Millennials Like Saving Money, Want to Save More

Millennials Like Saving Money, Want to Save More

Scott Olson/Getty Images
By Suelain Moy

Millennials have impressive financial habits when compared to baby boomers, according to a new Retirement Saving & Spending Study by T. Rower Price. Millennials like to save, with many taking advantage of 401(k) plans while still paying down debt. On average, millennials are saving nearly as much for retirement -- 8 percent of their incomes -- as baby boomers, who are saving an average of 9 percent. And in the past 12 months, millennials are saving a higher percentage of their incomes than baby boomers when it comes to 401(k) contributions.

The research is based on online interviews with 1,505 millennials and 514 baby boomers with 401(k)s, and includes both workers and retirees.

Overall, millennials in the study report they are in surprisingly good financial shape. Eighty-eight percent say they are living within their means and 74 percent are more comfortable saving and investing extra money than spending it. However, many millennials are pessimistic about Social Security: Sixty percent expect Social Security to go bankrupt before they retire.

Here’s what else the survey reveals:

Millennials like to save, and they’d save more if they could.

Saving for retirement and paying down debt are equally important to millennials, who rank both goals as a top priority. For those who say they are not saving enough, 23 percent cited student loans as a major contributing factor.

Related Link: ‘Irresponsible’ Millennials Saving More Than Almost Every Other Group

Millennials like auto-enrollment plans.

Seventy-nine percent of the millennials who were auto-enrolled in 401(k) plans were satisfied with auto-enrollment. When it comes to 401(k) matches, 59 percent of millennials set their 401(k) contribution rate to take full advantage of their employers’ matches.

They’re open to advice and more likely to ask for help if they need it.

If faced with a sudden financial emergency, 55 percent of millennials said they’d seek the help of family and friends, compared to 24 percent of baby boomers. Millennials were also much more likely to admit they could benefit from help with spending and debt management.

They find it hard to save when they make less money.

Non-savers made less money and carried more student debt. The median personal income of non-savers was $28,000, compared to $57,000 for savers. Thirty-nine percent of the non-savers have trouble meeting their monthly expenses.

Men save more.

Millennial women are less likely to save in 401(k)s, even if they are eligible, and when they do, they save less than men. The average 401(k) balance for women participating in their 401(k) is $38,000, compared to an average 401(k) balance of $74,000 for men. Of those who are already participating in 401(k)s, only 41 percent of the savers are women.

Related link: Here Are 7 Ways People Screw Up Their 401(k)s

Clarifying the Drop in Obamacare Premiums

An insurance store advertises Obamacare in San Ysidro, California
© Mike Blake / Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

We told you Thursday about the Trump administration’s announcement that average premiums for benchmark Obamacare plans will fall 1.5 percent next year, but analyst Charles Gaba says the story is a bit more complicated. According to Gaba’s calculations, average premiums for all individual health plans will rise next year by 3.1 percent.

The difference between the two figures is produced by two very different datasets. The Trump administration included only the second-lowest-cost Silver plans in 39 states in its analysis, while Gaba examined all individual plans sold in all 50 states.

Number of the Day: $132,900

By The Fiscal Times Staff

The cap on Social Security payroll taxes will rise to $132,900 next year, an increase of 3.5 percent. (Earnings up to that level are subject to the Social Security tax.) The increase will affect about 11.6 million workers, Politico reports. Beneficiaries are also getting a boost, with a 2.8 percent cost-of-living increase coming in 2019.

Photo of the Day: Kanye West at the White House

President Trump speaks during a meeting with rapper Kanye West in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington
By Yuval Rosenberg

This is 2018: Kanye West visited President Trump at the White House Thursday and made a rambling 10-minute statement that aired on TV news networks. West’s lunch with the president was supposed to focus on clemency, crime in his hometown of Chicago and economic investment in urban areas, but his Oval Office rant veered into the bizarre. And since this is the world we live in, we’ll also point out that West apparently became “the first person to ever publicly say 'mother-f***er' in the Oval Office.”

Trump called Kanye’s monologue “pretty impressive.”

“That was bonkers,” MSNBC’s Ali Velshi said afterward.

Again, this is 2018.

Chart of the Day: GDP Growth Before and After the Tax Bill

Paul Ryan with tax return postcard
By The Fiscal Times Staff

President Trump and the rest of the GOP are celebrating the recent burst in economic growth in the wake of the tax cuts, with the president claiming that it’s unprecedented and defies what the experts were predicting just a year ago. But Rex Nutting of MarketWatch points out that elevated growth rates over a few quarters have been seen plenty of times in recent years, and the extra growth generated by the Republican tax cuts was predicted by most economists, including those at the Congressional Budget Office, whose revised projections are shown below.