The hashtag #MillennialRetirementPlans exploded last week on Twitter. The responses were hilarious in a black humor sort of way, but also deeply disturbing because of millennial pessimism about their futures:
— starlightinflight (@mylightinflight) September 17, 2019
— Jennifer (@jenninjuice1) September 17, 2019
Some got political, spewing basic liberal talking points (all too often accepted as truth with the millennial generation):
Most of us will die early from the lack of a universal health care system. The rest of us will never be able to retire from working our multiple jobs to pay off our massive student debt in an economy where wages have not kept up with inflation. #MillennialRetirementPlans
— Michelle Guido (@heyyguido) September 17, 2019
gonna have oceanfront property once the water rises #MillennialRetirementPlans
— giggles (@mrsamandalyn) September 17, 2019
Rachel G asks the real question:
Why is this even on trending? We all know we'll never be able to retire.
— Rachel G (@RachelG1919) September 17, 2019
Should millennials have any hope at having a comfortable retirement? As I have already discussed, the majority of millennials have nothing saved for retirement, and have no plans to start saving any time soon.
Let’s set a few things straight about saving for retirement:
1. You can save for retirement even if you have student loans and are, like, “super broke.” Suze Orman, a personal finance expert and host of Women & Money podcast, suggests that saving for retirement is possible at all income levels. Orman advocates for young people to use a Roth IRA and to start small once you have “at least eight months worth of living expenses saved for emergencies.
2. It is never too early to start saving for retirement. In fact, starting early makes saving easier since you allot yourself more time to save. CNN Money explains the term “compounding” when dealing with savings investments–and this is especially useful to young people. The difference between starting saving at age 25 versus age 30 equals thousands of dollars in the long run, if done correctly.
3. Not saving for retirement because you’re young is irresponsible. Retirement savings don’t happen overnight, and putting savings off does not stop time. Procrastinating saving has had many negative consequences for folks when it comes time to retire, including delaying retirement and living below their means after they must retire.
Realistically, a millennial versus a middle-aged person who has been in the workforce longer and has had more time to save, will have different savings plans. But it is not impossible, and millennials should start now.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (a millennial himself) urges millennials not only to save but to advocate for government reforms that will help them to do so:
Let’s keep our money instead of letting the government throw it at ineffective entitlement programs.
Time for millennials to advocate for sensible entitlement reform, not more tax increases to pay for false promises.#MillennialRetirementPlans
— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) September 17, 2019
Millennials should drop the cynicism and stop complaining about how expensive they deem life to be. Young people are entering the workforce during a booming economy and should be thankful that we are truly #BetterOffNow.