prior annual earnings saved.

    But, here’s the real problem. The USA Today is focused (and is focusing people) on the WRONG issue. No one under age of 60 should give even one care or even one thought about retirement, and saving for retirement. They should be saving up because they have seen their parents and grandparents progression through the decades, they know that employment is not indefinite, that the next employer may not offer a 401(k), that disability may interrupt their plans, and most importantly, that time passes so quickly. So, my only hope is that the typical millennial who has < $1,000 saved for retirement (median) has lots of money saved elsewhere (earmarked or purposed for other short term, intermediate term or long term needs prior to retirement) and saved in an all purpose savings vehicle. That would not be my recommendation, however, as I would encourage individuals to use the 401(k) as an all purpose savings vehicle – and judiciously use that money via loans that would be repaid to rebuild the account for a future, larger need.


  3. I resent being lumped into the Millenial generation. 1977 is firmly in Generation X!

    “Generation X, commonly abbreviated to Gen X, is the generation born after the Western Post–World War II baby boom. Most demographers and commentators use birth dates ranging from the early 1960s to the early 1980s.”

    Sent from my iPhone



  4. This proves very little. They still have 20 to 40 years to save. I have two sons ages 30 and 36 that each have more than $25,000 saved.

    Many will save the bulk of their retirement money after age 50. When their income is higher and they no longer have a house payment.

    Boomers are not dong much better – From ThinkAdvisor – Are Boomers Headed for Retirement Disaster?

    In actual numbers from the Employment Benefit Research Institute, the median employee in the top 10% of wealth has about $200,000 saved for retirement compared to $22,000 for a middle class employee. The median worker with an income over $100,000 has saved about $100,000, but the average is $360,000. That means that there are some higher-income workers who are saving a lot, but most workers aren’t saving enough. In fact, only 64% of workers between the age of 55 and 64 have saved an amount equal to one year of income.


    • The idea that most retirement saving can be done after mid-forties early fifties used to be true, but today they will just be sending kids to college in late 50s or even 60’s besides look at all the value of compounded interest that is lost by waiting; makes it much harder to save with no cushion if plans go wrong and you have waited.


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