For Gen Z, 28 Is the Magic Number

On average, members of Gen Z expect to be living on their own by age 21, according to the 2nd Annual Generation Z Survey, released by TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation.

However, 63% say they feel welcome to move back in with their parents in the future if they cannot afford to swing it on their own. This young generation appears to have no qualms about moving back home, either. In fact, many see some benefits to living with their parents. Eighty-one percent of those currently living at home after college or planning to do so say it allows them to save money, while nearly half (48%) say it allows them to be selective about employment opportunities.  

But parents, fear not. Gen Z does not plan to live at home forever. When asked at what age they would be embarrassed to still be living at home, Gen Z, on average, said age 28. Nearly nine out of 10 (88%) would be embarrassed to still be living at home at 30, and half (49%) would be embarrassed to still be living at home at age 25.    

Not only do they hope to be independent and living on their own by age 28, but it is also the age members of Gen Z, on average, plan to start saving for retirement. Thirty-nine percent of those in Gen Z worry they will not be able to count on Social Security or other government retirement programs when they get older (31% in 2012), and 31% of those in Gen Z are concerned about not being able to put money away for retirement.   

When it comes to the life path they plan to take, those in Gen Z expect major milestones will occur in this order:    

1. Start a job. 

2. Buy a car. 

3. Pay off student debt. 

4. Get married. 

5. Buy a home. 

6. Start saving for retirement. 

7. Have children.  


“It’s interesting to see that this young generation plans to take a fairly traditional path to their futures, however; the one piece that looks out of place is saving for retirement,” says Carrie Braxdale, managing director, investor services TD Ameritrade, Inc. “Time and time again we hear Baby Boomers say they wish they would have started saving earlier, and the hope is that we can spread the word to Gen Z to start saving as soon as they start working, rather than waiting until they reach other milestones. Even a little bit can go a long way, and the power of compounding interest is an opportunity they do not want to miss out on.”