"Half of this generation has not started to save and is putting it off until their 30s...the benefits of starting young can’t be recreated later.”
“Overwhelmed” Millennial Americans are calling debt their “biggest financial concern currently,” according to a new Wells Fargo survey.
Forty-two percent of Millennials surveyed—twice the rate of baby boomers who were also surveyed for comparison—described themselves as “overwhelmed” debt-wise. They are more worried about their debt than they are about day-to-day expenses.
Still, as is their optimistic nature, almost two-thirds (61 percent) said they consider themselves to be “savers,” with 66 percent of men and 56 percent of women describing themselves as such.
Almost half (49 percent) said they are saving for retirement (54 percent of men and 43 percent of women)
When asked what are the obstacles most hindering them from saving for retirement, 87 percent said they don’t “have enough money to start saving” while 81 percent said they want to pay down their debt first. “I am glad to see about half already saving for retirement, but we’re also seeing that half of this generation has not started to save and is putting it off until their 30s,” said Karen Wimbish, director of Retail Retirement at Wells Fargo, in a statement. “The benefits of starting young can’t be recreated later.”
Of the 49 percent who have begun to save for retirement, more than one-third (34 percent) said that their biggest trigger to do so was when “they realized that starting early can result in a bigger nest egg down the road.” More than one-fourth (29 percent) indicated that their workplace retirement plan was their key motivator. A substantial majority of these (72 percent) are in employer-sponsored retirement plans, while 40 percent save with an IRA and 33 percent have a ban savings account.
Millennials may be optimistic about their financial futures (click hereto read more), but more than half (52 percent) of respondents to the Wells Fargo survey said they are “not very confident” or “not at all confident” in the stock market as a place to invest for retirement.
When it comes to advice on saving for retirement and money matters in general, they look close to home. The highest percentage—36 percent—turn to parents or other family members as their first source for guidance. Seventeen percent consult a paid financial advisor.
Related story: Millionaire Millennials Most Confident about Their Financial Knowledge
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.