What millennials think about the future

In the millennial world, nothing’s certain, except death, taxes and posting pictures of food on Instagram. Not surprisingly, many 20- and 30-somethings aren’t thinking much about their future, about aging, retirement, and what financial state they’ll be in when they die. So, we gave them a little nudge.

We surveyed 2,000 millennials to understand their attitudes about the future–their individual future, and ours collectively.

Millennials might be labeled as entitled, but apparently they don’t feel entitled to a very long life! Only 30 percent of millennials expect to live to 85-100 years old compared to 43 percent of baby boomers. In fact, millennials think they will live to an average age of 81 while baby boomers expect to live about four years longer, on average. And when it comes to where they’ll be when they die, 41 percent of millennials think they’ll be living in a different state compared with the one they live in now.

What about being selfish? This is the “me” generation, but that stereotype doesn’t quite hold up when the topic of retirement pops up. About 41 percent say that spending time with family will be most important to them during retirement and 56 percent feel they won’t be a burden on other people as they age.

“Idealistic” is another adjective used to describe millennials and it might be accurate in the case of marriage predictions. Eighty-seven percent of millennials believe they’ll only be married once. Unfortunately, that’s probably wishful thinking. The average divorce rate in the U.S. is between 40 and 50 percent.

In terms of finances, almost 60 percent of millennials are saving money for retirement and 84 percent have saved under $50,000. But some might be in for a rude awakening once they retire. As many as 34 percent of millennials believe they only need $200,000 or less to retire comfortably. The reality, however, is they need much more. According to AARP, in order to live off of $40,000 a year, a retiree needs to save about $1.18 million for a 30-year retirement.

When asked about predictions on global politics and economics, millennials paint a less-than-ideal picture. Blame it on growing up during the Great Recession and with the threat of terrorism, but a majority of millennials aren’t optimistic about achieving world peace or financial stability. A whopping 79 percent think they’ll live through another major economic depression and 60 percent think World War III will occur in their lifetime. Let’s hope they’re wrong!