Apparently everyone’s going to be a millionaire. Well, a lot the millennials seem to think so, anyway
Seventy three percent of male millennials surveyed believe they’ll become millionaires Wow. That’s especially interesting when you compare it to the just 38% of females saying the same thing. Even so, the responses added up to more than half of the respondents (all millennials) believing they’ll be millionaires at some point in their lives.
Of course, they could be talking about retirement savings. In that case, if they started saving early on, it’s possible that they could grow their net worth to the $1 million mark.
Except they’re not necessarily starting early. The average answer for “age to start saving for retirement” was 36. But somehow the men think they’ll retire at 53 and women at 59.
Again, these are averages. And plenty of millennials have started saving before 36. In fact, 38% reported already saving for retirement. Since even the oldest millennials are only 38, that points to a fair number of respondents having already started saving. (Just more proof that millennials are a money-minded generation.)
But still, it’s troubling to hear these expectations since half of the people surveyed reported having credit card debt, with another 40% also reporting car loans and 36% reporting student loans. The average debt was $15,000.
Granted, you don’t have to pay off all of your debt before you start saving for retirement. In fact, it’s not even advisable to do so. (Which is rather hypocritical coming from me. But what I did vs. what I know to be smart are sometimes two separate things.) The point is that having the debt weighing them down means opportunity costs, specifically when it comes to investing.
Not that they seem to be letting debt stop them completely from investing. Half of respondents reported investing in the stock market.
And apparently they’re more likely to have a plan than other generations. In a GoBankingRates survey, 69% of millennials who expected to be millionaires confirmed that they had a plan of attack. That’s more than any of the other generations surveyed.
So, okay, maybe millennials are FIRE-ing up a storm, paying down their debt quickly, and well on their way to $1 million (or more) in retirement savings.
But probably not.
Because according to a CNBC article millennials are actually worse off financially than their parents were at their age. They tend to have lower net worths (which would include retirement savings, of course) and are less likely to own houses than previous generations at the same age.
And while seven in 10 see themselves as savers rather than spenders, perception isn’t always reality.
For example, millennials apparently see themselves as much more financially savvy than they are. In a 2017 study, 69% of millennials gave themselves high marks for financial know-how, but only 8% demonstrated a high level of knowledge. And only another 24% demonstrated a very basic financial understanding of how to manage money.
So in that case, how likely is it that their perception of their future as millionaires is accurate? Not very.
That said, there’s still time for them to fulfill that goal if they start maximizing their retirement savings now and, ideally, learn to invest.
Do you think you’ll be a millionaire? Do you have a plan to get there?