Engaging Millennials in Retirement

Maturing fully into adulthood and amassing their own wealth while harboring a distrust of Wall Street, millennials expectations are evolving from previous generations, yet they still want advice. 

Millennials are now the largest generation in American history at 83.1 million. Born between 1982 and 2000, they are mostly in their 20s and early 30s and just beginning their careers. As is typical with this milestone, they are beginning to save for retirement and invest in their future. Many will be receiving inheritances and amassing their own wealth in the coming decade(s), becoming a huge potential client base seeking financial assistance.

Millennial TimelineWho are Millennials

But how can you, as a financial professional reach this group?

We’ve partnered with researcher Greenwald & Associates to conduct qualitative and quantitative research to gain insights from millennials about how they view their future retirement plans.

With this data we’ve created materials seeking to answer the following questions:

  • Who exactly are millennials?
  • What are their financial priorities?
  • What do they wish they could ask a financial professional?
  • How do they feel about retirement?
  • What are the common misconceptions about millennials?
  • What are some strategies to reach millennials?

Millennials in retirement

What are millennials’ financial priorities?

Millennials financial goals

Millennials are trying to accomplish these goals through:

  1. Paying down the debt via the “snowball method” —  whereby a person who owes debt on more than one account pays off the accounts with the smallest balances first, while paying the minimum payment on larger debts.
  2. Setting aside money each month from their take-home pay.
  3. Turning to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which can forgive federal student loans after 10 years for qualifying public service work.

Engaging Millennials in Retirement Savings

You can read more about their financial priorities in our report, Engaging Millennials in Retirement Savings.

What are the common misconceptions about millennials?

Myth: Millennials aren’t saving for retirement.

Actually, 8 in 10 millennials participate in a retirement plan when it is offered through work, and 4 in 10 millennials are saving even when it is NOT offered through their work.

The key to this, however, is that half of millennials contribute only equal to or up to the employer match. This indicates that millennials understand they should be contributing toward their retirement, but they may not know much more beyond that. Most younger millennials, those in their 20s, are likely to go the independent route and choose their retirement investments by doing their own research online1. Their first instinct is to “Google it,” once again showing that they are open to and seeking advice.

You can read more misconceptions in the article, Common Misconceptions about Millennials and Retirement.

What are some strategies to reach millennials?

Provide Certainty

Millennials seem to be seeking control and certainty in what they perceive as an uncertain, even volatile economic world. Being risk-averse and having an innate drive to protect their finances, they gravitate toward savings with guaranteed rates of return. It’s important to work collaboratively with millennials, rather than for them. They want a partner to help them understand their options, but still want to have control of their choices.

You can learn more strategies in the article, Four Strategies to Reach Millennials.