As some millennials begin to plan for retirement, social security is the generation’s top worry, according to a new Ernst & Young LLP (EY) survey of about 1,200 Americans aged 20-to-36.
“I don’t even know that I knew how to spell social security when I was their age, and that is their number one worry,” Cathy Koch, Americas Tax Policy Leader at EY, told Yahoo Finance’s Market Movers. “You know, that’s something. “
The survey found that 75% of respondents listed “Lack of Social Security at retirement” as something they worried about. And 70% of respondents listed “Not enough money at retirement” as a concern.
Millennial generation ‘remains very financially stressed’
When asked about how the economy is going to do, 34% of millennials who were surveyed said they think it’s going to be worse in a year, which is up from 29% who thought it would be worse when they were asked in 2016. Worries about retirement money naturally follow.
“We find this generation, as we found in 2016, remains very financially stressed,” Koch said. “They look at today’s economy and they know that it’s better than it has been, but they look at tomorrow’s economy and they’re still worried as the stats show only 34 percent expect their standard of living to be better than their parents.”
An additional burden for millennials is student debt, as the survey found that 46% were concerned about their “Inability to pay back student loans.” (Another 50% said they were either paying off their debt or planning to take it on.)
Retirement money and the 2019 tax question
While retirement money is a constant worry for many millennials, a more imminent stress for most Americans is how they are going to file their taxes in a couple of months under the new tax laws for 2019.
“A lot of millennials will have less to do than they did in prior years, but we should really be thinking about how much we’re going to owe, withholding tables change when tax rates change so the withholding table that the IRS puts out, they try to catch up with changes in projected liability at the end of the year but often these catch ups are imperfect,” Koch said. “I would say saving your money to make sure you can cover the tax bill in April because we don’t really know with precision what it’s going to be.”