Millennials, do you have a retirement plan? Have you ever thought about retirement?
When I logged into my work pension portal for the first time, it kindly told me that I’d be able to retire in 2057. That would make me 68 years old! The perception I’d previously had of retirement, I’d envisioned being in my 50’s, travelling to the countries I hadn’t managed to get to in my younger years, helping out with the grandkids and enjoying those golden years at a relaxed and peaceful pace. This vision was quite simply dashed before my eyes when I saw what the state pension age is currently set at…
At the age of 31, it got me thinking – should I be putting a plan in place so that I can retire earlier than the state pension age? I took to Google to see what other people my age were thinking…
Retirement at 50? Millennials seem to think so!
It seems as though those born between 1981-1996 – also known as Gen Y – are doing something previous generations just didn’t do – strategising and planning for their retirement. And many of us are aiming to retire by the age of 50.
The Golden Days
In the past, you’d hold a job at the same company for many years – waiting for your retirement date to come around and then live off the pension you’d receive once that day arrived. But things aren’t the same anymore and having a solid retirement plan is something of a necessity for us if we want to retire at a reasonable age and be able to enjoy it whilst we’re in our prime.
As Millenials, we have often been bashed for not achieving certain things earlier in life. Getting on the property ladder (apparently it’s because we eat too many avocados?) and it’s even been reported that we’re killing the diamond industry (what?) but one thing many haven’t given our generation credit for is that we’ve adapted to changes better than previous generations and we’ve started future-proofing our lives, including the decisions we make about our careers and personal lives.
For example, our generation is increasingly taking our finances into our own hands, with some millennials aiming to retire from the age of 50! How? We’re investing in shares, we’re budgeting, we’re utilising apps that provide data on our spending, we are savvy consumers and are making smart decisions for our future.
Millennials (although not always by choice) spend a longer amount of time renting, meaning that we often delay getting onto the property ladder until a bit later in life. This is often due to the difficulty in getting a deposit together, but it is also down to the nomadic lifestyle some millennials favour. This means we are also less likely to be putting large amounts of money down on material things such as property, cars and more.
The generation gap
One of the most notable differences between our generation and previous generations is the idea of free agency. We don’t aim to work for one company for our entire lives, in fact, we change jobs and chase experiences in our industry that provide better benefits, better opportunities, higher pay and greater flexibility. We’re often on the lookout for a good work/life balance and rather than looking for the role we want, we look for the company we want to work for. Lifes too short for it to be any other way!?
The way in which we’ve had to take our finances into our own hands hasn’t completely come about by choice – it’s come about because of the circumstances we find ourselves in. The State Pension age is gradually increasing for men and women and will reach 67 by 2028. The State Pension age is going to be kept under review, which means that it could change again in the future, depending on different factors, such as changes in life expectancy. Instead of our retirement age being decided for us, many millennials are simply taking matters into their own hands and planning for an early retirement… and we’re not scared of the hard work to make that a reality.