Ben Franklin Would Approve

College StudentHaving come of age during tough financial times, Millennials may turn out to be savers. A new study by Merrill Edge shows that young people 18-34 are saving for retirement earlier than previous generations. While the average Baby Boomer began saving at 35, many members of Gen Y are investing by 22.

Some Millennials are saving aggressively. Among those with $50,000 to $250,000 in assets, their average retirement savings are $55,000. Younger adults also take a skeptical view of Social Security: Less than half say they plan to rely on public programs for retirement, down from 63% just two years ago. Almost all young workers eligible for company 401(k) plans choose to use them.

Millennials have witnessed the end of the dot-com boom, the Great Recession, the housing crisis, major financial scandals, and burgeoning student debt. The positive financial news in a bad decade may be that young people now know the truth about financial planning: They can’t take future security for granted without being proactive about good financial habits today. Young people with the discipline to put money away early can help renew a culture of responsibility and thrift, which America needs for a healthy economy and civic life.

Kathryn Hickok is Publications Director and Director of the Children’s Scholarship Fund-Portland program at Cascade Policy Institute.

Learn more at

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn Post to Reddit

Posted by at 05:00 | Posted in Economy, Social Security | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    Maybe for younger (millennial) folks Social Security (SS) payroll tax could be modified to allow a lower rate of taxation based on pace of individual savings, and when this generation reaches retirement SS benefit amount is means tested for personal savings amount. Older existing and near retirement SS beneficiaries might forgo some cost of living adjustment to make up for the loss of payroll tax revenue from setting up the modified program for the millennial folks. (as it is now, current workers pay for the SS benefits of current retirees, and so, reducing payroll tax rate for anyone causes a bookkeeping deficit for meeting the SS benefits of existing SS beneficiaries.)
    I believe SS has to be maintained at least as a social safety net. A large chunk of our countrymen are not likely to have proclivity in knowing how to invest given the always present market vagaries. Many folks are prone to load up on stocks at the height of a bull market, only to unload them near the bottom of a bear market (for instance). Savings diversification training should be mandatory for any new program allowing some substitution of private savings for lower payroll tax rate.
    Probably too complicated to move to political acceptance. Might require an SS financial breakdown to inspire change. On the other hand, radical changes usually take repeated efforts.

  • DavidAppell

    What about the Millenials who don’t have $50,000 to $250,000 in assets?

    And what percentage do they compose?

    • guest

      John Reed the core of DA’s assessment and toke in s’more Marxing orders.

  • Pingback: porn()

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)