Saving for tomorrow today

Published 10:14 pm Wednesday, April 18, 2018

I’m working my way to hit the two-year mark at the Suffolk News-Herald. Needless to say, retirement is the last thing on my mind. It’s hard enough right now to put some life into my savings account, let alone prepare for a chapter in my life that’s so far away it’s practically fiction.

The 2018 Retirement Savings survey by GOBankingRates showed that I am by no means the only millennial focused solely on the day-to-day. The personal finance resource surveyed adults across the United States to find out how much the average citizen has stashed for retirement. It turns out, however, that millennials have gotten more foresight.

Three Google Consumer Surveys were made for millennials, people of Generation X and Baby Boomers, with 1,000 respondents per group. Everyone was asked the same question: “By your best estimate, how much money do you have saved for retirement?”

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According to GoBankingRates.com, 57 percent of millennials — ages 18 to 34 — surveyed have either $0 set aside or less than $10,000. Our age bracket also has the highest percentage of respondents with $0 saved among different the age groups at 18 percent.

This makes sense considering my age bracket is young, newer to the workforce and further from retirement. But what’s interesting is that the total percentage of millennials with nothing or less than $10,000 saved actually shrank from 71 percent last year to 57 percent this year. The percentage of my generation with $300,000 or more saved also went up from 5 to 9 percent.

GOBankingRates conducted a separate survey through Survata of 1,000 adults with nothing saved for retirement, asking each of them for their main reason as to why they have no retirement savings.

About 40 percent of these adults said they didn’t make enough money to save, which was the most common reason. The runner-up for about 25 percent of the respondents was that they were already struggling to pay their bills.

About 10 percent said they wouldn’t need retirement savings and that they used their savings account for emergencies. Their jobs also didn’t offer retirement plans.

The survey made me think about the future. The results made me imagine what my savings account was going to look like when I’m half a century old, what I want my life to look like at that point and what it’s going to take to make that happen.

Maybe it’s not a bad idea to save more of my paycheck for the future.