Millennials Expect Working Retirements, Study Finds

Written By
Julija A.
May 26,2021
Nearly half of affluent millennials believe they’ll need to work past age 65, according to a survey conducted by Chirp Research for Investopedia. They maintain this belief even though nearly all millennials believe their financial situations will improve in coming years. Compared to members of Gen Z and Gen X, millennials are optimistic. But they still don’t believe they’ll enjoy work-free retirements.

The nationwide survey focused on millennials with the means to invest: Respondents had an average household income of of $132,000. The study selected this group because Investopedia wished to examine millennials’ investment goals, retirement plans, and barriers to investing. The results were published on October 2.

Many millennials see investing as a good way to save money for the future, researchers found, but they find it confusing and overwhelming. Millennials who learned about investing at an early age were more likely to be confident about making investments.

"This is the first generation that entered their professional lives in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis," said Caleb Silver, Investopedia’s editor in chief. "Despite financial technology becoming readily accessible to them, many still feel that they lack enough financial and investing knowledge to get started."

Here are some of the study’s key findings:

  • Thirty-six percent of millennials say they should be investing more.
  • Asked which positive words they associate with investing, 40% said it was smart, 34% said it was necessary, and 35% said it was responsible.
  • Asked about negative words, respondents said it was risky (37%), intimidating (26%), and overwhelming (24%).

Researchers found that early financial education is a key factor driving investment behavior. Affluent millennials who knew about finance and investments before they turned 15 years of age are twice as likely to feel knowledgeable about the topic (37% compared to 16%).

Of those saying they had sufficient knowledge to understand investing, 73% said that they feel confident making their own financial decisions and 78% said that they manage their own investments on a daily or weekly basis. Out of those who lack investment knowledge, only 14% said they feel comfortable making financial decisions, and 20% said they manage their own investments.

It would appear that many millennials have financial advisors: 43%, to be exact. Millennials identified financial advisors as the most trusted source for investment advice and financial information, followed by books, TV shows, newspapers, podcasts/radio, magazines, websites, and YouTube. Respondents who employ a financial advisor are twice as likely to enjoy good investment performance.

"The survey paints a picture of a generation that is trying to tackle planning for the long term while perceiving investing as risky, all despite having the funds to invest,” said Joetta Gobell, vice president of research and insights at Dotdash. “Critically, the single factor in this study that best predicted being invested — and achieving better results — was financial education. This represents a huge opportunity to better support millennial consumers in their financial journey."

About author

Albert Einstein is said to have identified compound interest as mankind’s greatest invention. That story’s probably apocryphal, but it conveys a deep truth about the power of fiscal policy to change the world along with our daily lives. Civilization became possible only when Sumerians of the Bronze Age invented money. Today, economic issues influence every aspect of daily life. My job at Fortunly is an opportunity to analyze government policies and banking practices, sharing the results of my research in articles that can help you make better, smarter decisions for yourself and your family.

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