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Retire at 73. Another Reason Young People Need to Pay Attention to Aging Issues

Posted Nov 22 2013 9:00am

This Millenial is the exception.
At a recent publicity summit that I attended, I pitched the media on a story angle centering on the need for younger people, even Millenials, to start preparing for aging sooner in life. Turns out I was not far from the mark. Just a week later came a survey from Millennial Branding and PayScale that finds that 28 percent of those born after 1982 have had to move home. That is three times higher than for Generation X (born between 1965-1981) and six times higher than Baby Boomers (1946-1964).

Dan Schawbel, the founder of Millennial Branding told AOL Jobs in an interview: "Millennials are delaying adulthood and this is how it's going to be from now on. All the data suggests a permanently different economy. This is the first American generation that won't have the same quality of life as the previous generation."

The Opportunity Nation , as reported in the Associated Press, reported that almost 6 million young people, almost 15 percent of those aged 16 to 24, are neither in school nor working and 54 percent of college graduates under 25 are unemployed or doing a job that doesn't require a college degree.
NerdWallet conducted a study that examined the financial profile of a typical college graduate and found that while retirement is certainly not impossible, for most it will have to wait until their early to mid 70s. According to NerdWallet: “Given an average life expectancy of 84, this will leave only 10-12 years for people to spend in retirement. The main reason for this is that although the median college graduate leaves with a seemingly manageable $23,300 debt load, 7% of a student’s earnings go toward yearly loan payments of $2,858 for the first ten years of his or her career. This prevents any meaningful contributions toward retirement. In fact, by the age of 33, when the typical college grad has finally paid off their standard 10-year loans, he or she can only be expected to have saved $2,466 for retirement—over $30,000 less than if the student had graduated with no debt.”

The lost savings directly attributable to student debt is $115,096, nearly 28% of total retirement savings.

Kudos to NerdWallet for echoing what I have been preaching and I quote – “being conscious of this problem and tailoring financial and career planning accordingly can go a long way toward achieving retirement objectives. There are many factors that influence the ultimate age at which people are able to retire, but there are a few variables that have a particularly large impact. Making above-average yearly contributions to a retirement account, working for an organization with a decent 401(k) match, and making sure to invest money in index tracking mutual funds are three ways to help add years to retirement.”

So yes, everyone needs to be thinking about aging issues sooner in life. This one is of course about financial health. In an earlier blog , we explored physical health citing a study that showed that nine risk factors, most of which can be traced to adolescence, account for most cases of young-onset dementia (YOD) diagnosed before the age of 65 years. 

And if you want to get into the third leg of my educated aging stool – emotional aging – take a look at my caring.com blog in which we uncovered some new age biases. Princeton University professors uncovered prescriptive prejudice, which are beliefs about how older adults should act. They found three key ideas:
Succession, the idea that older adults should move aside from high-paying jobs and prominent social roles to make way for younger peopleIdentity, the idea that older people should not attempt to act younger than they areConsumption, the idea that seniors should not consume so many scarce resources, such as healthcare
I am thinking some of these come from Millenials and Gen X’ers who maybe need to spend a little more time around boomers and seniors to see just what we have to bring to society.
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