For a variety of reasons, people have been saying that younger adults (Millennials, specifically) aren’t saving enough for their retirement.
Some will say it’s the crushing debt from student loans which prevents them from being able to save. Others point out that they entered the employment market at a point in time where wages were depressed, so they aren’t earning sufficient income to feel comfortable enough covering current expenses and also placing part aside for their future needs.
It’s also said that they will, as a generation, be likely to need more for their retirement years because Social Security may not be able to pay them as much as previous generations – and because they are likely to live longer than their predecessors.
But you may be surprised to learn which group of Millennials is actually failing to save the way other age groups have in the past.
The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College studies retirement and Americans and reports on various topics related to that over time. One of their frequently requested data reports deals with the Participation of Eligible Workers in 401(k) plans. It sorts the data by age group and by income level.
In every age bracket, as you might expect, people tend to have a higher participation in their companies’ 401(k) retirement plans the more they earn.
Except for one group.
The youngest eligible workers in the most recent report, those aged 20-29 in 2016, were actually less likely to participate in their employers’ 401(k) retirement plans if they earned over $80,000 per year.
Perhaps this is because they had such quick success in earning higher incomes that they believe the windfall will never end and will only get better. Whatever the reason, others in the same age bracket earning $35,000-80,000 have higher rates of participation in 401(k) retirement plans.
Here’s the summarized data:
Whatever your age, if you’re an eligible worker you should be participating in your employer’s 401(k) plan.
Not only is it in your own best interest to save for your retirement, but many employers provide some percentage of “matching” dollars for their employees who participate, as an encouragement for those employees to do what they ought to do anyhow – save for their eventual retirement.
And that’s just “free money” to their employees.
For example, suppose your employer offers to match the first 5 percent of your income which you opt to save toward your retirement in the company’s 401(k) plan.
If you contribute just 10 percent of your current income toward your 401(k), they’re adding another 5 percent, so you’re gaining a 50 percent increase on your savings IMMEDIATELY! You can’t get that rate of return anywhere else – legally at least. They’re paying you, and very well, to do the right thing to benefit yourself in the long run.
Why would you turn away that free money?
If you’re an eligible worker who isn’t participating in your 401(k) retirement plan currently, contact your employer’s HR department and join the 401(k) plan right away. If you already participate, but don’t save enough to maximize any “matching” donations from your employer, why not? Shouldn’t you take advantage of the fact that they are paying you to save? It only benefits you in the long run.
If you’ve worked and saved and you’re approaching retirement now (or if you’ve already retired), contact the Texas Financial and Retirement team at (903) 534-5477 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We help people make the most of their savings and ‘get retirement right’ by balancing risk and reward on investments, by maximizing the income received during retirement and by minimizing the tax burden a surviving spouse or other heirs need to pay when they inherit an estate.