Retirement is a long way away for millennials, but they’re already depressed about it. In a Reddit thread on the topic, over 800 commenters painted a morose picture on what their retirement may look like.
“We'll die in the climate wars long before we can retire,” says one Redditor.
“My guess is that by then the retirement age will be in your late 70s or early 80s. You will probably drop dead at work before you retire,” another commenter laments.
Millennials may feel beat down, but they leave baby boomers in the dust when it comes to thinking about retirement savings, according to a study by Charles Schwab.
While millennials are still counting on 401(k)s to save for retirement, they’re more likely than older generations to invest in cryptocurrency, real estate, annuities, and small businesses, the study found.
“Millennials and the like must take their retirement into their own hands. Start with not counting on any government pension. Also the days of working at the telephone company for 35 years and having a livable pension are over,” says one Redditor.
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@johnsfinancetips Millennials want to retire at 50…nope 40! Early retirement is 100% possible, the first step is figuring out your retirement number. Take your annual expected expenses and multiplied by 25, that’s the number you need invested in a low-cost broad based market Index fund. My plan is to get there prior to social media was through real estate investing and finding additional sources of income through side hustles. The journey certainly won’t be easy, but the payoff will be well worth it! #millenials #retire #earlyretire #FIRE #FATFIRE #financialindependece #work #sidehustle #realestate #fintok #moneytok #johnsfinancetips ♬ original sound - John Liang
Though millennials are broadening the ways that they save, they’re still ridiculously pessimistic about their financial security for retirement, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security. Ninety-two percent surveyed agreed that the United States faces a retirement crisis.
“I didn't get to start saving for retirement until I was 37. I fully expect I will not be able to retire until I'm 70+. My mortgage won't even be paid off until I'm 68,” comments a user.
“I am in a great position for an elder millennial,” says another Redditor. “If absolutely nothing in my life goes poorly in the intervening time, I should have my house paid off by the time I'm 70, and then I'll be able to start putting away money for retirement. Social Security will be long gone by then so I may actually be able to put enough away to live out my last month without working.”
In order to maintain their current lifestyle during retirement, millennials need to make pre-tax retirement plan contributions of between 15% to 22% of their pre-tax salary; 22% percent is more than double the recommendation of previous generations, according to the study.
This Redditor shared a story about their grandmother that illustrates the situation: “Today on an average (i.e. under $100,000 not Silicon Valley $472,000) middle class income the options are either house or livable retirement, not both. With mortgages now around $2,400+ a month there’s nothing left for saving nor retirement …. Meanwhile my grandmother purchased the house she lives in with a 1 acre yard on her own and raised a huge family… cleaning houses… with a 4th grade education.”
The study found that 66% of millennials work for an employer that offers a retirement plan, but only slightly over 34% actually participate in it.
“For those of us lucky enough to have been born rich? F---ing awesome. For those of us lucky enough to have chosen really good jobs and were wise with our money? Awesome. For the rest of us? Sh--ty,” said one Redditor.
Whether joking or not, this Redditor chimed in, “I hope I die early so I don’t have to worry about it.”