An article by MarketWatch reporter Alessandra Malito, saying that retirement experts advise having at least twice your salary saved up by the time you’re 35, is causing quite the stir on social media. Millennials in particular are baffled as to how anyone can possibly save up this much money by their mid-thirties.
I can’t be only one who reads this & thinks “Who are they TALKING to?” I didn’t have that much saved in my 30s. No one I knew had that much saved their 30s & most of us were solid middle class. Is this advice only for the rich? If so, maybe start w/”95% of Americans can ignore.” https://t.co/HlTQM5sYGx
— Jeaniene Frost (@Jeaniene_Frost) May 15, 2018
The article also cites experts who say that, by the time you’re 30, you should have a year’s worth of your annual salary saved up, a task that seems impossible to a generation largely living from paycheck to paycheck.
By 42, you should be able to lift thrice your own weight.
By 16, you should have written your first screenplay.
By 8, you should have your self portrait hanging in the Philadelphia museum of art. https://t.co/BtIYQkPQVD
— Anna Hughes (@AnnaGHughes) May 15, 2018
Many social media users complain that this advice only applies to those in extremely high-earning positions.
Everyone’s roasting this, but to be fair “be rich” is very good financial advice https://t.co/5gmopOoDiP
— Mark Agee (@MarkAgee) May 15, 2018
According to recent statistics, 66 percent of people between the ages of 21 and 32 have absolutely nothing saved for retirement—and, of those who have saved, most have less than $20,000 in the bank set aside for their twilight years.
To be fair, the article does admit that Millennials, who now make up the majority of the country’s workforce, are faced with unique challenges that might prevent them from these savings goals.
“Today’s 30 year olds (and the soon-to-be 30 year olds) are plagued with crippling student debt, which just hit a record $1.31 trillion and affects millennials more than any generation before them,” Malito writes.
The article didn’t taken into account another reason Millennials struggle, which is that many entered the housing market during an unemployment crisis and a stagnant economy. The 1990s were a great decade for renters, as rents barely budged and incomes increased by nearly 10 percent. From 2000 to 2010, however, rent rose by 12 percent while incomes declined by 7 percent, and the figures have plateaued since. In other words,today’s renters are much more cost-burdened than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers.
While people are aware of today’s economic challenges, many experts also argue that the primary reason Millennials aren’t saving is simply because retirement is low on their list of priorities. Many are skipping starter homes in favor of bigger, and more expensive, abodes. Some may choose to splurge on a big wedding, which on average costs $35,000 in America. And others simply prefer to “live in the moment,” spending what money they have on traveling and enjoying life now instead of thinking about the future.
According to a new Bankrate.com survey, 49 percent of Americans who have a financial regrets aren’t trying to fix them, 19 percent plan to get around to tackling their problems within the next year, 6 percent said they’ll get to it eventually, and a frankly concerning 25 percent said they don’t plan on dealing with their issues at all.
It’s a carpe diem mentality that worries many financial experts, who suggest trying to save more money, enrolling in a 401k employee-sponsored plan, or opening up a Roth IRA (which allows people to withdraw the money they invested penalty-free) to help plan for retirement.
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