Millennial workers in a new survey were not only more confident making investment decisions on their own than were older generations, but were also very receptive to professional financial help, Schwab Retirement Plan Services reported Wednesday.
Despite the financial demands they face, millennials were taking positive steps with regard to their saving and investing habits, especially with their 401(k)s, the survey found, and 80% said they would like personalized 401(k) advice.
Schwab noted that workers in the 25-to-36 age group were especially reliant on 401(k)s for the money they will need in retirement, with 78% reporting that a 401(k) was their largest or only source of retirement income.
Another new study shows that an increasing number of employers are adding auto-enrollment and auto-escalation to their defined contribution plans.
The Schwab survey showed that millennials were disproportionately affected by money-related stress. Thirty-five percent said it had affected their job performance, compared with 18% of Gen Xers and 11% of baby boomers. Twenty-four percent of millennials cited student loan debt as a source of financial stress.
At the same time, 80% of millennials said they were caught up on bills and had some money left over at the end of the month.
“It’s heartening to see that saving for retirement has become a priority for so many workers, especially the youngest generation of workers, for whom retirement can seem like a lifetime away,” Steve Anderson, president of Schwab Retirement Plan Services, said in a statement.
“Our findings show that, in spite of — or perhaps because of — the financial challenges they faced as they entered the workforce, millennials know how critical it is to keep on top of their finances today with an eye toward tomorrow.”
Koski Research conducted the online survey of 500 U.S. workers who were saving in a workplace 401(k) plan; they were not asked at which institution they had their accounts. Respondents worked for companies with at least 25 employees and ranged in age from 25 to 70.