Millennials, the generation of people between the ages of 18 and 34, have some interesting saving and investing habits. One of which is that, despite their poor reputation, millennials tend to save more money than other generations. But on the other hand, the youngest generation of workers are infrequent investors.
Millennials seem to be afraid of market uncertainty. Two-thirds of millennials do not own a 401(k) retirement investment account. Without the growth that comes from investing funds in financial markets, millennials could find that a large portion of their savings is wiped out by inflation. Let’s check out some recent data about millennial saving and investing patterns.
Millennial Thrift: Young People Are Saving More than Ever
Millennials Are Brilliant Savers
Millennials save about twice as much as baby boomers.
Parents Save Regularly
The uptick in millennial savings rates in recent years are likely due to many millennials aging and starting families. This trend is not particularly surprising; parenthood tends to give people forward-looking preferences for finance and health. Millennial parents, for example, save a median of 10 percent of their income while this figure is lower for millennials who are in college, have just entered the workforce, or do not have children. Savings can help consumers avoid falling into consumer debt or suffering financially from an unexpected event or setback.
In contrast, Gen-X parents save 8 percent of their income. Baby boomers save just 5 percent of their income. However, the tendency for a generation to save less as it ages could be a natural trend. Millennial parents may reduce their savings rates as their children become adults.
The Trend to Save Is Generation-Wide
Millennial savings contributions as a whole are sizable, but the number of savers in the generation is also an important consideration. As previously mentioned, 45 percent of millennial parents save 10 percent of their income. Impressive, right? Just wait; it gets better. 38 percent of millennial parents save more than 15 percent of their income each year. Only 24 percent of Gen-Xers and 23 percent of Baby boomer parents can say the same.
The savings of millennials are set to surpass the savings of both baby boomers and Generation X at the age of 67. The average millennial retirement savings account is expected to be $1 million larger than the average baby boomer account.
But Millennials Have a Pessimistic Economic Outlook?
Despite having a fantastic savings statistic, millennials are generally pessimistic about their savings habits. According to a study conducted by Bank of America, 25 percent of Millennials believe that they do not save enough. Meanwhile, 64 percent of millennials believe that their generation is bad at saving money.
It is difficult to explain this negative attitude about the state of millennial savings. After all, 67 percent of millennials are able to maintain their monthly savings goals and 47 percent have at least $15,000 in savings. Having an effective savings plan in place is essential for your financial well-being. From avoiding debt to building good credit, saving money is key. And, for millennials especially, having enough money saved to avoid student loan default can keep you afloat while fostering a strong financial foundation.
Millennials Are Infrequent Investors
While millennials are good savers, they are infrequent investors. Rather than investing, millennials often prefer to hold their assets in low-interest savings accounts. One study found that millennials hold 25 percent of their net worth as cash, compared to 18 percent for overall investors.
Following the same study, millennials who do invest are cautious. 42 percent of young investors identify as conservative investors. 38 percent of Gen-X investors and 23 percent of baby boomer investors are in this category. 66 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 29 say they fear losing money in the stock market.
It is plausible that millennial investors fear the stock market because many of them first entered the workforce during the Great Recession. Job options were scarce, and the S&P 500 lost approximately half of its value. Memories of this time of financial uncertainty may be why just 12 percent of millennials responded that they would use a gift of $5,000 to open a retirement account.
Despite their fears, millennials can benefit from participating in financial markets. During its entire history, the stock market has demonstrated an upward, long-run trend. The S&P 500 offers an average annual return of about 10 percent. Non-investing millennials are losing out on these returns.