NEWS23 May 2017

Millennials saving for financial freedom, not retirement

Finance News North America Trends Youth

US – Millennials are the first generation to plan for financial freedom instead of retirement, according to a new report from Merrill Edge, part of Merrill Edge.

Savings crop

Sixty three per cent of millennials are looking to achieve the amount of savings or income necessary to live their desired lifestyle, which is a significant difference from Gen Xers and baby boomers, most  of whom ( 55%) are saving to leave the workforce.

That is according to a survey of more than 1,000 ‘mass affluent Americans’ carried out by Merrill Edge, an investment service that provides access to the investment insights of Merrill Lynch.

When asked about their top priorities in life, millennials were significantly more likely than their older counterparts to focus on personal milestones, such as working at their dream job ( 42%, compared with 23%) and travelling the world ( 37%, compared with 21%). 

The majority of millennials say they're more likely to spend money on travelling ( 81%), dining out ( 65%) and exercising ( 55%) than saving for their financial future. 

Millennials are also far less likely than the older generations to prioritise traditional life milestones, such as being married ( 43%, compared with 51%) and being a parent ( 36%, compared with 59%). 

“This spring’s report shows us even more differences between how millennials and their parents view and save for the future,” said Aron Levine, head of Merrill Edge.

“Young adults tell us they are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve freedom and flexibility, even if it means working for the rest of their lives. To ensure success, it’s increasingly important these younger generations take a hands-on, goals-based approach to their long-term finances and prioritise saving in the short term.”

Full findings, which include statistics on millennials’ attitudes towards saving and the future of investing, can be found here


Respondents in the study were defined as aged 18 to 34 (millennials) with investable assets between $50,000 and $250,000 or those aged 18 to 34 who have investable assets between $20,000 and $50,000 with an annual income of at least $50,000; or aged 35-plus with investable assets between $50,000 and $250,000.