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Millennials are a 'generation lost' when it comes to financial matters

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Millennials are a “generation lost,” according to a new study, and are in for a tough time when they finally reach retirement, thanks to a lack of understanding of financial matters as much as a lack of interest.

The study, titled “Generation Lost: Engaging Millennials with Retirement Saving,” from BNY Mellon and a team of students from Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, found that millennials internationally will have a more difficult time in retirement because of demographic, political, and macroeconomic trends.

Nearly half — 46 percent — of millennials aren’t getting any information on financial matters, either through the workplace or through the education system.

In addition, 51 percent are calculating what they’ll need in retirement via a “blind guess” rather than anything actually resembling calculations.

Industry data didn’t enter into their assumptions. Another 39 percent have settled on a number via an “educated guess.”

Sixty-three percent said they’d save more if their pension allowed multiple lifetime withdrawals. The most important life events for which millennials would want access to cash through such a product are the need to put a down payment on a house (49 percent) or being faced with the expenses of a major illness (48 percent).

And while globally 77 percent said they wanted to be told the “stark reality” of what they will face financially in retirement, that varied pretty widely depending on their country of origin.

For instance, only 48 percent of Brazilian millennials want to know the “stark reality,” compared to 94 percent of Australians.

Millennials also said that they’d allocate 42 percent of their portfolios to social finance products (socially responsible investing), if they had the option.

However, they don’t think much of what’s available; 95 percent of millennials globally feel that pension funds and insurers provide limited, poor, or no options for investing in social finance products.

See also:

A senior, a boomer, a Gen Xer and a millennial walk into a bar…

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