Why Millennials Could Face Retirement Nightmare

A recent survey shows plenty of baby boomers and Gen Xers are financially unprepared for retirement.

But so-called millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, likely will have it much worse. New research shows this generation, which will begin to retire around 2050, faces “dismal retirement finance prospects,” writes veteran columnist Mark Hulbert at MarketWatch.

Millennials have one key advantage over previous generations when it comes to saving and investing for retirement: They’re better educated. Ideally, that should boost their earning potential.

But the list of disadvantages is long. Here are just a few Hulbert cites: Because of the financial crisis and the ensuing sluggish recovery, millennials’ careers got off to a slow start. Many will work gig-economy jobs that don’t automatically enroll them in, or make contributions to, retirement plans. Those two issues – along with crushing levels of student debt – have reduced millennials’ net worth to lower levels than previous generations. Meantime, they’re putting off marriage and home-buying until later in life, which can negatively affect retirement savings.

“Is there anything special that millennials can do to overcome these challenges?” Hulbert writes. “No. The retirement finance options available to them are no different than those available to previous generations. All that retirement planners can suggest is to pursue those options to the maximum extent possible.”

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