Expectations for retirement in the US – A look at what Gen Z and Millennials think
March 20th, 2024, Kineree Shah

Expectations for retirement in the US – A look at what Gen Z and Millennials think

Retirement may seem like a far-off event for some but what do young adults, specifically Gen Z and Millennials think about it? A recent survey asked them this very question.

When are Gen Z and Millennials expecting to retire?

According to the survey, a small group, about 3% from each generation, think they'll retire before they hit 40. A somewhat more optimistic 14% of Gen Z and 8% of Millennials are aiming to retire between 40 and 50 years old.

The most common answer was different for each group. For Gen Z, the largest group (33%) think they will retire between 61 and 70 years old. Millennials, on the other hand, have the highest percentage (30%) believing they'll retire a bit earlier, between 51 and 60 years old.

A small percentage think retirement might not come until after 70, and there are some (13% of Gen Z and 15% of Millennials) who believe they might never retire.

How much do Gen Z and Millennials think they need to save for retirement?

For a "comfortable retirement," 8% of Gen Z and 14% of Millennials think less than $500,000 would be enough. However, the majority of Gen Z (37%) believes they'll need between $500,000 to $1 million, while a quarter of Millennials (26%) think they'll need more, between $1 million but less than $2 million.

There are also some high savers among them. About 16% of Gen Z and 15% of Millennials think they'll need more than $2 million for a comfortable retirement.

And of course, there's a bit of uncertainty. Around 21% of Gen Z and 22% of Millennials aren't sure how much they need to save, which shows that retirement planning can be a bit confusing. 

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Methodology: YouGov Surveys: Serviced provide quick survey results from nationally representative or targeted audiences in multiple markets. This study was conducted online on 26-27 February 2024, with a nationally representative sample of 1,187 adults (aged 16+ years) in the US, using a questionnaire designed by YouGov. Data figures have been weighted by age, race, gender, education, and region to be representative of all adults in the US (16 years or older), and reflect the latest population estimates from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Learn more about YouGov Surveys: Serviced.