I think we need to rename the millennial generation, the “complaining generation.”
Why would one generation care what a previous generation has in terms of wealth? That has no consequence on Millennials ability to prepare for retirement.
If a Millennial wants to be able to retire, their measure is not what boomers or even the top 1% have, but what they will need and what they must do to reach their goal.
Here’s a thought, you cannot spend what you spend now. You must build a plan that provides long-term growth. That includes stocks and bonds that provide dividend and interest income that is reinvested for more compounding over the next 30 plus years.
Even if you start modestly, you will accumulate wealth and equally important, a source of steady income in retirement.
Nothing is driving wealth to the top that means anything to the rest of us or takes from our ability to save. Complaining about inequality is an excuse and a pretty weak one at that.
Want a clue? Most of the wealth growth for the top 1% or so comes from stocks, bonds and real estate. While a billionaire may make a few hundred million over a few months, there is nothing from preventing us mortals from doing the same on a relative scale to our incomes and savings.
Don’t worry about the other guy worry about what you do.
Wealth inequality slams millennials
The U.S. has experienced a marked increase in both income and wealth inequality since the 1980s when most millennials were born. The Census Bureau recently reported that U.S. income inequality reached its highest level in 50 years in 2018. And the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed in a new report that disparities in income and wealth among older households have become greater over the past three decades.
My organization, the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), found in a report last year that millennials in 2016 reached comparable levels of wealth inequality to baby boomers in 2004, but nearly two full decades earlier in their life cycles. Given that wealth inequality tends to compound over time, the implications of this finding are staggering.
The widening chasm between the haves and the have-nots has clear implications for millennials’ retirement security. Retirement income is closely tied to income and occupation during one’s career. While the overwhelming majority of older Americans will receive income from Social Security in retirement, Social Security functions as a floor to prevent elder poverty; it is not meant to provide full retirement income.
The bottom line: The retirement outlook for millennials is bleak. Widening inequality is driving wealth to the very top. Unless lawmakers in Washington act soon, the Social Security trust fund will be depleted in 2035 and everyone who won’t have retired yet, not just millennials, will experience a sharp cut in their benefits.