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The Uncertainty Of Retirement Is Forcing Millennials To Get Creative

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Mar. 22 2019, Published 4:13 a.m. ET

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Retirement is a daunting topic for most Americans, but millennials are fighting against the statistics.

Millennials are actively searching for positions and ideas to help us build money for retirement needs. Saving in this economy has always been an issue for the generation, but it is one being faced head-on.

Known for being the “job hopping” generation, Millennials have no problem leaving a position if it doesn’t meet our needs or expectations.

Working paycheck to paycheck, like the generations before us, millennials have many items on our list. Although with worrying about keeping a roof over your head, food to eat (that doesn’t include avocados), repaying student loans, keeping a social life, and constantly addressing our mental health doesn’t leave a lot of room for much else.

While it might seem small to some, millennial workers have started looking into the future. Unfortunately, for many of us, it isn’t looking too bright.

Katie Lobosco of CNN Money reports in a 2018 article, “About 66% of people between the ages of 21 and 32 have absolutely nothing saved for retirement, according to the National Institute on Retirement Security. The report is based on Census data collected in 2014.”

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Employers are being forced to provide better benefits or have the possibility of high turnover rates. Retirement benefits such as a 401K or Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) are attracting more millennials to organizations. While millennials are thinking more about retirement, it is a completely different situation to understand what the statistics look like and what a company’s plan may or may not offer.

The big questions aren’t if millennials are employed with a company that offers benefits. The big question is do millennials truly understand the benefit packages or how to contribute to the retirement plans?

And even if you are lucky enough to be in a situation to save, are you saving enough?

Millennials are extremely vocal about the lack of pay equity and making enough money for the services being provided. Creating slow change through our environments and communities by voicing concerns and inequalities.

Pay structure and advancement processes in a company have been and will continue to be important to the next workforce. With the influx of wellness programs, flex time, unlimited vacation; companies are realizing the old ways of benefit plans won’t continue to work.

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“As of the second quarter of 2018, millennials — which Fidelity defined as those ages 21 to 37 — with 401(k)s had an average balance of $25,500 and were contributing 7.3 percent of their paychecks. Fidelity also found that employers were matching, on average, 4.1 percent, which put the total savings rate for millennials with 401(k)s at 11.3 percent.” According to Kathleen Elkins of CNBC 2018 article.

Millennials are facing the tough decision: is it possible to create ways to save money now, must we continue to work in our older years, or do both?

So what can millennials do to start saving or increase the amount saved? Side Hustles.

“According to a recent Bankrate report, more than 37% of U.S. adults and more than 50% of millennials have a side hustle. A job that adds dollars to the bank account and ensures that the household bills are paid on time.” Experian contributor Brian O’Connell reports.

Side hustles like driving Uber or Lyft driver, freelance blogging or video editing amongst many others have become the side hustle money makers to help people build savings accounts in a non-traditional way.

It is important to understand how our company benefits can help secure better retirement checks, but millennials are not depending on one job source to bring money into the home. This is why understanding effective ways of savings that will be useful in the long run are just as important for millennials.

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