Gen Z: Prepping for Retirement?

In an era where self-employment and freelance are becoming more attractive, issues on saving for retirement have risen for millennials and the Gen Z generations. For Gen X and the Boomer generations, retirement was setting a portion of their income aside in a retirement account or a savings account. A lot of times, these accounts were already set aside by their employer into a 401K or another retirement plan, so for them, the money is never seen. However, for Gen Z and millennials, as technology has progressed making it easier to create and run your own business along with finding freelance work, it can cause some issues for them to save for retirement, especially when all their income is getting deposited into their account.

Self-Employment

Some members of the Gen Z or millennial generations have decided to go the self-employment route for employment. According to a 2020 survey by Statista, 50 percent of Generation Z respondents reported participating in freelance work. and a further 44 percent of Millennials participated in freelance work. The Gen Z generation and millennials enjoy the freedom of freelance work and self-employment. As your own boss, you can have flexible vacation time and working hours, which allow those who have a family to spend extra time with their family. However, even though self-employment has many benefits in terms of vacation time and flexible working hours, self-employment can make it more difficult to save for retirement.

Being your own boss also means having to cover your benefits, such as health insurance. Having to cover those expenses adds on to bills you must pay and can be more expensive than getting the health coverage through an employer, who usually pays a portion of it. An extra expense can make it difficult to set aside money for retirement, especially if you are not making a lot of money at first.


Consistently Saving

When planning for retirement, millennials and the Gen Z generations need to remember to save consistently. When you are in your early-mid 20s to early 30s, it can be easy just want to spend the money set aside in your savings and put it towards traveling or eating out. You are young and want to live your life and explore the world in your early years. However, retirement should not be looked over. Millennials and the Gen Z generations need to follow the 50/30/20 rule:

  • 50% of income goes towards your needs (housing, food, gas, etc.)

  • 30% of income goes towards your wants (entertainment, eating out, shopping, traveling, vacations, etc.)

  • 20% of income goes towards savings

The 20% that goes towards savings should not be touched and should be left to grow. If you can consistently set aside 20% of your income to go towards retirement and start contributing that now to your savings, you will be set for retirement.


Save Early, Retire Comfortably

If you are in your early to mid-20s, it's time to save now. It pays off to start early and to consistently save. Leave the money you put in your retirement account alone, and only use that 30% of your income for your wants. When it comes time for you to retire, your future self will thank you.

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