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.
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
Budget deficits normally rise during recessions and fall when the economy is growing, but that’s not the case today. Deficits are rising sharply despite robust economic growth, increasing from $666 billion in 2017 to an estimated $970 billion in 2019, with $1 trillion annual deficits expected for years after that.
As the deficit hawks at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget point out in a blog post Thursday, “the deficit has never been this high when the economy was this strong … And never in modern U.S. history have deficits been so high outside of a war or recession (or their aftermath).” The chart above shows just how unusual the current deficit path is when measured as a percentage of GDP.
About 4.2 million uninsured people could sign up for a bronze-level Obamacare health plan and pay nothing for it after tax credits are applied, the Kaiser Family Foundation said Tuesday. That means that 27 percent of the country’s 15.9 million uninsured people could get covered for free. The chart below breaks down the eligible population by state.
Vox’s Ezra Klein says that retiring House Speaker Paul Ryan’s legacy can be summed up in one number: $343 billion. “That’s the increase between the deficit for fiscal year 2015 and fiscal year 2018— that is, the difference between the fiscal year before Ryan became speaker of the House and the fiscal year in which he retired.”
Klein writes that Ryan’s choices while in office — especially the 2017 tax cuts and the $1.3 trillion spending bill he helped pass and the expansion of the earned income tax credit he talked up but never acted on — should be what define his legacy:
“[N]ow, as Ryan prepares to leave Congress, it is clear that his critics were correct and a credulous Washington press corps — including me — that took him at his word was wrong. In the trillions of long-term debt he racked up as speaker, in the anti-poverty proposals he promised but never passed, and in the many lies he told to sell unpopular policies, Ryan proved as much a practitioner of post-truth politics as Donald Trump. …
“Ultimately, Ryan put himself forward as a test of a simple, but important, proposition: Is fiscal responsibility something Republicans believe in or something they simply weaponize against Democrats to win back power so they can pass tax cuts and defense spending? Over the past three years, he provided a clear answer. That is his legacy, and it will haunt his successors.”
Mick Mulvaney, the acting director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, wants the agency to be known as the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the name under which it was established by Title X of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law. Mulvaney even had new signage put up in the lobby of the bureau. But the rebranding could cost the banks and other financial businesses regulated by the bureau more than $300 million, according to an internal agency analysis reported by The Hill’s Sylvan Lane. The costs would arise from having to update internal databases, regulatory filings and disclosure forms with the new name. The rebranding would cost the agency itself between $9 million and $19 million, the analysis estimated. Lane adds that it’s not clear whether Kathy Kraninger, President Trump’s nominee to serve as the bureau’s full-time director, would follow through on Mulvaney’s name change once she is confirmed by the Senate.