Millennial couples talk about how they plan to retire more than couples twice their age.

Millennials’ views of retirement seem to be conflicted. has previously reported that millennials aren’t interested in retiring. Yet a new study says they’re the age group most likely to discuss retirement plans in their relationships, according to Lincoln Financial Group.

In the past, they were saving for financial freedom, not retirement. Could it be they’ve had a change of heart? Maybe they just plan to cash out their 401(k)s and globetrot when they’re old and gray.

How they compare to everyone else

Half of Americans with an employer-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k), talk most about retirement in their relationships, says the study. The closer Americans get to their golden years, the less they talk about how they plan to fund it.

  • 63 percent: couples in their 20s
  • 56 percent: couples in their 30s
  • 48 percent: couples in their 40s and older

“The majority of people are going to rely on their employer-sponsored retirement plan as their main savings vehicle for retirement,” says Jamie Ohl, president of retirement planning for Lincoln Financial Group. “Now they need to start having conversations with their significant others about savings, and what they envision for their retirement.”

It’s interesting so many millennials are using a 401(k). Just last year reported most of them didn’t know what one was.

Millennials and 401(k)s

Millennials overall have slowly been caring more about saving for retirement, but it hasn’t been easy for all millennials to figure it out.

On one hand, last year 43 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds couldn’t identify what a 401(k) was, according to a survey from GoBankingRates. A few months later reported more millennials were saving in 401(k) plans, and that trend seems to be continuing.

Over the course of five years, the amount of millennials investing in their job’s 401(k) plan increased 13 percent, says a survey from Wells Fargo. That was the largest increase across all generations.

“This engagement among millennials is encouraging because the sooner they get started, the more prepared they will be for retirement — they have the power of time to help grow their nest egg,” says Mel Hooker, director of relationship management for Wells Fargo.

Some companies match what their employees contribute in their 401(k) plans, which is basically free money and millennials recognize it. Millennials are the generation most likely to maximize their 401(k) contributions, Wells Fargo’s study says. One third (30 percent) of millennials contribute the maximum amount, more than Gen X (27 percent) and baby boomers (25 percent).

Millennials’ view of retirement

They’re the furthest from retirement, which could be why some haven’t locked down their retirement plan yet. Millennials also aren’t fully sure they’ll be able to retire.

Many (56 percent) are concerned that Social Security won’t be available when they’re of age, says a retirement study from HSBC bank. Even more (82 percent) predict health care costs will increase. To the point where twice as many millennials would rather save for retirement (90 percent) than start a family (40 percent), says a study from Principal, a retirement planning company.

Most millennials plan to also self-fund their retirement to combat all these challenges, says a study from TransAmerica Center for Retirement Studies. But more only save what they earn rather than invest for the future.

“Millennials can do more to improve their retirement outlook by learning about investing,” TransAmerica’s study says. “Seventy-two percent agree that they do not know as much as they should about retirement investing.”

More than half (57 percent) of millennials are afraid of investing for retirement, says a study from Allianz Life Insurance.

Though they do still have time to learn to let go of those worries.

“Millennials are doing a great job saving for retirement,” TransAmerica’s study says. “By learning about investments and through careful planning, many may be well-positioned to achieve a comfortable retirement.”

Meet the Author

Joe Pye

Joe Pye

Associate editor

Pye is the associate editor of

Budgeting & Saving, Retirement

401k, investments, millennials, save money

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Article last modified on June 28, 2018 Published by, LLC . Mobile users may also access the AMP Version: Look Who’s Talking Retirement — Millennials - AMP.