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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

Gen Y not looking for traditional retirement

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Affluent Gen Y investors are eschewing defined contribution plans in favor of online brokerages, according to a survey released Tuesday by Hearts & Wallets, a consumer financial research company.

The reason, the survey found, is that they value financial independence more than a traditional retirement that puts an expiration date on their career.

Almost three-quarters of Gen Y respondents with at least $100,000 in household assets said they have an online brokerage account, compared with two-thirds who have a defined contribution plan.

Hearts & Wallets surveyed more than 5,000 households for the report.

Three-quarters of these affluent Gen Y investors said they aren’t planning for “traditional retirement,” the survey found. They have short-term savings goals like vacations and emergency funds, but their long-term goal is to avoid depending on an employer for their livelihood. For example, 42 percent said they want to save enough money so that they can work less and spend their time doing whatever they want when they get older.

These “recession babies” invest more conservatively than even their grandparents, the MFS Investor Sentiment Survey found.

“Gen Y desires financial independence rather than retirement,” Chris Brown, Hearts & Wallets LLC principal, said in a statement. “Gen Y could become more engaged with DC plans if the financial services industry promoted more qualified plan benefits beyond saving for retirement, like tax deferral.”

Brown added that since many Gen Y investors don’t own homes and don’t qualify for the mortgage interest deduction, other perks like tax deferral or employer matches can be “very appealing.”

Unlike other working age segments, Gen Y respondents were the only group to be more likely to invest in a brokerage account than in a DC plan, according to the survey.


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