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A new study also shows everyone wants a saver — including spenders

What qualities are attractive in a potential mate? Looks, maybe at first. Charm, respect, and sense of humor may be some others. And then there’s how they handle money and other financial securities.

Turns out that millennial men and women have some different priorities when it comes to saving money and what they are saving for, TD Ameritrade says. The majority of savers want to marry another saver, while the majority of “spender” women prefer a saver spouse. Spender men worry less about that —only 36 percent of them look for a saver mate.


Matt Sadowsky, director of retirement at TD Ameritrade, says it’s about finding a balance with a spouse, rather than someone who is just like you financially.

“It becomes more and more important over time for spouses to be aligned on how to manage their finances, especially when they are living off their nest egg in retirement,” Sadowsky says. “It’s not critical that both spouses be spenders or both be savers. But it is critical that there is an open dialogue between the two about what retirement looks like for them and a shared vision and plan for their future.”

So what do millennial women and men prefer in their mates when it comes to money?

It turns out that women are more interested in saving for a vacation (69 percent) instead of an emergency (62 percent), but they worry about both more than men. They’re far less concerned about investing in the stock market (18 percent).

Among men, having an emergency plan is only slightly more important than saving for a vacation — 50 percent vs. 49 percent, respectively. From there, 29 percent of millennial men want to invest in the stock market and 15 percent are interested in retiring before they turn 65.

Does older mean wiser when it comes to money?

Millennial women may want a trip sooner than their male counterparts, but what about baby boomers?

TD Ameritrade says baby boomer women are saving mostly for themselves, as 37 percent of them are helping their families financially. On the other hand, 58 percent of millennial women are saving to help their families.

While they may be more inclined to help a relative, millennial women are more adventurous than their older lady friends. Forty-one percent of millennial women would throw down $200 on an experience, while only 28 percent of baby boomer women would do the same. This may be because many live on a fixed income at this point.

When it comes to older and younger men, they have less in common with each other than the ladies do.

Baby boomer men are saving an average of $925 a month — the most for retirement — as millennial men are stashing away $593, on average. Boomer men spend more on dining out, groceries, utilities and technology than their younger friends, but it’s millennial men that would shell out more money to make a good impression than their boomer buddies — 18 percent to 3 percent, respectively.

“Millennial men’s spending habits are vastly different than their female partners. Men want to enjoy life by spending money now because they’re confident they can make up the money later,” says Dara Luber, senior manager of retirement at TD Ameritrade. “Women appear to have more anxiety over spending and fear they will not be able to make up a gap in their savings. Part of this reason could be their fear of debt since they tend to earn less over their lifetime.”

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Budgeting & Saving, Family

couples, infographic, millennials, save money

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