Millennials are killing fast food. They’re wiping out golf. If you believe the latest survey, there’s very little millennials can’t do. So what’s true and what’s false? Millennial stereotypes make good headlines, but they’re often just that. Here are some myths about the way millennials handle money, followed by the facts.
Millennials don’t save for retirement
Millennials — between ages 22 and 37 — are not doing significantly worse than their parents. The Survey of Consumer Finances found households headed by someone under age 35 have a median $12,300 in retirement savings. That’s not enough. But neither is $120,000, which is the median for ages 55 to 64 — and those people are actually on the brink of retirement age.
Millennials blow money on frivolous things
According to a NerdWallet analysis of last year’s Consumer Expenditure Survey, millennials actually spend less than other generations in several categories that could be considered frivolous, including clothing, entertainment and alcohol.
Millennials are notorious job hoppers
They’re actually in line with Generation X. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of government data, 22 percent had worked for their current employer for five years or more in 2016, compared with 21.8 percent of Gen X workers in 2000 (when they were the same age). The study found that college-educated millennials have longer track records with their employers than Gen X workers did in 2000.
Millennials lack ambition
Bank of America research found millennials are more likely to ask for a raise. Even better, they have a good batting average: Of those who asked, 80 percent received one. This is key to financial security because raises are an opportunity to build retirement savings. Increasing your savings rate when you get a raise helps work your way up to saving 10 to 15 percent of your income for retirement, which is the general goal. Millennials don’t want to buy houses
While many millennials struggle to afford their own home, they’re working toward it. NerdWallet’s own research from this year found that 82 percent of millennials say buying a home is a priority. In fact, they were the generation most likely to say they’d like to buy a home to rent out for extra income. (What was that about a lack of ambition?)