Data and Research

Millennials Predict a ‘Retirement Inversion’

The vast majority of Millennials say they plan to work in retirement—while fewer than one in five of today’s retirees  have ever worked for pay after initially leaving the workforce. 

By John Manganaro | December 02, 2016
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Younger generations may never experience retirement as it’s defined today, according to the latest analysis in the Merrill Edge Report series.

According to Merrill researchers, the vast majority (83%) of Millennials plan to work in retirement, whether for income, to keep busy or to pursue a passion. The analysis suggests this is “a complete inverse of the 83% of today’s retirees who are not currently working or never have during their golden years.”

The analysis shows half of younger Millennials, ages 18-24, believe they need to take on a side job to reach their retirement goals, compared to only 25% of all respondents.

“Perhaps this mentality is why Millennials (15%) are three times more likely than Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers (5%) to rank an employer’s retirement plan as the most important factor when taking a new job,” the report explains.

“In previous reports, we found younger generations were redefining what it means to retire. This report goes one step further and questions if the milestone as we know it today is nearing extinction,” adds Aron Levine, head of Merrill Edge. “If Millennials and Gen-Xers want a traditional retirement, they need to take action in the short term and plan for the uncertainties of the long term, especially as we continue to see competing priorities, such as paying down debt and caring for aging parents and children, derail these good intentions.”

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