Millennials Doubt Happy Retirement Will Exist

The majority believe they will have to work much longer than previous generations, Prudential learned in a survey

Millennials don’t share the confidence of Baby Boomers and Gen Xers that they will be financially better off than their parents, Prudential Financial learned in a survey.

Eighty-eight percent of Millennials say that people in their 20s and 30s will need to work much longer than previous generations to retire with the same level of financial security. Even if they do work longer, 79% believe that by the age of 80, a comfortable retirement will be a thing of the past. Seventy percent say that is because they are unable to save as much as retirement planning tools recommend.

“Millennials are at an important crossroads, having experienced some of the most significant economic booms in history—but also the Great Recession,” says Vishal Jain, Prudential’s Workplace Solutions Group financial wellness officer. “It’s incumbent on financial services companies—and any company that seeks to meet the financial and personal wellness needs of these constituents—to understand the changes that are driving behaviors within this generation.”

Nearly two-thirds of the Millennials surveyed agree that in the future “traditional full-time employment will largely disappear, and freelancers will make up 75% or more of the U.S. workforce.” While the gig economy offers workers flexibility, it also creates instability with regards to financial wellness, Prudential says.

Seventy-two percent of Millennials say they are worried that employers will stop offering health care and retirement benefits, with this rising to 76% of women and 76% of Millennial parents.

Sixty-eight percent of Millennials think it is somewhat or highly likely that investments will become completely automated, based on personal data and preferences. That said, 58% prefer receiving advice from licensed professionals. Seventy-seven percent think it is likely they will experience another Great Recession in their lifetime and that it will be even more disruptive than 2008.

Kantar Consulting conducted the online survey of 1,002 Millennials May 22, 2017, to June 1, 2017, for Prudential.