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Merrill Study: Millennials Don’t Plan to Retire

By Alex Padalka December 6, 2016

The majority of Millennial investors don’t plan to ever stop working, according to a recent survey by Merrill Edge.

In all, 83% of investors between 18 and 34 intend to continue working, either for income, simply to keep busy or to do something they’re passionate about, according to a survey of 1,045 investors with $20,000 to $250,000 in investable assets conducted this fall by Merrill Edge. And that’s the polar opposite of current retirees, 83% of whom have never worked during retirement, according to the study.

But the findings don’t necessarily reflect a passion for work. Half of younger Millennials — those between 18 and 24 — think they’ll need a second job to attain their retirement goals, while the figure is 25% for the overall survey. All Millennials, meanwhile, are three times as likely as members of Generation X and Baby Boomers to rank a potential employer’s retirement plan as their top priority when considering a new job, according to the survey.

Financial advisors may have a very receptive audience among Millennials. While this generation is more likely to “make their own rules” when investing (32%, compared to 19% for the survey overall), Millennials are also the most likely to aim to hire an advisor within the next five years, the survey found.

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On the other hand, traditional advisors may have to adapt their approach to reach Millennials, as they’re also the most open to getting their financial advice online.

The survey also claims that 56% of Americans are underestimating how much they’ll need to retire, believing they won’t need more than $1 million, while 19% have no idea what they’ll need. And an alarming 17% of all respondents think the only way they could live comfortably in retirement is by winning the lottery.