Hate to say it, but we millennials are becoming the olds faster than we think. Today, the eldest among us are nearing 40, and by 2019, we'll be the most populous generation in the United States. Despite how much we're struggling just to get our careers established now, we need to get a lot better about what we're going to do after.
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University of Missouri researchers have just released a study examining how well millennials are planning for the future. Just 37.2 percent of us have some kind of retirement account, which presumably includes the 1 in 4 workers with less than $1,000 socked away. Some of that comes down to genuine scarcity, but if you're among that number, consider whether your roadblock is simply that you're overwhelmed and don't have a plan.
If you've been told you'll need 85 percent of your working salary to live comfortably in retirement, that kind of money may already feel out of reach. But successful retirement planning has more to do with early, safe investments and compound interest than living on a sliver of your paycheck while you're young. New suggested guidelines for how much to save per year should help you breathe easier, and if you're still confused about the whole process in general, you can even have fun learning the basics. Get in touch with a financial planner to open up the conversation.
The University of Missouri study digs into how different demographics fit into their findings. For instance, those with advanced degrees were more likely to have a retirement account than those with only a high school degree, but the advanced degree-holders were also saving smaller amounts. Improving your financial literacy can only be a good thing, both today and way in the future. Budgeting for retirement might be simpler (and more likely) than you think.