No Wonder Why Millennials Don’t Give A Damn About Money!

Millennials tend to get a bad reputation for work ethic, money management, and common sense. The term quiet quitting was invented by Millennials during the pandemic as a way to not work more. But perhaps this is not fair as every older generation tends to bag on younger generations.

However, if you've gotten a sense that Millennials, folks born between 1980 – 2000, seem to be a little clueless or delusional about money, you might be right!

It's common practice for every generation to hate on the next younger generation. You should see the attitudes my fellow 65+ year old condo owners have towards the sub 35-year-old owners during our annual HOA meetings.

It's as if the younger owners don't deserve to have the same rights as the older owners, even though the younger owners paid way more for their properties.

Given that roughly half of Financial Samurai's readership is between the ages of 18 – 35, the proposition that Millennials don't care about money doesn't seem to mesh with reality. 

Most of you guys care a great deal, which is why you're here. But let's unearth the real reason why those other Millennials just don't seem to give a damn about money, shall we?


After Empower released its Retirement Planner, they anonymously analyzed the data of hundreds of thousands of users who proactively decided to test out the free tool for themselves.

Each user inputs their future income expectations (raises, inheritances, windfalls) and expected expenses ($60,000 mid-life crisis car in 15 years, $250,000 in college tuition in 20 years, etc).

The Retirement Planner then runs a Monte Carlo simulation with your existing linked data and new inputted data to come out with your expected retirement cashflow. Below is an example of my Retirement Planner output.

Retirement Planner Personal Capital

Below is the data that came out from the Retirement Planner user analysis.

Retirement Readiness By Region & Generation

  • Delaware is the #1 most prepared state for retirement with the highest average amount of savings to date at $286,277.
  • Connecticut is the #2 most prepared ($279,367 is the average amount saved).
  • New Jersey is the #3 most prepared ($272,918 is the average amount saved).
  • California falls behind with only $227,290 saved, landing in the #20 spot overall.
  • East Coasters are the most interested in paying for their education goals: New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York rank as the top 3 savers for education expenses.
  • Average savings for a 4-year education by New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York are $199,039, compared to California at #5 with an average of $174,684.
  • Baby Boomers have an average of $554,805 saved for retirement. This is 125% more than Gen X ($246,924) and over 700% more than Millennials ($68,971).
Millennials feel the wealthiest among all the generations in a 2023 Charles Schwab Wealth Survey

Millennial Specific Data On Retirement Readiness

Everything we've read so far seems to make sense. The older East Coast is the richest region in America, while older generations have more saved up for retirement. Let's now focus on the Millennial-specific data to see where things go askew.

  • Home Purchase Spending: Millennials expect to spend just $142,274 on a home purchase compared to $686,739 inputted by Gen Xers.
  • Vacation Spending: Millennials expect to spend $325,357 on vacations by retirement.
  • Number Of Working Years: Millennials expect to work 15 years on average and retire (hmm)
  • Retirement Savings: Millennials plan to save $445,687 after 15 years of work
  • Inheritance: This is the biggest mystery of all. Continue reading to find the answer.

It's clear Millennials are seriously divorced from reality! They are demonstrating a paradox of wealth where their beliefs are misaligned with their actions.

Sure, it's natural to input more aspirational figures in any retirement plan, but a whole lot of people will be disappointed with such aggressive assumptions. Let's go through the points one by one.

Remember, Empower (Personal Capital) has over one million users, most of whom are college educated, and are comfortable with using technology.

Home Purchase Spending

Rich Kids Millennials Housing Expectations

The median home price in America was ~$220,000 during the survey (~$400,000 in 2023). Based on a $142,274 budget, it looks like Millennials are all planning on living in the Midwest (investment opportunity!). The locations of Empower Personal Capital's Millennial users are heavily concentrated on the large coastal cities.

You cannot buy anything in the entire San Francisco Bay Area for $142,274. Good luck getting anything reasonable for $142,274 in San Diego, LA, New York, Miami, Boston, Seattle, or Washington DC and its suburbs either.

Number Of Working Years

The average American works for ~40 years until they retire. Somehow, the average Millennial thinks they'll be able to work for 15 years and hang up their boots.

Does the average Millennial plan to start a personal finance site like Financial Samurai or something? It's not a bad idea since you've seen real income profiles of financially free people who've done just that! Given the average Millennials' retirement savings in this survey is only $69,000, retiring in 15 years seems unlikely.

With the median life expectancy climbing to over 80 for both men and women, it's going to take a lot more money to support a 40+ year retirement lifestyle without work.

Even with a frugal $30,000 a year for living expenses, the Millennial would need at least $1,200,000 in savings after retiring at age 37 – 49 (age the person was surveyed + 15 years), and that's assuming zero expense inflation.

Vacation Spending


$325,357 in vacation spending just sounds insane, even if the $325,357 was spread out over a 40 year career to equal $8,133 annually. But remember, these Millennials plan to work for only 15 years and then retire.

Hence, instead of spending an average $8,133 a year for 40 years on vacations, they will spend a whopping $21,690 a year on vacations during their short careers. Party on baby! Where's that Crystal on my yacht in Ibiza?

The average household budget is pretty large nowadays!

Retirement Savings

Millennials plan to have $445,687 saved up by retirement. That's not too shabby, especially if you have a pension or Social Security starting to kick in at 62. However, Millennials only want to work for 15 years!

To save $445,687 in 15 years requires $29,712 saved up per year. It can be done, but it will take discipline. But if you're spending $8,133 – $21,690 a year on vacations, you aren't being very disciplined at all!

Inheritance Expectations

By now, you're wondering what type of dope Millennials are smoking to be so far divorced from reality. Well here it is folks. The secret to everything! The average Millennial who tried out the Retirement Planner expects to inherit $1.06 million. This is twice as much income as from their paychecks!

No wonder why they don't care about working more than 15 years, plan to spend $21,690 a year on vacations, and only pay $142,000 for real estate. Their parents will hook them up!

Maybe they're thinking they'll spend $142,000 on just the remodel. And given Millennials won't have a mortgage to pay, they can just kick back with their retirement and vacation funds until they get an extra income boost from their 401k and Social Security.

It's all so clear to me now why Millennials emphasize “following their passion,” and “doing meaningful work,” even if they haven't put in their dues. The data from hundreds of thousands of well-educated, technology-savvy Millennials from all over the country does not lie!

Are Millennials Delusional Or Wise?

Personal Capital Retirement Planner Assumptions
Added a $1M inheritance assumption at age 50 and can now spend $20,000 a month (from $18,892) in retirement! Play around with your assumptions to see what the planner spits out.

Perhaps these Millennials aren't delusional. I used to think hard work was the main ingredient for financial success. Now I believe hard work plus rich parents equals success!

Given the parents of Millennials have invested in the biggest bull market in history, it's logical to conclude that Baby Boomer parents have a ton to give. $50+ trillion in generational wealth transfer is estimated to pass from Baby Boomers to their Millennial children over the next several decades. That buys a lot of entitlement.

The Bank Of Mom And Dad Are A Big Help

I've seen plenty of parents either bequeath their own properties to their adult kids or pay the downpayment on a new property for their adult children.

Seven of my neighbors in Golden Gate Heights, San Francisco didn't pay for their house thanks to their parents. I am the only donkey who decided to work 70+ hours a week while saving 50%+ of my after-tax income to buy my own place. I should have just asked my parents for the downpayment.

Let's be honest. If you expected over a $1 million inheritance, would you bother to try so hard? I doubt it. It's partly because I knew my parents weren't rich that I've been so determined to make ends meet on my own.

The Bank of Mom & Dad are everywhere. They are coming up with down payments for their children's homes. They've set up revocable living trusts to provide for their adult lives.

Grandparents are also pitching in to fund 529 plans for their grandchildren and for generational wealth transfer purposes. So Millennials are acting completely rational.

New Millennial Survey By Empower

I was beginning to give Millennials the benefit of the doubt when it comes to money. They seemed to be acting completely rationally given the massive generational wealth transfer.

However, in 4Q2023, Empower did another survey and found that Millennials require $525,000 in annual income to be happy! That's 4X greater than what Gen Xers, Boomers, and Gen Zero responded with.

As a result, I'm back to thinking that a lot of Millennials are either delusional or ignorant about their finances. $525,000 is a top 3% income in American. You don't need to earn more than 97% of Americans to feel happy!

Reader Questions About Millennials

What kind of inheritance expectations did you input into the Retirement Planner? How do we prevent our kids from being unmotivated, non-productive members of society if we have a significant amount of wealth to pass on? Millennials, what have you noticed about your peers when it comes to money? Have you called your parents lately?

Would you work as hard or save as much if you expected a $1M+ inheritance?

View Results

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Invest In Private Growth Companies

If Millennials want to build wealth, Millennials must invest. One of the most intriguing Millennial type of investment is investing in private growth companies. Companies are staying private for longer, as a result, more gains are accruing to private company investors. Finding the next Google or Apple before going public can be a life-changing investment. 

Check out the Innovation Fund, which invests in the following five sectors:

  • Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning
  • Modern Data Infrastructure
  • Development Operations (DevOps)
  • Financial Technology (FinTech)
  • Real Estate & Property Technology (PropTech)

Roughly 35% of the Innovation Fund is invested in artificial intelligence, which I'm bullish about. In 20 years, I don't want my kids wondering why I didn't invest in AI or work in AI! Do you?

The investment minimum is also only $10. Most venture capital funds have a $250,000+ minimum. You can see what the Innovation Fund is holding before deciding to invest and how much. Traditional venture capital funds require capital commitment first and then hope the general partners will find great investments.

For more nuanced personal finance content, join 60,000+ others and sign up for the free Financial Samurai newsletter. Financial Samurai is one of the largest independently-owned personal finance sites that started in 2009. Everything is written based off firsthand experience. 

248 thoughts on “No Wonder Why Millennials Don’t Give A Damn About Money!”

  1. Long time reader of the FS content, but I must say this article seems not only far from the reality that most Gen Y’s (millennials) will face in both the near and long term, but also bizarrely builds to a proverbial crescendo leading the reader to surmise that millennial lifestyles are not steeped in poor financial decision making, when indeed that is the precise way to define them.

    For contextual reference, I am 30 years of age living in the Bay area. Inheritance came to me early through a series of ‘non traditional’ events that left me with a low 8 figure portfolio of assets to manage – predominantly real estate. Through most metrics of our society, I would be considered more the just well off, and indeed maybe this is true. But as any other reader on this channel in a similar financial position (age aside) can confirm, It feels anything but that. I work every day, save as much as I can, take modest vacations every once in a while and drive a normal car. I hope to one day ‘live it up’ as I see so many millennials do. But actually having that luxury vs fooling yourself into thinking you do is not a mere problem of the millennial generation mindset, it’s a fatal flaw.

    The vast majority what the first half of this article reflects is absolutely correct. Working only 15 years? Spending 10-20K on vacations? Who thinks this way? Waiting for the inheritance? Fact of the matter is most people find themselves in their 50/60’s by the time that inheritance comes from their parents. The bay area is a bit of an anomaly in that regard where the wealth transfer may begin prior to when the parents are deceased, but this defines a small subset of people in the grand scheme of things. So for those who can expect ‘the average $1M inheritance’, when their parents pass, whats the plan? Forgo life development and planning for the next 30 years? Keep blowing cash and making financial decisions that set you up for failure? The fact remains. Do millennials spend too much? Absolutely, will they (we) be afforded the same luxuries as the prior generations in terms of ability to build wealth? Not likely. Those with access to the right tools and people will – which is unfortunate. It’s also unfortunate that through some means of justification, a vast majority of people in the Gen Y cohort seem to be blissfully unaware of the reality that is waiting for them in the years to come. They simply cannot see the writing on the walls. Delusional perhaps? Or maybe a sign of the times? …I’ll just chalk it up to low resolution thinking.

    1. Thanks for commenting and sharing. I originally wrote this post in 2017, when the survey first came out and things have changed. We can’t really scrutinize and bag on Millennials anymore as the generation is older and wiser.

      Now it’s time to figure out what’s up with Gen Z!

  2. When I was six my dad took me back to his childhood house in rural Kansas. Calling it a house is a stretch, more like a sturdy shack. There was a large garden because it was a requirement to have enough to eat. My dad stressed education to us kids. He was ashamed that he could not keep-up with his engineering classes in small state college in Kansas. He became a young Naval pilot. He went on to flying jets off aircraft carriers. He retired as a Naval Commander. His second job was for Lockheed. Every week day I remember he was up before dawn catching-up on take home office work. He made all the kids school lunches before we were out of bed from our earliest school years right up through high school. Both my mom and dad died this year months apart. In hind sight I realize my father accomplished much from humble begins. He had little to be ashamed of. I can honestly say I have not done better than my father even with more opportunities. Much of getting ahead financially requires a strong motivation and the understanding that no one owes you anything. Good luck to those who get a large family inheritance, but don’t truly appreciate the hard effort it may have required to obtain it. Yes generational wealth that goes on and on bugs me, as I think all to often it handicaps the receivers of it to do their best to pay their way. At best I appreciate the very wealthy who have plans in place to give away most of their wealth to charitable causes that reach the most disadvantaged and/or help find treatments to mitigate some of the intense suffering of so many around the globe. I don’t look fondly on the wealthy who “keep it all within the family.”

  3. Artie whitefox

    Adam and Eve were not renting out the Garden of Eden. People make, people to think that is the case, when they have the consept of paying rent. Adam and Eve were not evicted from the Garden of Eden for not paying rent. That is what God’s image is doing. Satan through them, imitating what God had to do. Pay properties. The earth is God’s, not ours even when a thing that comes from nothing, buys it. Millennials think they are rich and increased with goods having need of nothing. Pre flood people were like that. Jesus who is life is not in their mind. People are thinking, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. They are not warming up their voice to sing. The consept of affordable is nowhere in scripture.

  4. Well then, I’d say the title’s really not a fair thing to assume about Millennials in general. I’ve always been interested in money. Moreover, I’ve always been interested in managing that money wisely. On top of that, I would want for my children to be able to build their own wealth, leaving myself just enough money to be reasonably comfortable with, leaving my biological children with a very small percentage of my money, much of it given away to charity, teaching them to be self-reliant, and to think of it as an opportunity with which to build their own wealth. All this so that I may be fully realized as a man, spending the rest of my days at peace knowing my children won’t have to bother me… much.

  5. The writer is apart of the generation that caused the greatest recession since the Great Depression. Millennials will end up better educated and richer than your generation mostly because we are more frugal than your generation. I will also remind everybody this guy thinks 200,000 is middle class. Most issues the economy comes from your generations free wheeling with free markets.

    1. Its a bunch of ignorant ass bafoonery jabberjawin. The I know it all but dont know shit generation. With the point the finger cant be accountable for anything. That dont talk to or spend time with there kids. Thats the generation that screwed up the world for us Millennials. The fact they cant use a computer and grew up making double the buying power of what I do now. Then want to call us entitled.. At 27 I can run laps around anything my dad generation does. My Grandparents are alot better example of what a man/woman is. The entitled generation at the factory making 30-40 bucks a hr coming home to their own castle. While my generation makes $12.50 an hour and live with 3 roomates just to rent an apartment because all the starter homes are $300k while my parents generation refinance and buy swimming pools. Millinneals are learning how inflation works, how stock market works, how to retire, how finance works, studying all day long to make extra money thats value is half of what it was when they where in 20’s. But same idiots dont even realize how to take advantage of the money they have while it last. Because what they made 5-10 years ago is not the same as what they making now. But you cant tell em a dang thing they grew up reading the same 3 books their whole life. When the internet gives you access to every book written! Why don’t yall older generations humble yourselves and realize we are not the same. We are first level of the next speices working are way through fixing the nightmare economy we adopted from parents who cant respect others let alone stay together. I’m tired of hearing about the poor and struggling being the problem with why they cant waste their money materialistic nonsense. Always the loudest ones in the room with their hands over their ears.

      1. Matt, you are part of the least educated generation. Your language skills are atrocious, as are your social skills. I must admit that it is my generations fault. We invented the video games and smart phones that damaged your generation.

  6. christina L bell

    I realize this article is old, I came across it while researching money topics. I am one of the older millennials at 35 years old and most of my generation that I know don’t fit this article at all. A lot of millennials are renting in apartments that go up every year along with food, education, and child care while income stays the same. I am supposedly middle class, we make $90k per year not including taxes but it sure doesn’t feel like it. My husband and I both have college degrees and with that came student debt. I was very fortunate to be able to pay most of my education at a community college through babysitting. I also paid off my student loan in nine years. My husband was not so lucky and had a much higher cost for education and thus bigger debt by graduation. We are still paying his student loan debt. Our rent here in the midwest for two bedroom 935 sq ft apartment is now over $1200. It increases every year around $20.00. We have been trying to save for a house but that 20% down payment seems like a pipe dream.

    As far as inheritance goes, we have zero expectations of that and most of my generation that I know don’t expect it either. My mother-in-law raised four kids as single mother after divorce and then her ex-husband died unexpectedly a few years later. She was living in her Dad’s house that was given to her when he died, but then had a stroke so now is in assisted care. Her medical bills basically took any of her savings she had.

    My own parents have also had health issues. My Mom has had skin cancer so then later health insurance wouldn’t take her. My Dad was forced into retirement from the company he had worked for 20+ years when the bosses changed, then recession hit his 401k. He went back to work only to go into kidney failure. He was on dialysis and took two years to get kidney transplant. They both also have medical debt now.

    I understand there are people who probably are able to depend on things like 1 million inheritance but I would say most can’t.

      1. Don’t worry Samurai. We will replace capitalism, and with it all your “tips” based on living from profits stole from workers will be gone… Like you. Well, maybe you can live OK with your Universal Basic Income. Not in the US though. Cheers from the first world.

  7. This article is BS. How many people can expect an inheritance? Also, kudos to all you hard workers. I’m 52 and I’m done with working hard. I want to chill out and relax. Wish I had an inheritance. Working sucks. Why couldn’t I be born into money? Getting older sucks too. I don’t want to live to 100. Hope I die before I get old. Rock n roll.

  8. I chose other, because I have no problem admitting that I’m money hungry, and 1mil wouldn’t cut it….I want to be swimming in bens….

  9. Tyler Borchardt

    Wow, those numbers from that study are shocking, and a little sad. It goes to show that Millennials (my generation) are filled with unrealistic expectations, entitlement, or a mixture of both.

    My running joke about inheritance is that I will get “absolutely nothing, divided by 4.” As you can probably guess, my parents have virtually nothing, plus I have 3 other siblings to boot.

    That’s OK though, since my natural inclination is to not rely on anybody other than myself for any financial need or goal. I was shocked when my fiance offered to help me pay my student loans; I hadn’t even considered the fact that she would ever give me any money!

    Because of all this, I’ve never even entered any inheritance into any retirement planning calculators I’ve used. Even if I had parents that were loaded, I would feel very uncomfortable making major financial decisions based solely on someone giving me a lot of money a long time in the future.

  10. I’m pretty close to the middle of the millennial generation. I’m 29.

    I don’t really like the word millennial. It sounds like a flower or something. Although, who thought naming a generation of people baby boomers was a great idea? lol. It seems like old people always think the younger people are little babies or flowers or something. I am not a flower. I do realize though that younger generations, including millennials really are facing some difficult financial obstacles which will likely get worse in the future. One thing though that I think people forget is that life has always been difficult. Millennials may have to pay more for healthcare, housing, and education, but we also haven’t as of yet had to fight in a world war for example or other terrible things other generations have been through.

    There is great hope for the future. I believe firmly that humanity’s best days are ahead, not behind. We will face difficulties as all generations of people have, but there will be great things ahead for us as well. The line from a book comes to mind. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.”. I think the future holds both the best of times and the worst of times, but overall the best of times will ultimately prevail and the future will be very bright. If you think just from a physics perspective, good is more efficient than evil and so from purely that perspective, evil is unsustainable and will ultimately succumb to good. Maybe not in individuals, but on a macro scale. This is a true principle.

    I also use Personal capital a lot and I love their retirement simulators. The way I have decided to try to get ahead is through something called house hacking. My plan is basically to buy multi family investment properties with small down payments by owner occupying. I have owned and lived in a 4-plex for about 2 years now. I am planning on buying another one in another year or two and living in it for a while also. I’m really just going to keep buying investment properties until it gets to the point that I obviously should buy myself a house.

    For any normal person reading this, this can be a golden key to get out of the long term financial problems other people will face. Live frugally and buy multifamily investment properties with small down payments such as FHA loans.. And yes there are ways to buy more than one this way. Think for a sec. If you buy a 600k property for 3.5% down and live in it… You gain almost 100% equity yearly just from inflation. If you put that same money in stocks, you’ll get like 10% a year rather than 100%. The only other thing to do is be careful and charge less rent than you need to in order to attract fantastic tenants and always do background checks and credit checks. When I started, I had to evict some drug dealers and other criminals from the building I was living in. Don’t expect it to be 100% easy, but if you have a good strategy, it can work out very well.

    Also though, I do invest in a 401k and also have a pension. I’m not against the stock market and I do invest in it, but it isn’t the only way to go.

    I barely graduated high school. In fact I didn’t graduate, but I did go back later and get a GED. I haven’t been to college so I have no student loan debt and I taught myself to code. I am also married now and have a little daughter. Marriage and family life will bring you true joy. Make that your highest priority in life. I’m serious. Good things will follow if you build a family and treat them well.

    Anyway, I just want you all to know that things will work out. Create a long term plan for the future for all areas of your life and then make it so. The future is bright. Things will work out. Be smart with how you use your time and energy. Be strategic and revisit your strategy regularly and make course corrections. A good strategy executed over a long time can be very powerful.

  11. The numbers needed to retire on this website are a joke. If people really needed that much to retire the entire system would collapse in 20 years because only 5% of the population are coming close to the 401k savings needed to retire. Healthcare costs and college tuition are essentially a bubble that’s going to burst. My 401k calculator calculates that by 2045 my healthcare premium costs will be $9850 a month. They base this off an algorithm based off current healthcare premium increases in the last decade. Shits gonna hit the fan…. the best investment is in physical guns.

  12. Hi, I’m 24 years old and about to graduate undergrad with a bachelors in STEM. I took a 180 and decided to take a job at an investment bank. My dad was an immigrant and became a physician who worked very hard and saved frugally his entire career. My mom was a teacher and met my dad in college. I grew up somewhat privileged, but my brother and I had no idea how much in total my family really had.

    The house I grew up in is currently worth 1.7M, 2 weekend getaway downtown condos are about 600k a piece, and 4 additional houses around the suburbs 200-300k my dad bought for his mom and other relatives under his name. I will not have student debt and have capital inside brokerage accounts and retirement accounts. I recently went to my family’s wealth management meeting and saw the portfolio value to be 16M. They established an irrevocable trust, meaning they cannot take money out, but only put money in. This is to ensure the government intervention. My brother and I will eventually inherit this compounded amount without the government touching anything over 10M each, given my brother and I are both married.

    I don’t flash around vanity, and I try my hardest to keep finances out of friendships and relationships. That’s probably the most difficult part of growing up affluent. I don’t have the drive like I see in others, which I sometimes envy but at the end of the day, I wholeheartedly respect those who are so driven and ambitious in a cutthroat world. Right now I find I have a lot of free time, and I’m grateful for each day by exploring new things that fulfill me.

  13. Dear “Financial Samurai,” (are you Asian? If not, that business name is racist in the public domain)

    This is a grossly inaccurate article, which is sad and confusing coming from such a well self-accredited financial advisor. Check your numbers, or reality, whichever is easier for you to comprehend. As a millennial, I live thousands of dollars below the poverty line, expect no inheritance, have no faith in social security as an institution to benefit my generation in any way, shape, or form. I don’t expect to ever retire (that’s honestly a laughable concept), and I don’t expect to ever earn close to anything my parents did over their lifetime, because folks in your generation have the money.

    If you live in a house, GFY.
    If you can afford to have, and support a family, GFY.
    If you have enough food for yourself, and others, GFY.
    If you’ve personally benefited form any inheritance, GFY.
    Honestly, va te faire foutre, because you have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about, no sense of what millennials face as a generation, financially, or socially, and no grounding in reality likely due to your personal wealth.

    Be grateful for what you have, and have the humility not to slander an entire generation of people that’ll be wiping your old ass one day.

    1. #1 – He is Asian American but even if he wasn’t it wouldn’t be racist. At worst, it would be “cultural appropriation.” Racism is the belief that races are superior or inferior to others. A white or black person wanting to be a samurai in no way would imply racism, no more than an Asian kid dreaming of being John Wayne or Bruce Willis be racist.

      #2 – While a huge % of millennials will not inherit, a large % will. It’s simple math. There are over 10 million households worth at least a million bucks and most of that will pass onto a millennial [plus many more with over 250k].

      #3 – Your attitude is horrible. I grew up poor, zero money for college, no private schools, no inheritance, started off making just above minimum wage as a cashier at a grocery store; 15 years later I now make more than $300k/year with zero financial assistance from anyone. It took a lot of time (both extra hours, unpaid usually, at work as well as education both through the system – adult undergrad + mba programs on my own dime – and ~2 hrs of research a night on my own from home on various thing) and I had to forego a LOT of friend time while building my career and a decent amount of family time to achieve what I have.

      TLDR of #3 – stop whining, start doing

      1. Thanks for getting my back Rob! And well done rising to your current position!

        There’s another thing many folks can’t understand…. satire. Come on folks. Of course I’m not saying every millennial doesn’t give a damn about money b/c they are all gonna inherit boku bucks. But it makes for a more interesting title, and fun pictures as well.

        Do not forget to be entertained sometimes. Life is more fun this way.

        1. “Do not forget to be entertained sometimes. Life is more fun this way.”

          Agreed! Once I hit the ~$200k/yr mark a couple years ago I drastically reigned in my hours as I no longer desired to keep moving up corporate America like I was earlier in my career (although still got promoted from Sr Dir to VP since then). I actually work the fewest hours/wk now (45-55 hr/wk~90% of the time) than I ever have since I joined the workforce because I don’t care if I ever make it to CFO at this point and I take at least 3 week long vacations per year now vs only 1-2 earlier in my career.

          1. lol you people are so blinded by your own experience and privilege its unreal.

            and save the unverifiable anecdotes that curiously always indirectly promote free labour as a necessity to get a good job.

            too much is being demanded on our generation with very little return if not outright lies. all in an effort to further blind is to the reality that we have and continue to be exploited, scammed and lied to for the benefit of the already established members of society.

            blaming out very real problems on us and accusing us of this and that is not only not helpful, but actually very destructive. youre writing an article for click bait— a lesser exploitation of our disposition.

            1. Ever been to war or shot at on the street, have a medical event, been a missionary to Haiti? Every generation ahs challenges. Thank God for what you DO have, get to work, save your money, spend less, and DO NOT Quit. Have hope. We live in the most prosperous country in human history. Try your best to join it while helping others along the way. Make goog moral decisions all the way and it will work out. I believe in you, so belive in yourself and just try to keep moving forward. If an idiot like me from Arkansas can do it, I know YOU can!

    2. Tyler Borchardt

      Rob’s entire comment is basically saying that this article is bogus based only on Rob’s personal experience.

  14. Better have good life when you’re young. You might not survive to pension.

    And it’s better to invest money somewhere than put into bank. And move to cheaper place than USA or Europe (Russia, Taiwan)

  15. At the age of 27 I fall in this range and do not care about the fiat economy,money,or work. This is due to with 10 years of post secondary and 13 years of grade school most of my generation was told we will amount to nothing boy were they wrong I made 1.3 billion cdn dollars and gave it all away due to I seen the damage it causes as a slave tool for millions of canadians and that is exactly what it is a slave tool, with a false hope of making more when in reality most companys do not even adjust for cost of living and the tax hikes are insaine if you live on 50k a year your not living but slowly dieing from 40 to 90 hours a week only thing that is defying this it 30% of population live longer each year, due to medication and serility.

    Now the reason why I gave what some call a fortune away is because I knoticed that everyone in my neighborhood was working their peverbial asses off and making dick 50k or less usually 20k to 30k not including the cost for school and thier spoiled wives expensive habits including a nice home more less I knoticed humanity lost sight of the bigger picture it is not about money or work it is about evolution (which proven fact we are sped up evolution not natural but most will deny this because of ignorance to see what is infront of them) anywho once I realized this I went around and asked what do you think would make the world work and care about money they all almost answered (money and work does not matter all that matters is at the end of my life I can go out my way and people will understand) needless to say I found this statment odd and disturbing then for the next six years I sat on my hands living on 22k a year only to come to my conclusion when people make less and see the damage from a false economy they tend to bo longer care I too had begun thinking like my neighbors enough is enough I sold my company for resources and then sold the resources took my total 1.3B $ and asked my accountant to make as many 500k checks receiveable by anyone that cashed them and placed 1 in every mail box in my neighborhood then went to the next and the next till I was down to 500k myself. I made everyone equal in theory and I started to see a positive reaction around me everyone was happy again working less and you could see life comeback to them. Needless to say I discovered humans would rather die than work for 10% of nothing and after asking around again how people were doing they said that their heath was up they could spend time with loved ones and surprisingly many also said they had the time to teach and train their husbands wives and kids. Mad me realize unless you make 100k a year at 20 hours a week minimum your quality of life rapidly declines. I ask a few government financial advisors why this is and every single one told me the fiat economy and money as we know it are tools we use to control people so that many cannot succeed in hopes of lowering population. I knoe this whole story may seem far fetched but I personally can say this all happened in reality and I’m glad it did because I too am now worthless just like the rest of our primitive race we hold the vaule of resources and money above life when in fact we need to hold life and quality of life above it all and disband the fiat economy and let evolution take over for another 4million years or yes we will all die with the greed of money so for those who say my generation do not care you are right we do not and this is because most have real genuine lack of hope not that they are waiting for their parents to die to get money these days if a person is not happy with dirt then they need either a bullet or none existance

  16. The problem here is that you took data from a set that obviously only targets people planning for and expecting to retire. I keep seeing sources claiming that 2/3 of millennials don’t expect to EVER be able to retire, so you’re already sampling only the top 33%. I expect this is further limited by the location of the surveying business, which is presumably a wealthy privileged east coast area.

    I’ve been working full-time (college grad) for 10 years, and have never earned over 25k per year underbidding the hell out of my parents’ generation to get the work those motherfuckers refuse to retire out of. I, and most of my contemporaries, would find it hilarious that you consider 30k a conservative cost of living. A lot of us don’t and can’t afford to live near the coasts or in urban areas, precisely because it’s expensive.

    I don’t care about money beyond my ability to pay my bills and eat. I studied economics, and can easily see that labor is currently a buyer’s market. I also watched my parents lose their retirement savings twice in ’01 and ’08. Wages are stagnant or contracting depending on your industry even as productivity rises. Millennial contempt for money is real, but it’s not about the rich twats you’re talking about here, it’s about despairing of the concept of generating any lasting wealth or attaining any level of financial security.

  17. My parents have a net worth of about $5m in real estate, but I still work extremely hard. I’ve never added an inheritance to my calculations because I don’t think it’s something that should be taken for granted. You just never know how family relationships will turn out in the future, or if catastrophe will strike.

    I agree; I’ve seen a huge sense of entitlement in many of my peers, and a mentality of blowing money like it grows on trees. It’s a relief to come across your site and not feel so alone in my financial mindset, which often makes me feel isolated from my friends and coworkers.

    I’m a 23 year old living in the Bay Area like yourself. I commute 40 miles each way for work (80 mi roundtrip) – I’ve put 18,600 miles on my car since January of this year – to live with my parents. I save 50%-65% of my take-home pay which is not easy considering I don’t make a software engineer’s salary and I only have 2 years of work experience.

    Instead of renting a room for nearly half my take-home pay, I purchased a home with my mom as a co-signer. It’s not a great neighborhood and even further from work, so I still live with my parents and rent the entire house out. I get $400/month after the mortgage and expenses. It appraised 8 months after we bought it for an over 10% return on our downpayment. I need to pay my mom back the downpayment (I’m about 15% of the way there), but I’m feeling happy at the financial stability I’ve begun to create. I’ve surpassed the extreme net worth goal you’ve outlined for 25 year olds by saving, not counting the appreciation of my home. But I still have a ways to go and tons to learn.

    I am motivated out of a desire to repay my parents for everything they have done for me. Maybe it’s the Asian side of me coming out but I want to take care of them when they’re old, and given that they had me when they were 40, I don’t have much time! I’ve also had excellent role models in my older sister (38 and no longer works) and brother (just purchased a $2m home, has millions in other investments). They started from zero, hustled, and sacrificed to get where they are today. I am lucky in that regard–I think a lot of my fellow millennials don’t have family members who can demonstrate the beauty of living within/below your means to achieve financial freedom.

  18. Very interesting about the inheritance part! The funny thing, I’m in that same boat. I didn’t know the situation was so widespread. And yes, I’ll admit it puts a healthy damper on my independent motivation.

    Expounding on just the inheritance topic, I think the biggest risk to any aged parents’ assets is healthcare, especially nursing home care. I’ve seen friends’ families lose the entirety of a potential multi-six-figure inheritance to nursing homes and hospitals. Amazingly to me, these friends didn’t seem to care, thinking, “well, it wasn’t my money, so whatever.” When combined with a “self-made” social culture where each generation expects to start out from zero on their own, it seems the system is designed this way, to opportunistically mop up old folks’ money and prevent generational family wealth transfer.

    But a major factor allowing this situation in the US in particular is a cultural lack of interpersonal trust. If family members are apt to screw over one another, or to be stupidly wasteful or risky with money, then there is no hope of safely pre-planning to prevent such a loss. But if family members can truly trust each other and be responsible (as was the case between my parents and grandparents), then it’s far better to slowly legally transfer over as much wealth as possible years before potentially expecting to get sick. By the time my grandparents needed major healthcare and nursing home care, there were nearly no assets legally left in their name for a number of years already, and therefore nothing to be taken, and so insurance covered everything (I think there is a legal 5 or 7 year period before it’s “not theirs” from a healthcare point of view). Sadly, in this age of family lawsuits and divorces and selfishness, this approach probably wouldn’t be practical for most families.

  19. I wonder what average or poor millenials think about their life…

    That 1M$ inheritance entitlement it’s just spot on. Coming from an average family to a top 3 high school, the “where’s the crystal In my yacht in ibiza” just haunts everyone.

    Some of their parents even have lived that life and now are paying their dues, but still raise spoiled brats lol

    1. Go have an earnest conversation with someone in the age group you’re slandering.
      See if you still have the ability to change your mind.

  20. As a second year engineering student, I am disgusted by the lack of awareness many of my peers have regarding their financial future (and present). I have seen so many lazy and overpaid workers at my customer service work study job, it makes me want to vomit. We all get paid $11 an hour to process a few packages and wait around for customers to show up. People have the nerve to complain and do the few simple tasks they have to do incorrectly. Very few people show enough pride in their work to do more than the bare minimum.

    Many of my peers don’t value their education at all simply because they are not the ones paying for it. They know their parents will pay their way through life.

    On the other hand, I’ve worked harder than anybody my age I’ve ever met. This might be because I’m aware I will have loans to pay, my retirement to plan for, and the retirement of my parents; I’d say it’s because I see the value in the work I do. If I find myself talking about my job(s), it blows their mind that I would work more than 40 hours a week.

    I’m horrified

    1. This is why you are going to be financially successful, and your peers are going to feel lost and out of sorts with their money years after they graduate. You have the right mindset to be rich and financially independent. Embrace it, practice good processes, and sooner or later you have the freedom to do whatever you want for the rest of your life!

      There’s nothing more rewarding than making your own money and making your own success. I’d much rather have something I created on my own but inherit something.

  21. I am one of the last years of Gen Xers. I worked multiple jobs in high school, college, and the real world, have saved like a fiend for retirement and am about on Sam’s above average track for net worth for my age. I would be thrilled if I didn’t end up supporting my parents at some point. Inheritance? Not so much. I do have friends who expect to receive something, but not so many. And if you are depending on that, you are delusional unless your parents are not just well off, but downright rich. A few years in a nursing home can wipe out a portfolio in a hurry. Better to make it on your own. Really enjoy reading your thoughts, Sam!

  22. Umm..have you looked at actual savings rate for boomer generation, not just those who entered data into wealthfront?

    Because financial retirement planners have given me a very different picture about American savings rate, so the wealth transfer may not be as large as you think…perhaps

  23. Nothing is certain, and I’d feel like a dope if I lived my life planning on a $1 million dollar windfall and it didn’t end up coming for one reason or other. Hell, they could outlive me! Plus $1 million dollars isn’t even enough for my ideal nest egg size. It’s not like I could live a dramatically different life with $1 million dollars. There’s always ways to increase and expand the family fortune. There’s no reason it should be earned in a generation and spent in the next generation. I do think this contributes to wealth inequality and that wealth inequality is a huge problem. The way I’d view such an inheritance is that it’s something to be preserved and grown for the benefit of future generations who may need it, and expanded to help others outside the immediate family.

  24. I am a 16 year old boy that cares about his future ( hence why i am on this site), but this article is completly true people now just see pictures on twitter of 20 through 28 year olds with a lot of money and believe it is true but do not acknowledge the fact that it is just a picture on social media.

    1. Buddy, the world is horrifying and poor. 20 somethings aren’t rich. If it appears so, they’re still supported by their parents. We call this the 1%. If you don’t have nice things, you probably don’t belong to this percentage. Most of us don’t. I’m sorry. Social media is toxic, delete your Twitter.

  25. FIRECracker

    The whole inheritance thing just creeps me out. Coming from an Asian background, if you so much as think of the word “inheritance”, you will immediately be treated to a loud slap from the back of your Mom’s hand.

    So yeah, inheritance was never part of our retirement plan, and it’s disappointing to read about other Millennials thinking this way. I’m actually pretty surprised, because I don’t know any Millennials who are considering inheritance as part of their retirement plan.

    Oh and to your point about:
    “Even with a frugal $30,000 a year for living expenses, the Millennial would need at least $1,200,000 in savings after retiring at age 37 – 49 (age the person was surveyed + 15 years)”

    I get that you’re using a yield 2.5% to be super conservative, but we’ve found that you can get a 3-4% yield without incurring much more risk. And not only that, once you stop working, your costs go down significantly (no need for daily transportation, spa treatments, dry cleaning, etc, etc and vacations are WAY cheaper). And if you retire young, you will mostly likely pick up a side gig and generate income, which brings down your SWR even more. So there’s really no need to be THAT conservative. You have lots of knobs to turn in retirement.

    Hopefully with all the finance blogs out there (including your own), Millennials will become more self-sufficient and care about money.

    1. I’m with you on being slightly creeped out. I don’t think about an inheritance from my parents, because a) it’s a bit creepy to how I will benefit when they, you know, die, and b) it’s their money.

      I assume my parents might have some sort of modest estate upon their deaths. I have no idea what it might be. Do I expect to receive any of it? No. That’s because, as far as I know, they will donate their estate to their alma maters. Or to a charity somewhere. Or they will divide it up among all the members of our extended family, including grandchildren, cousins, step kids, and those “aunts” and “uncles” and “nieces” who are family friends, so everyone gets just a tiny amount. Or they are going to go all out when they are 80 and blow it on a wild, around-the-world trip (eating pounds truffles and gilded potato chips the whole way – good for them!). Hell, maybe they secretly have a ton of debt and there is no estate to speak of.

      My point is: who knows?! It’s their money, not mine, so I don’t make any plans based on it, and I certainly don’t harbor any morbid fantasies about how I’ll spend it after their sad and unfortunate demise.

  26. Millennial Moola

    The inter-generational wealth transfer that will happen over the next few decades will be unprecedented in world history. If people choose to work in traditional jobs less and travel, create, and take more risks more, we will all be better off. So will the millions of people living in third world countries like Thailand who get to charge $2 for Pad Thai instead of $1, so I’m all in favor of Millennials getting money as long as they don’t blow it all on standing paddle boards and mini-yachts

    1. Chief Curmudgeon

      I just laugh when I read these zillion dollar figures passing from one generation to another. Completely ignores extreme concentration of wealth, where a very small minority will get the bulk, while the majority will get at best very modest amounts.

  27. Sam,
    this is similar to your “Wealth Transfer” article…i think the word “entitlement” best defines this particular generation…

    when my parents inherited my grandparent’s house it was only worth about $120k and had to be split between 4 siblings…that’s nice money but it’s not life-changing…

    my parent’s house is currently worth over $250K (Florida) and i have to split it with my sister…$125k is good too, but i still need to save all i can

  28. As a millennial a 1 million dollar inheritance wouldn’t change my life. It’s frankly not that much money. Even a retirement on 5 million at 37 (15 years of work) sounds tight. Assuming you live another 50 years… A modest 3% inflation would make your 5 million have the future purchasing power of only a 1 million today. Your future retirement would thus be determined by your ability to achieve market returns that match or exceed inflation and withdrawal rates that preserve capital (especially in periods of low returns). This all assumes you are never unlucky enough to experience a loss of capital from a bad turn in the market. Who wants their standard of living so dependent on the whims of the capital markets at any given time. Not me…. Diversified streams of income is the only true security. A marketable job skill is a way of adding diversity to your income streams to help insure you against market risks.

  29. I think this is very true or some people of that generation. Even though my parents most likely have a networth over 10M, I am working as if I will receive $0. One of my siblings is not even working, and actually quit his last job and hasn’t worked in a few years. My parents still support him and pay all his bills.
    It depends on the person, not he generation.

    A lot of people my age have no desire to have children, save for the future, etc. They want to live in the now.

      1. Oh definitely I think it is the reason why.

        10M is easy if you have a good income, and live as if you have a modest income.

  30. Hi FS,
    I’m in this category of humans, american, millennial, wealthy parents, old east coast money. I think of things differently than those who entered data into the Personal Capital tool. Yes, boomer wealth might be transferred one day, it also may be entirely used up on long term care by our parents. It’s definitely not to be counted on. Which means I must find my own path and generate my own wealth. I think they already passed on “wealth” in other forms than cash: real estate knowledge, portfolio management knowledge, paid education, estate planning, tax avoidance, etc. Instead of banking on a transfer of wealth, I’m using what my family has passed down to achieve certain financial goals. I find that they respect this approach. They’re more willing to help in other ways than just handing over money…such as backing a home loan with their portfolio. I do think many of my peers are pretty clueless about money though, whether they come from a wealthy family or not. Excessive consumerism and lack of savings are the 2 most prominent themes. I think they’re missing the big picture of amassing investments so that their portfolio can produce enough passive income to actually take all those vacations. We were given too much growing up, in my opinion, but some of us also graduated around 2009 and had an abrupt transition into reality. Many returned to their parents home, some struggled but tried to live on their own. But, overall our bunch is doing much better now, especially with regards to employment opportunities and producing income. Time to squirrel away that paycheck! Long term care is no joke.

  31. “seem to be a little clueless or delusional about money, you might be right!”

    I’d be careful with overgeneralizing because I fit that definition of millennial, and I am the most financially knowledgeable individual of whom I’m aware with the possible exception of Harry Sit over at

      1. Firstly, I realize you are taking a critical look at this topic; I suppose my target is the financial media who repeatedly hammer the theme of financially inept millennials.

        The amount of money I factor into my retirement from inheritance is the same I factor in from social security: big ole goose egg. Why? That’s not really money I control so I’m viewing it as a bonus and not as part of my plan. I don’t think social security will play no role in my retirement, but I prefer to just think of it as a back-up.

        Do I know people who are banking on inheritance? Yes, I do, and those people do live a relaxed life knowing they will inherit a large sum. I also know people who will have a large inheritance, but work hard to be self-sufficient anyway.

        Regarding people who think that they will unrealistically inherit 1 million dollars… I know of no such individual. I’m not saying they don’t exist just that my circle of friends don’t fit this particular paradigm.

        My experience is that people overall have been financially unsophisticated and their butts have been saved by pensions and/or unintended home equity from mortgage payments. That’s wearing off now, and I believe that younger generations have woken up to this fact. The criticism we are seeing is more of a reflection that percentage of younger folk who are financially inept won’t have pensions as a safety net.

        1. “My experience is that people overall have been financially unsophisticated and their butts have been saved by pensions and/or unintended home equity from mortgage payments.”

          I somewhat expect to receive a pension, but it isn’t “saving my butt.” 9% of what shows up in my paycheck is skimmed off pre-tax to go into a pension fund that I MIGHT see in the future. That’s up 2% over a year ago. I don’t have the option to “opt out.”

          Just wanted to ensure that it is understood that pensions are not “gifts.” One pays for it, one way or the other.

          1. Exactly you are forced to pay into the pension and if you have a mortgage you are forced to pay down principal each month or else you lose your house. It is being forced that saves people’s butts. If they had that 9% in their checking account they would probably spend it rather than invest it in something.

  32. Nathan @ Investment Hunting

    So delusional, but, I was delusional too at the age of 25. Look at the Baby Boomers, many unprepared for their retirement.

  33. earningpaper

    I’m at 24 y/o who could very well receive some sort of inheritance, not 1 million liquid but they’re assets that have to distribute somewhere. I have a mindset that I’m not entitled to anything and I think it’s because I’ve seen families have disagreements when they have to separate wealth from a recent passing. Family members often feel they have the right to claim a stake. I understand that each situation is different but the best thing I can do for myself is to rely on myself for creating the end goal. Anything that’s passed on to me is a bonus!

  34. It always interests me when people make the argument that being rich will make you unmotivated or lazy, etc.

    I, and my 8 cousins, have been extremely fortunate to have each inherited about $1M when turned 18. The money has essentially been passed down for 3 generations, each generation caring for it and adding to it so that it can be passed down to the next. The money is never considered “our” money, but “family” money that gets passed down. The purpose has always been to provide security, education, and health care. Although it will likely also help with a down payment and some nice vacations.

    Of the 9 of us, I dont think any of us have yet spent a dime from that inheritance except on college (yes, Ill admit this included rent and beer money, though I did have a job in college) or emergency medical expenses. We range in age from 21 to 36 and none of us have kids yet. Of the 9 of us, all but 1 graduated from top programs and are very successful in our respective fields (the youngest is hard at work as a housekeeper in a hotel). Im not trying to brag, I just dont think anyone would look at any of us and call us unmotivated, or guess that we each had such large bank accounts for that matter.

    Having gone to some of the top schools in the US, I have hung around a lot of people that inherited or will inherit a hell of a lot more than me, and nearly all of them are extremely motivated and hard working people. Lawyers, doctors, investment bankers, entrepreneurs, CEOs, Scientists, etc. In fact, since leaving school, I am generally depressed by the average motivation and skill level of our workforce…

    Motivation comes in a lot of shapes and sizes. While some people are undoubtedly lazy due to money they inherited, some people work extra hard because (italics) their parents are rich and they need to prove themselves to their parents as much as anyone. Others have different reasons.

    In my case, I look at the marvelous childhood I had, the comfort that financial security has given me in times of crisis (yes, even rich people have crises), and I want to provide that for my kids. If I have 3 kids and I give them the same I got, thats $3M hard cash before we even account for inflation, not to mention all the costs of raising kids. So I’d say I have my work cut out for me just to maintain the status quo in my family. But I think every generation wants the next to do better than they did, so add another 20% or so on that, and you have some significant financial motivation even though I already have a big head start.

    On the other hand, I could just say f-it, and go party…. but we’re not all Kardashians. That said, Im sure there are plenty of interesting statics showing how fast family wealth declines over the generations…

    Lastly, for those who are against passing on inheritance, I cant emphasize enough how quickly life can change, and what a difference having that money can make. For example, say you plan to earn $1M by retirement, but you suffer a serious accident 10 years into your career, and you never make it to that $1M… It is the best privilege to not have to ask yourself that question. I wish everyone had the same, and I’m extremely grateful that I have this privilege.

  35. Sam, can you address my question because I believe its rather important. Part of the issue I think your article based on millennials think they can retire early may have to do with PC’s retirement tool, and the high assumption of high returns going forward. Why has PC used such high assumptions going forward? based on what? Why? I also do think most readers of FS are way above average when it comes to Personal finance so I am sure most of us take most assumptions as a grain of salt. But a lot of others out there might heavily rely on such assumptions…

  36. I am one of those millennials who saves over 60-70% or more of my income after taxes. Using PC’s retirement planner I did not include any windfalls or inheritances. But the metrics PC use to calculate assume a rather high return of rate, with a high savings rate over 15 years or so, its easy to assume with a 9.4% return rate based on historical data which PC uses one could easily retire really early. Even the results that I am getting with my current net worth and my assumptions of what I can save over the next 15 years plus the estimated high rate of return, I could easily retire. Well if all goes well and we see those high returns, which I am not counting on, sure I would retire early. I would take my asset allocation and get more conservative, and get into more of a preservation mode to make my assets last. Also the word retirement has changed a lot these days, especially those who want to retire early say in their 40s or so. A lot of the times, most these early retiree saved up a large large nest egg… but they focus now on what they want to do, even if it means making less money to avoid starting to withdraw from the nest egg, which gives them more time for their assets to keep growing. I can respect that! I would like to “retire” in my 40s also, with a large enough nest egg I will feel confident enough to take the risk to move on and away from the daily grind. The thing about retirement calculators are just that, they are estimates, no one can really know the future returns of all asset classes. As it is I think most financially savvy people, especially FS readers, they know better and I bet most of us here re evaluate our situation year after year. I for one can’t say for certain I will feel comfortable to retire in the next 15 years, there are too many what ifs, and uncertainties.

  37. I don’t feel the need to prove myself by earning my own money, but if my parents want to leave money for me, then I will appreciatively take it.

  38. I’m expecting, but not budgeting, for somewhere between 100k and 300k from my folks, mostly from the value of their paid off house. My crazy uncle and aunt have a few mil, no kids, and my brother and i are one of only 3 nephews/0 nieces, but they are rumored to plan to leave all of their wealthy to the local pet shelter and knowing them they may well do that.

    My goal is to retire with at least $3m (pref 4-5) million at age 50. If I got a million from my uncle before then, I’m not sure I’d slow down at all but it would make me significantly less likely to keep working past 50 (34 now). I just got a huge raise last week so feel like I’m on the right track, despite losing a good amount of money in housing from 2005-2012 and not saving enough until about 3 years ago. Should sock away about $60k this year and hoping to increase to $100k/yr within 4 years.

  39. I’m a cusp millenial. I was born in the year range, yet there’s another definition that puts me in Gen X, and a 3rd that leaves me in an unnamed gap between the two. Yes, my mom bought my younger sister her condo. :/ It was actually mom casually mentioning how much she thought each of us kids would inherit (including her house / sister’s condo as assets) (add in my dad’s potential numbers), that got me into the FI community, looking for how to best invest ~$1M. I know fdic only ensures to a set amount so I thought, let me see what else people do with that much money. Seeing what people like Mr Money Mustache, Go Curry Cracker & others have done, inspired me to say, why wait? If I’m pretty frugal to start with (thanks mom & dad!), can I tweak some things and get to FI on my own? Enjoy my time with my parents, let them spend their money, and if there is anything left as inheritance, it’s bonus, because I got myself to FI. We’ll see!

  40. With the average life span continuing to increase, I believe some will be very disappointed to learn their inheritance was used for those extra years or long term care. I would love to see an article on average life span, long term care costs, long term care insurance, life insurance policies, and average funeral costs. This might change some views and give perspective. Walking millennial through this, and helping with money management toward the end of their parents lives/after will soon be big business.

    1. If you are in long term care for 4 years at 8,000 a month that is 384,000 dollars. I think the average stay in long term care is more like 2 years. If you are expecting a 1 million dollar inheritance that is definitely a big dent but still leaves you a very nice amount. Maybe the millennials responding to this survey will end up working 20 years instead of 15 years.

    2. Permian Buyer

      I agree Scott. I think the expected inheritance may be as overstated as the other figures in the survey. Most millennials have no clue what the may inherit. They may certainly think their parents who don’t share intimate details of their finances with them are doing far better than they actually are.

  41. Brian Chong

    For tax purposes, it’s better to get an inheritance than a gift. An inheritance are the assets you receive when your parents die. A gift is what you receive while they’re still alive.

    When you receive an inheritance of stock or real estate, you get a step up in your cost basis of that asset. So even though your parents paid $1 for that stock or $50K for that house, your cost basis becomes the fair market value at the date of their death. So when you sell that asset the next day, you’ll pay no tax. Great tax loophole!

    From a retirement planning perspective, even though your parents have money now, some day when they retire, they’re going to spend that money over the next 20+ years but they won’t be working. A nursing home in the SF bay area costs around $8K/month and prices go up 5%/year.

    -Brian Chong, CPA

  42. It’s things like this that make me so ashamed of my generation. I know so many that just don’t do things because they know they will always be taken care of. For me that’s insane, my parents not only don’t have money but I started finding ways to make money since I was 12 not so I could go and buy things but because my parents needed help paying the bills. I never actually saw a dime of my own money until I moved out on my own, prior to that all the money I made simply went to my parents, just to pay bills.

  43. This post hit home. I am 28 years old and so is my wife. I bought a condo in the recession (2010), turned it for a 6 figure profit (wish I could have kept it for a rental) 4 years later and now live in a 718k house (prob worth 780 or so) that we purchased just over a year ago in San Diego. Our house is 1950 sq ft, newer construction.
    We owe about 350 on it, and now are saving for rentals. We put around 30% down on this place and have aggressively paid excess down and took advantages of low rates to refi.
    We do take a trip a year but can do so on a budget. Between my wife and I we earn about 225k a year. Only debt we have besides houses are cars at 0% so I refuse to pay them off.
    148k won’t buy you much down here.
    I have some friends who don’t seem to value money like we do. I worked full time through high school and college, and have been in sales all my life. Some seem to be in no hurry to earn or save money, or spend every $ they make. After reading numerous articles on here I have learned a few things.

    1. We make plenty, it’s how well we save it and invest it that really matters.
    2. Reduce debt to create less stress and opportunities.
    3. Create passive cash flow- rentals, investments, etc
    4. No substitute for hard work

    Lastly- go the extra mile. It’s less crowded.

  44. I would be even more interested to see a breakdown of those in each generation who expected to be supporting a parent, child, or grandchild during their own retirement. This seems to be at least as common an experience as inheriting a big windfall, but I suspect that it’s not even on the screen of possibilities for a huge chunk of millennials.

    P.S. On the voting thing: I echo the sentiment that even a guaranteed $1M inheritance is likely to come too late to have much effect on my work ethic. However, if I were to receive $1M today, I would definitely consider making some “slack off” life changes. I’d probably still work, but I might talk to my husband about him being a stay-at-home parent. And if we both could work out a way for each of us to work 3/4 time (though I doubt we could), we would jump at it.

  45. Dear Sam,

    Thank you for this article. It opened my eyes.

    I am the parent of two college-age millennials, and I see exactly what you’re talking about.

    At their age, I was hustling to get my education — taking night classes, while in the military. DH didn’t slack off either. And we’ve worked hard ever since.

    My kids, however, are drifting through school.

    We’ve set limits on how long we’ll support them with bare-bones living expenses and school costs , but it hasn’t lit a fire under either of them.

    Do they think they don’t need to work hard because they might get an inheritance some day? Well, I’m about to disabuse them of that notion — DH and I will each have pensions, but those die when we do.

    I think I’ll let the kids know that we might have to use our resources to support Granny in her old age. Maybe that’ll kickstart them.

      1. Oh gosh, us lazy millennials drifting through school right? It’s hard to quantify motivation, but I’m as motivated and career oriented as they get and I will be a super senior next year. It’s the new normal.
        The major cause for taking an extra year in university is that we aren’t prepared in math after high school. The problem is that no one (Not the teachers and not the students) takes high school seriously enough, unless you manage to get into an honors course early on most likely during your freshmen year. So if you are an average student, you get stuck with the hooligans who disrupt class. Therefore we take an extra year later in college. The solution would be taking math and english at a cc during the summers while in high school; but then again, a high school student will not be getting any type of priority registration (at least not in California).
        Maybe a little bit old now (came out in 2012 I think), but the book Generation on a Tight Rope is a good read framing college statistics, culture and opinions.

        1. Very interesting perspective regarding math. Was there not Gifted & Talented program in your high school or AP classes?

          Spending an extra year in college costs money, lost money, and time. What about summer classes?

          1. There was, but you can’t get into it unless you’re “gifted or talented” from the start. I actually told my parents I wanted to do summer school; they happened to not support the idea. They wanted me to get out and do other activities. It doesn’t take much to convince a high schooler to not do summer school.

  46. Most people I know have had to rely on their own hard work to get by. I myself had to save enough for a down payment on a condo without any help from my parents.

    I have known quite a few people who decided just to live at home and not work, and they all have one thing in common: enabling parents.

    I have been fortunate to be put into a situation where I can’t afford to be lazy–nothing will come to me if I don’t work for it. No inheritance for this guy.

  47. So the people that are not planning on working for their money spend the most time learning what to do with it? Something seems a little strange with this scenario.

  48. I expect at least any where in between 1 million to 3 million inheritance possibly, maybe, who knows? I work and save like I am not going to receive a dime. My parents are just reaching there 60s, so they are quite young. Also my family has a good history of living long, I have had two great grand parents live to there mid 90s or so. Assuming my parents live that long also which I hope, thats still another 35 years to go. Which will make me about 65 by the time I see any thing. There is also the risk that their assets may get completely depleted, I want them to enjoy their money, have fun, take vacations, they may need those funds for better health care. Also they may simply not like me any more and give everything to my younger brother. I look at it this way nothing is for sure until you have the money in your bank. There are plenty of situations were kids thought they were going to get a huge inheritance but mom and dad decided to change their will last minute to leave it to some one else. Or dad remarries a younger woman after mom passes away, and dad decides to leave everything to his new wife. So yes, I wouldn’t expect any thing, if it happens then nice… but I am not willing to gamble my personal retirement goals thinking for sure i will get a healthy inheritance.

  49. I won’t lie. If I knew for an undeniable, unshakable fact that I was getting a $1 million inheritance, I would probably cut back on the ridiculous amount of saving I do. I’d still live rather frugally, but I’d stop with things like spending fasts and second jobs. My investing would continue, and most of the inherited money would get invested as well.

    But seriously, are there actually people out there relying on an expected inheritance of $1 million or whatever as a serious financial plan!? That’s stupid!

    ARB–Angry Retail Banker

  50. Sam
    I’m a Millennial and I feel we are being pushed in this direction of no planning and blind optimism. I live in the UK, and a lot of our recent tax decreases have been on inheritance tax (e.g. passing on pensions tax free, pass on house tax free), and a lot of the recent tax increases have been on saving and income (benefits), mostly aimed at Millennials (reduced amount you can save to a pension, likely tax on pension contributions (so double taxation…), taxes on dividends, more taxes on buy to let, no housing benefit, lower minimum wage than the other generations, more student fees etc.) whilst keeping the Boomers’ wealth intact.
    It often seems that our Government’s main plan for our future is inter-generational wealth transfer. For a right wing Government they come across very anti self-reliance for my generation. In our country the equivalent of $60k gross income is ‘higher rate tax’ and is often referred to as ‘rich’ and is treated like it with tax increases, with a real threat that next month they will lose the ability to save anything pre-tax (it’s talked about as certain).
    Their plan does seem to be for us to wait it out until our parents help us out with a large inheritance (where one even exists) or the state takes over, so it’s easy to see how people get the ‘spend now, help will come later from others’ mentality’ comes from. If the Baby Boomers start spending their own money instead of leaving it for an inheritance, some people are going to be in for a shock when they want to retire themselves, and the state will have more people asking for help than they want.

    1. Rob,

      That seems like a difficult environment to be in as a younger person. Not sure how $60,000 is the cutoff level for higher tax rates. At least in America, the debate was for income above $200,000.

      Why would hungry person want to stay in the UK then?


      1. Sam,

        Thanks for replying – I’m always impressed by your dedication to the comments section. We do have a even higher tax bracket for those earning over around $230k, but the word ‘rich’ is very regularly used for the $60k bracket (and the tax rises are often at that point too, at least with the current Government).

        I’m reserving judgement until next month to see if the pension devastation actually happens (it’s survivable at the moment, but losing pre-tax saving would be a big blow). Certainly aspirational people in the UK are running out of people to vote for, although I’m not 100% sure emigration is the answer yet – all the other ‘western’ countries have huge debts and ageing Baby Boomers to pay for too. I’ve asked my company about international placements though just in case!


  51. Roger@The Chicago Financial Planner


    Wow she graduated in 2010 tuition was quite a bit lower (relatively LOL). She chose USC in large part due to a full tuition scholarship plus a smaller one for a couple of years that provided a portion of her living expenses. Very bright young lady and I would say this even if she wasn’t my daughter. Currently works in tech for Buzzfeed after receiving her degree in Art from USC.

    She worked all through college and ended up working for an arm of the university for whom she had interned as an undergrad upon graduation.

    Did growing up in a house with a financial planner as a dad help? Perhaps. One of my proudest moments came when all three were quite young and they saw the signage for a major brokerage firm that had an office in our suburb and all three started yelling the word “evil” in unison in the back seat of the car.

    All that aside most of my kid’s friends also seem pretty responsible as well though I’m sure some fall into the stats you cited. I have faith in the next generation and think many are destined for great things.

  52. Roger@The Chicago Financial Planner

    Sam interesting but as with anything generalizations are just that. I am the proud dad of three millennials and they are among the most savvy and responsible people I know in every regard including money. For example my oldest, now 27 had just graduated from USC and I called her one Saturday and asked what she was doing. I was thinking a 21 year old in LA would answer something like, “… going to the beach.” Instead she indicated that she was updating her stuff in

    My other daughter, in her final semester of law school now, was the first person to implement a budgeting system for her sorority as a 20 year old.

    My son always did well as a freelancer in college in addition to his work as a paid marketing intern. He solicited my help when it came time to invest in his 401(k) at his first job.

    Stats and generalizations are fine Sam but they are no more accurate than saying all of a certain ethnic group for example are bad people because one of them did something wrong.

    1. Hi Roger,

      Is it a bad generalization if the data comes from over 100,000 Millennials? We all generalize to some degree b/c we don’t have perfect information. It’s about analyzing significant amounts of data, coming to a conclusion, and letting the world discuss.

      Do you think you being a financial planner has anything to do with your kids being fiscally responsible? Surely there must be some sort of influence right?

      A great question is this: Did your daughter pay for her tuition at USC, take out loans, or take on side jobs? The tuition is $49,645 with an estimated annual cost of $67,000+ according to their website. What would be fascinating would be to ask her why attend one of the most expensive schools in the WORLD ($268,000+ over four years), rather than go to a cheaper state school? Is it because she knows her parents are wealthy and doesn’t feel as guilty? Very few people in America can afford such an expense without scholarships/grants. Maybe she’s on scholarship? That would be cool.

      With education essentially free thanks to the internet, and the median household income at $52,000, I would love to know more from you and from your daughter why USC? I’m sure the academics are great. But isn’t UCLA or Berkeley just as great at a much cheaper in-state tuition cost? These are the true fascinating scenarios!



  53. Todd Guthrie

    Remember: there are lies, damned lies, and statistics.
    First of all, it would be incorrect to extrapolate the Personal Capital user database as being representative of the entire Millennial generation in the US. Better to say that it is representative only of the financially and technologically literate people who would use that sort of service. Millennials coming from rich families (and hence expecting a big inheritance) are probably much more likely to use Personal Capital.
    Second, it’s always tricky to correctly interpret and analyze aggregate numbers, especially if there are very surprising results like the expected home purchase price. $142,274 is much less than the national average, and it’s in an entirely different ballpark than the big coastal cities where Millennials supposedly prefer to live.
    I would have a lot of questions about exactly how that number was determined from the survey sample, because it’s very likely there is something weird going on with the data.
    Maybe a lot of Millennials expect to rent forever, and so they entered zero into that question, which brought down the average?
    Maybe a large portion of respondents misunderstood the question, and gave only the amount they expected to make as a down payment?
    If $142,274 really is what the average *financially and technologically literate* Millennial user of Personal Capital expects to pay, then I would say they’re in for a world of disappointment when they go out and start looking at home listings.
    But hey, maybe they do all plan to move out to the Mid-West for a comfortable retirement by the age of 40.

  54. Relying on an inheritance is short sighted for many, as an illness in the last couple of years of a parent’s life can use up any expected inheritance…medical expenses is the number one reason for bankruptcy.

    Also, I have found it hard to convince my parents and in-laws to increase their lifestyle in their retirement. They are comfortable and seem unwilling to spend all the money they have saved. Instead they continue saving, as their pensions, retirement accounts, and social security checks exceed their expenses each month. Is it because they fear future medical expenses? Do they think they will live forever? If they don’t start spending it soon while they are in good health, they won’t get around to spending it all.

    1. Based on my limited experience with my in-laws, my mother in law is afraid of future medical expenses for my FIL who has dementia. Though, we have tried to tell her that is why she has been frugal for years, she just can’t help it. Maybe it is because they have been saving so much for so many years? I don’t know.

  55. So I am wondering if maybe these guys are the ones who have things right? Not the whole being a slacker and waiting for your parents to croak and give you a bunch of money, but the trend moving away from the traditional consumerist lifestyle of the boomers and x’ers. They don’t want to work for big houses or cars, like we were brainwashed to think was the way you lived your life. I think they paid attention a little too closely to the movie Fight Club lol (awesome movie btw). I would actually be worried about real estate value long term if it were not for the growing population.

    As far inheritance goes, my parents will probably leave each of their three kids in the higher six figure range. I have discussed this at length with them and pleaded that they live a little, they sacrificed and saved, they shouldn’t be worried about passing the dollars down. Their generation seems to have a duty though to help their kids out, which if that is what makes them happy…fine. I have been a little successful though getting them to let loose as they are currently staying in a $1,000 night resort overlooking a volcano with their own infinity pool : )
    That is seriously cutting into my hookers and blow inheritance money!

    1. “DUTY.” This is the word I think about a lot. I think it is our duty as children to help our parents. I don’t think it is the duty of our parents to help their adult children, unless in dire need. Their duty was already fulfilled raising us as children.

      The sharing economy is a better, more efficient economy. I think you have a great point about the new generation being much more cognizant that less is more.

  56. I would continue to work and invest but not so much for myself but for future generations. This is the ideal situation to set up generational wealth. Which is my primary goal. That being said, my tolerance for putting up with BS would be much much lower.

  57. Hi Sam

    Well… it depends. Im a millenial and I’m from immigrant parents. I have no inheritance safety net, and thus have had to work/save/sacrifice etc. Some of my millenial friends are in the same boat and have done the same, others have not. Its easy to generalise on a whole generation but I would disagree that its accurate. What I will agree with is that millenials who havent worked/saved/etc early will find it very hard to catch up, and will rely on the bank of mum and dad. In my observation, many if not most of first time buyers of property in gen x/y have had to rely on parental handouts.

    Its partly due to lack of discipline, partly due to the state of the markets, partly due to changes in population, tech, etc.

    Currently in London and Sydney, median property prices are eye watering multiples of median incomes – 9x,10x gross. This was certainly not the case for the previous generation (2-3x gross)

    Also, millenials graduate with large student loan debts, compared to free education given to baby boomers.

    Its more complicated than an attitude problem.

    1. Agreed. So the question is, if you knew a $1M+ inheritance was coming, would you alter your ways?

      London property prices are OUTRAGEOUS! Locals can thank international money.

      1. :)

        Well, thats a big “if”, and most people regardless of age, background, etc would probably opt for the path of least resistance. You do provide an interesting perspective though – if baby boomers are being blamed/chided for “having it all” then by definition Gen X/Y would be the ones to “inherit it all”… Unfortunately, I think it just results in the widening of the wealth gap for future generations.

        I think London prices are a combination of competition and massive opportunity to take advantage of bad government policies. Its just sad.

  58. My grandfather was the son of a sharecroppers he made his on way becoming an engineer and investing in the market for long term growth. When he passed he was worth millions. He lived modestly, when we sold his house we made 70k.
    He used that wealth to buy his parents their first home, to help pay for my mother’s college, and her siblings homes. He paid cash for my college and gave me the down payment on my home (I had the money he told me to save it).
    He left a large amount to his children. My mother has told me not to worry about my son’s college, but I have a 529 anyways. His goal and mine too is that if we constantly fund fund college for each future generation we will eventually have growth that when that on the day your born you will already have college paid for.
    I am teaching my son these values. We don’t just work for us we work for the future of the ones we love.
    I plan on semi retiring around 40. My goal is after my son leaves home to slow down to around 30k a year along with my wife’s 30k and downsizing we should be just fine.
    Work hard for the future but don’t forget to enjoy today.

      1. At 35 making under 100k my wife and I have a net worth of over 300k, but that was all us. We will be able to slow down because we worked hard, we were frugal, but also because my family is paying for college. I will be savingfor my grand children’s college so I have a longer period than most. Just because we are slowing down doesn’t mean we will be vacationing 10 times a year and going into debt. We will still save at least 20% a year but it will just be a smaller number do to a smaller income.

  59. Both me and my husband have our parents quite well off, midlle class, payd their houses and so on. I think it shows in us in some things. Maybe I would have picked a different, more stable profession if I knew there was no help in sight. Maybe I would work more hours instead of insisting on this “keeping a balance”-thinking. But it’s not like we asked for a lot or were given everything, it helped just knowing that if things would go really, really, awfully bad, there’s backup. However -this is why I voted “other”- we save for ourselves as if there was none. So now, the backup is our emergency fund. And we do encourage our parents to enjoy their money themselves (they have to be encoureaged even though we’re adults..). It’s too weird to think of heritage anyway, and more rewarding to live a life you build yourself.

  60. I admit that I do let it get to my head knowing my parents have the wealth to pick me up if i ever need it. I live in Richmond district of SF with my family, 6 figure salary and turning 26 this year. (So can barely afford a house in the Peninsula) I max out my 401k and roth IRA and have a rental property in San leandro because my parents helped fund that down-payment 3yrs ago (I’ve since paid them back). But I also spend a lot traveling. I spent probably 8k last year traveling and will most likely do so again this year.

    I sometimes feel guilty for benefiting from my family’s hard work immigrating here and hustling the past 30 years, while others have to work really hard to get the cushy lifestyle I have. I ask myself, should I move out and make my life harder and not accept my parents’ financial help? The answer I come to is that they’d be devastated to know that they’ve given me everything and I dont accept their help. Just knowing my Chinese parents and how much they love their children, they would feel worse knowing they worked so hard to get us this life and we dont take advantage of it. We’re not an extravagant family by any means and they know I’m smart with money (with the help of FS of course!). I’ve come to accept that if you are a millennial who can benefit from the fortunes of your parents, it’s not something to be ashamed of. Just don’t be spoiled and be humble because none of us deserve it.

    Trump got a million dollars loan from his parents and he went on to make billions. Some people scoff at that story of a privileged kid, but really though, he didnt get billions later on by not working his ass off. He made lemonade with the lemons he got.

    1. I’ve come from a similar background as you and I look at it different. It’s not a binary “take the wealth” or “don’t take the wealth” (or assistance or whatever), but a question of “what are able to accomplish given this advantage?”

      It’s not like you’re squandering the opportunity, so you are being responsible. You should feel guilty if you weren’t saving anything, lounged around the house, and just expected their hard work and “help” to fund your lifestyle. You don’t so don’t feel guilty.

    2. “Just knowing my Chinese parents and how much they love their children, they would feel worse knowing they worked so hard to get us this life and we don’t take advantage of it”

      I am not Chinese but I recently married a Chinese girl. I grew up doing every single thing by myself and would always be annoyed if anyone tried to help – and no one ever did. Last few months I’ve been noticing that my wifes parents start feeling very bad if we dont take their money/help everytime they try to give. Of all the things that I can remember, they wanted to pay for furnishing our house and after I sternly said no, they were pretty sad I could tell. Good to know thats normal behavior hah

      1. Haha! Not all Chinese parents are like that, but I know many who are. For some, rejecting their offer could actually cause a rift in the relationship. Another strange dynamic with my family (and probably other Chinese) is their disdain for verbalized appreciation. They dislike when my longtime girlfriend says “thank you” too much because only guests and strangers need to say thank you that much, not close friends and family.

    3. Stephen, when you find the love of your life, you will want to probably move out and “cheng jia li ye.” But in the meantime, if you enjoy living with your parents, then continue! Please take me out for some curry crab at PPQ on Clement St. one day with your large disposable income! :)

      1. Only if we get drinks at Ice Cream Bar afterwards! PPQ is great. My favorite restaurant on Clement used to be Minami. Unfortunately the owners retired. :(

  61. I wanted to comment for two reasons (even thought I believe I fall just outside millennials into gen X):
    1) I do expect to inherit over $1 million, probably between 2 and 3 million (Australian, so $1.4m to $2m USD currently). But still work just as hard because:
    2) I do not expect to inherit much if any of that for at least 30 years (again related to when parents had children).

    It’s all well and good to inherit money but you have to get to that stage first. It is also often not a certain outcome – parents may want to start spending their money given they earned it!

      1. A lot of it is locked up in their properties, and I don’t want to pressure them to not “live their life” with the cash/liquid portion they do have. They have also always encouraged me to live/stand on my own two feet. So while they may if I asked, I am also in a position of not needing it, and I value the good relationship we have more than any potential money tension that it may cause.

  62. quantakiran

    My parents paid for my education so I’ve spent the past few years paying them back. It’s been tough on me but I’m done and now I’m saving for myself and my FIRE goals.

    My dad retired at 55 while I was studying and didn’t find work thereafter so they have little money. I’m responsible for their retirement. My brother works a minimum wage job and is not interested in going for more.

    My parents will be passing down a small inheritance to my brother and I. But I don’t want it knowing that the sole reason I’m even in the will is to make sure my brother remains financially secure. I don’t want their money. I took it once and I’ve paid for it ever since. I don’t want to keep paying.

      1. quantakiran

        Thanks Sam.

        My dad volunteered and took the retirement package as his department was downsizing and then ultimately closed about 3 years later. He hated working there anyway.

        In hindsight it was for the best as they ended up with the biggest retirement packages but the package was nowhere enough for their retirement. Add to that, scaremongers told them that the govt. was going to take the money so they took the money out of the fund and paid a HUGE tax on it.

        Some of my college tuition money came directly from his retirement package.

        I come from a mostly financially unwise background. We know little beyond cutting corners in a household budget.

        Everytime my family followed the bank consultants advice to invest, they lost money in money market, an insurance policy and one offshore investment. So I’m very scared to invest in the markets (it feels like it’s one big casino anyway). I work way too hard for my money, to have it just go poof into the ether!

        I do want to invest but one day when I’m stable and the minimum market investment value (100k) means little or nothing to me. right now that’s a huge chunk of my nett salary.

  63. Those are some crazy stats. I am technically an old millennial but I don’t really associate with a lot of the group’s characteristics. I think I am a realist when it comes to money because I definitely am not getting an inheritance and I love in one of the most expensive cities in the world. My parents have no money to support me. I actually have to support them!

    We are already in a retirement crisis. I hope more Millennials realize that there are no guarantees in life and waltzing around waiting for a large inheritance to pay their way is a terrible path to take. Financial independence is so important and a lot of them sound incredibly clueless about money!

  64. i prob won’t inherit much, but i like my parents and don’t want them to die either way. So it’s up to me to make it on my own i guess.. i totally agree with you about most millennials being clueless when it comes to money; we are growing up in a world where cash flows freely, unlike the boomers who grew up in the depression and understand how bad things can get if you aren’t careful. personally i am more like you, after being in the working world for coming up on 2 years i am scared shitless of having to do this for the rest of my life, and will save every penny if that’s what it takes to get out. screw vacations, marriages (and divorces…), having kids, etc….. I am buying a retirement. This is sad for me to say, because i see myself as a hard worker at heart, and personally i wouldn’t mind working for fun if i found an awesome environment, but there are other factors in the corporate world (stupid rules, power hungry / semi-abusive leaders, evil / stupid coworkers…) that just take all the fun out of it.

    I do have a question i would like to ask you Sam, you seem like an intelligent and like-minded guy and i would really appreciate your opinion. right now i am working for a company i have been with since my intern days. They hired me when i graduated (almost 2 yrs ago), and it’s been a total of nearly 4 years. when i started out i wasn’t sure what i wanted to do with my career, and i just thought going the whole management route was right for me since that’s what my parents did. however after getting a little exposure to that stuff i am not sure if it is right for me… I landed an internship in the finance department and liked the job, but couldn’t deal with the stress. I was having panic attacks and felt like i was going to die. I am pretty introverted, and hate politicking and do not get much satisfaction from for being in a position of power. although i learned one thing i didn’t seem to like, i did start realizing that i am more of a ‘quant’, and i genuinely like working with data, numbers, and computers. The problem is that the company i work for does not have the best market for these skills; i could make a bit more elsewhere. one of the things i have really liked the most is programming. I really feel like programming is the perfect career for me. I would really like to get more into programming (or at the absolute least achieve more growth as an analyst if programming doesn’t work out) but there are no programming gigs here, and even the analysts here are not paid as much as they could be. i am starting to feel like my growth in my subject of interest is limited here. I like the company (although i am kind of 50/50 about the quality of people that work here, and i don’t really “click” with the VP), and have somewhat of family connections here (although the family member will probably retire within a couple of years).

    i have really been considering leaving, but i am afraid that tech won’t work out for me, and that i would burn a bridge with the seemingly stable career that i have now. I worry that the ‘grass may not be greener on the other side’, and maybe management is the right job for me but i am just too young to have grown into the roll yet. I worry that i may have it better than i realize here, and would be making a mistake by leaving this in an attempt to pursue something [programming] that i have nearly been dedicating all my free time to for the last 2 years.

    any advice would be appreciated if you have a minute.

    1. The grass is seldom greener on the other side. If you are 2 years out of college, than I guess you are around 24?

      If so, you need to develop the mentality of sacrifice. Think in 3 – 5 year sacrifice blocks where you are there to LEARN not so much earn and have fun. Very few people who can’t contribute to revenue rarely get to earn, learn, and have fun all at the same time.

      Also, never quit before finding a new job. It is much easier finding a job when you have a job.

      Please spend this week reading my entire Career section. I tell it as it is here, and I’ve seen a lot of stuff going from grunt to an Executive Director.

      1. Thank you for taking the time to read my comment and reply… I will probably read through a bit of the articles in that section that I haven’t read already, looks like a lot of good knowledge in there.

        Close, I am 25; so I am still pretty ‘green’ and have a lot of (hopefully enjoyable!!!!!!) career left to go, and a ton more stuff to learn. To me, work is more than just something you do for money, and even looking ahead into my hopefully financially independent future I still believe I would be doing some sort of work (counting self-directed work) for “fun”.

        Hah, “sacrifice blocks”.. well I suppose my first sacrifice block is almost up, considering I have been here (pretty much in the same job I have now, although there has been some progression) for coming up on 4 years (I was working here part time throughout the year and full time during breaks for the last 2 years I was in school). And even when it comes to school, I love learning but I am just not really the “school type”. I really only went because I had nothing else going for me, but it would at least get me out of the burger joint I was working at for 5 yrs prior to my job now. I chose a business major because that’s what my parents did / do, and a specialty in finance because it was as mathy as business gets, and because I genuinely liked managing money. However after getting first hand exposure to finance careers, they are too cut throat and competitive for my liking. I just don’t know if they are a good career fit for me. To be honest, if I could go back I would rather have done computer science, because I am starting to realize that is my place in the professional world; I enjoy it, don’t seem to be terrible at it, and for one of the first times in my life I feel like I just “fit in”.

        I agree with you that you should always be learning everyday in your life. However I feel like I am not really learning at my job any more. At least not in the areas I would like to be learning about. This is not the most tech savvy company, and if I do decide to go down this path the chances here are looking very bleak. I am thinking maybe I should sacrifice my time elsewhere, where at least I would be growing in the way that I [think I] would like to grow. It’s not like I am saying I want to run off and be an artist or something, working with computers is an actual viable career path, and there really isn’t much stopping me from pursuing it other than my own debatably irrational fear of change / the unknown. The uncertainty that maybe it is just better to try to be a rich business man than pursue something I seem to have a strong interest in. Maybe the strong interest won’t last, and if I was to do this I would reach a point where I just went right into business anyways, because money will probably still matter; but at least I would have tried. I over analyze stuff.

        What if learning and earning is fun? Can I learn and have fun, and earn once I learn and stop having fun? (although I would still earn a liveable salary while learning; and hopefully if I was to reach a point where I wasn’t learning as much I would still enjoy what I was doing).

        is my point of view rational?

        Agreed on not quitting before finding a new job though- to add to this, you should also never be so hopeless with your job that you want them (or try to get them) to fire you; having a shitty job is better than no job.

  65. Early Retirement Actuary

    When done correctly, a large inheritance should be nothing more than a tool to expedite what you already planned on doing. Give me a million dollars, and I’d buy a few multi-family properties, maybe an apartment complex.

    I’ve always found real estate investing to be very fulfilling. I get to paint, fix stuff, etc. And when I’ve found the right tenants, rent checks seem more consistent than gravity.

    I owned a few houses in my late teens and early 20s but ended up selling them after a few years to move across country for work. I don’t regret my decision in the slightest, but I’m eager to get back into the game. I’ve been stashing my cash in low-cost index funds in the meantime.

    I would also add that it feels amazing to own your own business, even if it loses money at first. For me, there is power in work, but not if somebody else is reaping all the benefit.


  66. Interesting article, I think you should do a follow up survey in 10-15 years and then post the results. I would like see the changes.

  67. My wife and I live in Minnesota and while you can find a house in a suburb for 140K you would be doing a complete renovation in a lower end neighborhood (we are currently looking for a house to flip in that price range) – You could move 25+ miles out of town and find a decent property, but all the Millennials I know flock to the population centers and prefer renting downtown.

    My wife and I make about 125K a year (28 years old) and save about 28% of our after tax income.

    I put a peg in to not work past 50 (at least in the corporate world) which would be about 27 years of work for us. I don’t plan on getting much of an inheritance and even if I was, knowing I was going to get that kind of money would take a little fun out of it for me. I like to do things myself to prove that I can.

    if we spent 4K on vacations a year I would be surprised, I expect it will drop even further after we have kids (at least until they are old enough for their own plane ticket)

    1. Those home price and income ratios look awesome. Seriously, if you can get a $200,000 home that’s nice and earn $125,000, what more do you really want, right?

      It makes couples earning $300,000 here in the Bay Area trying to buy 6X their income house kinda nuts!

      1. The ratios are pretty good for couples with decent jobs – the houses do climb quickly in nicer cities closer to downtown – plus we don’t have ocean views. If you want to live on a lake close to Minneapolis you wont see property for under 400K

  68. Justsomeguy

    I don’t have to worry about any of this since I will be inheriting exaclty $0. I can, however, look forward to taking care of my parents physicaly and financialy. The financial part I have been doing ever since I started working full time. Yes there are people out there like me too. No inheritance and financily resposible for aging parents. No complaints. My parents desrve every bit of comfort I can afford to bring into their lives.

    1. That’s the great thing about having zero expectations. You gain a very CLEAR idea of what it will take to get to where you want. Everybody should adopt this zero expectation mentality.

  69. I was going to write a post about how $1.06 Million seemed far-fetched. There was going to be a story about how my Boomer parents, despite running a (very) small retail business for the past 35 years, and keeping us in a fairly middle class lifestyle, can barely afford to retire, let alone leave anything for us. But then I started to think that there is probably $6-700k in equity among three properties, plus whatever the business itself is worth. And they live pretty frugally, so maybe the won’t exhaust their savings. I don’t know, maybe, as you’ve posted before, there really is a lot of wealth out there waiting to be transferred to the next generation. I hope my parents just sell and enjoy themselves, though.

  70. My brother was born in 89 and myself in 81. He’s still in college (not a doctor, he’s just coasting through life) and has never held a job in his life. When he first went to college I tried to get him to open a credit card and put some light spending on the card and pay it off every month. He could not understand why he needed a card no matter how much I prodded and explained.

    When you have the bank of mom and dad paying for everyhting you don’t care about much.

    1. Your bro is a Super, super, super, super, SUPER Senior then! I’ve always wondered whether to take 5 years to finish college instead of 4 b/c college was SO FUN!

      I like his no need for credit card though. Does this mean he isn’t in debt?

  71. Tracy@financial nirvana mama

    I’m a borderline millennial and you are correct, I’d definitely be different if I had a million dollar inheritance, in fact, if it weren’t for the revolution in china ending my families wealth on both sides of the family, I wouldn’t be where I am…I might be better off! Seriously, I believe inherited wealth inhibits motivation. I’m realizing more and more that it isn’t good to leave a large legacy behind….. So my hopes are that my kids will be business savvy, and look to grow what I leave behind. If not, my wealth will be an education trust fund for future family use.

    1. Very candid response! I can’t help but wonder after 700+ votes, whether 75% of people really would not take things down a notch knowing that a large windfall awaits.

      I’m also hoping more parents who have significant wealth to bequeath speak up about how they plan not to raise spoiled, entitled, children, who don’t maximize their potential.

  72. While I think it likely I get a decent size inheritance, 1) I am not going to rely on it in my planning as nothing is guaranteed and 2) parents are relatively young so if all goes well, I would be normal retirement age by the time I collected anyway – not something I want to wait for to stop working. Treating inheritance solely as cream. If I was already given 1M plus by parents not through inheritance though… I would treat is like any other money I posses, and would not be motivated to work extra just to prove something.

    Not sure how realistic the PC 1M+ expected inheritance is though it is possible for the right income group to reasonably have that expectation (goes to average income group of PC user of this tool’s parents). One thing I expect is that most of those expecting to inherit 1M are not used to low enough spending to live solely off it successfully.

  73. Mark Senatori

    It takes a lot longer for people to die these days, so thinking that you will inherit money at 50 might be unreal for many millennials. Two of my Grandparents are still alive one at age 96. Both have social security, pensions, and had high valued assets of just under a million at one time. End of life care is expensive and I’d be surprised if divided among my parents and their siblings they’d get more than 50K.
    I’m 23 and selected “other” in the survey. Even if I knew I was getting a million, I could never know for sure and since I’m risk averse I might as well work hard and try to be frugal. Also, if I were to slack a little, I need the money as a lump sum now, no use getting it once I’m old-ish and have already built my own wealth to a certain extent.

    1. True. NOTHING IS CERTAIN. I hope people realize this. And bad things happen all the time. I will continue to say this forever.

      But at the margin, surely one wouldn’t bother to save like 50% of their after tax income if they knew a big windfall was coming, no?

      1. Mark Senatori

        I would still attempt to save as much as possible even if 1.06 million were a guarantee at age 50, just because age 50 is 27 years away for me… I don’t want to be paying rent for about 25 years. I want to make my money make money during that time too.
        You made me do some research though, saving 50% would be really hard if I don’t live at home once I graduate. I’ve estimated that food, rent, utilities and commuting costs alone would be 48% of my aftertax income maybe I’d try to save 40%.

  74. Interesting to see where so many millennial’s stand. I can identify and echo w/ SavvyFinancialLatina’s comments being that I, too, am Hispanic. No inheritance expected here! At 29 years of age w/ a healthy salary of $350,000+ per year as a physician, I sure as hell don’t believe I will retire in 15 years, nor do I believe I will be able to retire w/ a mere $445K. At present time, maxing out 401K contributions, backdoor Roth IRA, and HSA contributions w/ an additional 25% of after-tax income rolled between a high-yield savings account w/ Ally and tax-advantage account w/ Vanguard, that all I truly focus on. Not buying a home until my loans are completely paid for, which consists of me contributing $33,000/year towards my loans, plus @25,000/yr paid by my hospital, per our contract, for 3 years. That’s allowing me to set aside an additional $33,000/yr towards a down-payment where I want to front at least $100,000 after my loans are paid off. As per vacations, considering I only work half the year at 182.5 shifts a year, I have the freedom to go place and do as I please… But I never get too overzealous w/ spending on vacations.

    It’s a good read to see where the millennial stand. I just couldn’t rely on an inheritance or anything of the sort. I’ve had to bust my rear to get to where I am… I plan on slowing down at 50, but down to a part-time or possibly even locums where I’d dedicated just 7-10 shifts a month; but that is to be seen…

      1. Cave.canemX

        No a chance. I have fuel in me to last me till my early to mid 60s (granted that I stay healthy).

  75. Hey Sam. Wouldn’t the required yearly savings to get ~$446,000 in 15 years be around $20k/year, not $29k/year? Obviously it is contingent on investment returns, but saying you have to put away $29k per year to reach that number assumes 0% annual return on investment. Your points still stand, but I think you forgot your math on that one. ;)

      1. Do I hear sarcasm? Estimating returns depends on many factors as you well know. I was merely pointing out that it looked like you just divided $446,000 by 15 years to get $29k per year. Was that an incorrect assumption? If so I apologize.

        1. Not really. I do want to learn what future expected returns are to better position my wealth.

          As a writer, it’s best to use the most basic and succinct ways to explain things. Otherwise, you begin to lose the message. Do you write or have any pieces you’ve written before I can take a look at? Maybe there is a way for me to add in multiple variables and still get my message across.

          I’m always looking to learn. What is it you do and what is your current financial situation? Thanks

          1. Oh, my apologies then. Tone of voice doesn’t come across well in text!

            I hadn’t considered simplicity of language; that is a good point. But yes, there should be a way to include some kind of projected return without losing the message. Could just put in a growth estimate with brief assumptions/clarifications. I don’t currently write regularly, but it is something I’m definitely interested in. I’ve been considering starting up a finance blog and joining the vast legion, but haven’t yet for various reasons (it’s a bit daunting and I tend to over-analyze).

            I work as a chemist/chemical engineer in manufacturing. Only got out of grad school last fall, so I’m just starting out on my own financial journey. Currently focused on living below our means, quickly paying off student loans, while making some 401k contributions and saving for other goals.


  76. supernova72

    I’ve always been told counting on an inheritance is bad retirement planning…and I going to stick with that.

    As a side note I sure wish personal capital would link correctly to my credit union account. It pulls in checking and savings but not my mortgage info. sent two tickets now. the rest of the tool is very cool.

  77. Oh I care about money a lot especially because my mom is paying for my state university education out of her retirement and I intend on paying her back. I don’t expect to inherit 1 million because I expect to help my mom supplement her retirement and the thing that helps is that my mom and step-dad paid off their mortgage and car before he passed away.

    Anyway if I ever have kids I’ll pay for their college and after that they’re on their own. I’ll plan to leave very little for my kids because I just think leaving them too much money spoils people for the worst. It motivates people to be creative, use their college degree, and learn how to network in order to make it. If they want to go for FIRE then that’s fine I support that.

    You only have to look at those stories of heirs and heiresses and how they spend the fortune their grandfather and parents worked hard for.

    1. Good stuff! I felt the same way as you do now, which is why I went to public school with the intention of paying them back. It was $2,800 a year in public school tuition or $25,000 a year in private school tuition. Going to William & Mary in-state was a no brainer!

  78. airportsyndrome

    I have a millennial son at home. And he will be 18 in three days (thank God!). For parents with “delusional” millennials, I recommend authoritarian parenting strategy (you tell them what do). It is working for me. I told him to move out after graduating high school. Join the military. Get his degree, be an officer, and get a nice pension. I have a lot of haters with my strategy. F them, too.

      1. airportsyndrome

        He does, but I am not paying for it. If I can do it, he can do it, too. When he turns 18, I told him to open an IRA (Vanguard Target 2060) and start auto investing at least $100 a month.

  79. I’ve noticed a sort of willful ignorance among my peers when it comes to their finances. Even very intelligent friends of mine seem to intentionally ignore their money, so long as they have enough coming in to pay for everything. I think the disconnect between millennials’ estimates (regarding homes/retirement) are a result of this. That said, signing up for a tool like Personal Capital is at least a good step towards becoming financially literate, so maybe in a few months/years these delusional individuals will come back down to reality. Older generations do have the benefit of experience in this case.

    With regard to your poll: It’s entirely possible that I’ll one day have an inheritance to look forward to. It’s also possible that something will change and I won’t. I treat it the same way I do Social Security. Nothing in the future is guaranteed, so I’ll continue working hard to provide for myself and my future so I don’t have to rely on external sources of income, no matter the likelihood of receiving them. Should I receive either, I’ll just consider it a nice bonus.

  80. Certainly hope that inheritance expectation is false.

    I can’t imagine inheriting anything from my parents. They’ve both worked hard, and managed to carve out a retirement for themselves, but I’m skeptical there will be anything left over for my generation.

    Even if there were, I would expect them to spend it on themselves, not on me. I’ve made my own place in the world for me and my family, and can stand on my own.

    I’m a big boy, as my son would say…

    Planning for someone else to make you safe, and secure, is planning for failure.

  81. This article cracks me up because I feel like it’s calling me out! Other than I’m far more realistic about housing costs because I’ve chosen to live in a ski community and that’s not cheap, but everything else totally applies, including expectations of only 15 years of work, an inheritance, lots of travel. Sometimes I look at the retirement calculators and they don’t always pan out, but I just assume they’re wrong. I think that’s called delusional! Also, knowing you’re most likely going to have an inheritance someday isn’t worth as much as you might think – your parents could and hopefully will live until they are 110 years old! The real benefits, if they last, would probably skip at least one generation.

    1. Dang, ski passes now are over $100 / DAY! Only the richie rich can afford that kind of leisure, unless they buy a season pass.

      What do you do for work living in a ski town?

      1. Season pass isn’t bad (best money I spend) and here in UT it’s easy to live in a ski town and work in the city! I’m in law.

  82. I see a potential inheritance like I see my potential Social Security checks – nice to have if it happens but it doesn’t play into my future calculations.

  83. I forget how it came up, but I once found myself talking to my parents about estate planning and/or inheritance.

    They basically said not to expect anything, because they were going to burn every dime on themselves having a blast! I have a lot of respect for that mindset and it set expectations where they belong.

      1. I don’t know. I may get some inheritance if so some will be from my grandparents work on the farm or my other grandmother’s frugal living. I would have a hard time just living it up with the money. Even the wealth I’m building, spending some on extravagant things OK, but blowing it all playing seems wrong. I can’t pay it forward to everyone but some donations and hopefully grandkids that can be trusted to care for it for the future seems better for me.

  84. fun in the sun

    I am a generation removed from exactly this issue (grandparents hardworking built up assets, parents on welfare waiting for inheritance in the $2mill range). For anyone relying on inheritance, the future is not pretty. My parents were mid 60’s before seeing the inheritance, effectively a life of poverty/handouts. Post inheritance, they are more like lottery winners, doubtful anything will be left within 5 years.

    Luckily this upbringing led me to strive to FI, which I am close to in my mid-30’s.

  85. I voted the “slack off a little” category, though I’m not sure it fully captures my thinking. If I knew for a fact, I would inherit a $1M, it would likely affect my savings to some extent. How much? I don’t really know. While I expect to receive some inheritance, I don’t know how much nor when (hopefully not for a very long time). And I do not know with certainty whether I will. I certainly do not want to rely on it. So basically I’m stuck with having to provide for myself and my family, which is probably the best place to be.

    1. I’m surprised not more people voted to slack off a little. It’s all about consumption smoothing, so instead of $X / Y Time, it should be $X / Y Time until expected $1M windfall.

  86. Our parents were helicopter parents who wanted us to be happy and get a trophy for everything. Now that we are on our own I think some of the mindset was retained and whatever lifestyle we can’t afford will be inherited.
    I am glad my parents taught me the power of savings and compounding.

  87. Sam, I wouldn’t put much weight on the millennial retirement “expectations”. When I first started working I would put some crazy numbers in retirement calculators for kicks. It was more fun to look at the what ifs than focus on the paltry savings I had at the time. Filtering the survey to screen out millennials with less than $40K in retirement savings (just over 2 years maxed out 401k contributions plus returns) might help sort out the less than serious inputs.

  88. I guess this post applies to me, since I used the personal capital tool, am a millennial and expect to inherit $10-$15 million. While it’s nice to know there’ll be a cushion (hopefully) far far in the future, that certainly doesn’t translate into current parental support. I’ve worked very hard to carve out my own career and prove myself, and am socking away 70% of my income so I can be in the position where I wouldn’t need a penny of it.
    This is one millennial that fits your description, but very much gives a damn about money!

    1. Wow! $10-15M is A LOT! How did you come to that figure? Did your parents say so? Or did you simply estimate all the assets they have and make a guess?

      $10-$15M is aggressive FU money. Why do you feel it necessary to save 70% of your income? They can help you with a downpayment, buy you a car, pay for grad school, etc. What about just saving 10-20% since you want to consumption smooth?

  89. Both my husband and I have told our parents to spend whatever money they have on themselves. My parents will likely not have anything to give, while my in-laws may or may not. They have two homes, one a bayfront home in Delaware. However, my father in law has dementia and who knows what kind of healthcare costs they will incur once he needs to be put in a nursing home facility. That being said, we don’t expect an inheritance, however, if there is one, then we will be grateful for whatever comes our way. Honestly, I think expecting an inheritance from their parents is a bit greedy.

  90. SavvyFinancialLatina

    I don’t even know what it feels like to have an inheritance. My parents will not be passing down an inheritance to my brother or I. Actually, my brother and I will be responsible for their retirement. I do get jealous of people who have inheritances or who have parents who pay their down payment for a house. No wonder they live very carefree. Instead, I’m trying to figure out how my salary will support myself, my family (if I have one), and my parents. Actually it’s one of the reasons I don’t want to procreate. While most just have to worry about having kids in their 30s, I will be paying for my parents’ retirement.
    My mom raised my brother and I as investments. I have actually heard her say that. She does expect us to take care of her. She worked 22 years and invested time and money. Now it’s our turn to pay back. I love my parents but it’s twisted logic. My mom is only 45. I’m 25. She lives another 40 years? That’s a great payoff, don’t you think?

    1. BayAreaArtist

      In Mexico that is a common expectation for what I call the “upper poor” class. You owe so much to your parents and nuclear family that you will support them until they die — some even feel more beholden to parents than to spouse and kids. The US tax code has a spot for deducting support of Mexican and Canadian dependent parents for this very reason.

    2. airportsyndrome

      Take care of yourself first before you take care of them. And fight off the guilty thoughts if you do.

      1. Yes, ^ this. I wrote a blog post about this as well (Jan 11). Some states have filial responsibility laws, meaning that you are legally obligated to pay the necessary living and medical expenses for your parents. Thankfully, in some of those states they don’t enforce those laws, and in some others, like California, there’s another law currently on the books that says you can’t be held responsible if your parent is receiving Medi-Cal (low-income medical services). So if your parents go broke, get them signed up for Medi-Cal FAST. But check with your state’s laws to see what you might be facing in the future.

        Did I read this correctly, that you Mom is planning on retiring about now, at age 45???

    3. Yes, a good investment if you guys follow through! It’s great to have an open conversation w/ them and tell them you want to make sure you get on with your lives as well.

      Are they working or not working at 45?

  91. I think the apparent Millenial retirement disillusion stems from them using the personal capital tool as a toy. I doubt the 22-35 yr old (or whatever exact Millenial definition) uses the retirement calculator as seriously as someone nearing retirement looking for an honest financial checkup. However, I’m not sure why Millenials would be expecting to inherit so much. Is the ~$1M retirement adjusted for inflation? It’s actually not that far-fetched for the average well-to-do Millienial, who would take the time to fool with a retirement calculator, to inherit $1M in 40-60 years. That would be around $200-300k @ 3% inflation.

  92. Brian Robben

    Receiving $1 million+ as an inheritance would be nice, but then I believe there’s a huge level of satisfaction difference between reaching financial independence on your own and inheriting it. Also, receiving large sums of money can lead to guilt, insecurity, and a life that lacks meaning. I don’t want any of that, or something that’s going to steal my motivation. So I would tell my parents to keep their money, knowing that the journey to wealth is far more meaningful than doing nothing for yourself and inheriting wealth. Would you agree Sam?

    1. I’ve always told my parents to spend their money and enjoy their lives as much as possible. I’ve told them many times not to worry about me, and with them reading my site, I don’t think they have to worry about me financially.

      Yes, it is much more satisfying to earn something than be given something.

      1. I disagree. Hard work is miserable, and by the time you have earned money, some important things have passed you by (in our case, fertility). Inheriting it is way better.

  93. No Sam…you don’t understand the new mindset. They are voting for Bernie and YOU are paying for their party.

      1. I think he’s alluding to the fact that he’s an admitted socialist and will likely (further) redistributing wealth by taxing the wealthy more.

  94. 146k for a house would be a lot where I live (Kansas). I bought my house (3 bedroom, 2 bath, with a one car garage and 2 lots) for $85k. The job market here is not great, but I did find myself a federal job that pays well (thanks to my military service).

      1. Thanks for sharing. May I ask your income, how many years do you plan to work before retirement, and how much in retirement savings you plan to have when retired?

        I think it is AWESOME you were able to buy a 3/2 for $85,000. Seriously, that is so sweet. On the flip side, does it make buying a car very painful? Even an economy $20K car is a whopping 23% of the cost of your home!

        1. My income is 50K, and my wife will be making about the same when she finishes her degree this year (Bachelors in Nursing). Right now I am overqualified for my job, as I have 8 years experience but am in an entry level position until I finish my degree (in July). My salary should increase to $65k in the next few years, which is a lot for this part of the country (with my federal benefits and retirement program). You are right about cars though, as I made a financial misstep when I went out and bought a new truck last year. Thankfully I got it for several grand under book value, so I can get out of it without a huge hit.

          I plan on retiring between 55 and 60, and having $600k in retirement savings. My retirement income will consist of my TSP (401k), Roth IRA, Federal Retirement, and my Air National Guard Retirement (11 more years and I can retire from the ANG).

          I also do not plan to travel nearly as much as most. I got to see plenty of the world while active duty.

          1. I intentionally left out social security as an income source, as I will treat that as a bonus if it actually is still around. I will have TRICARE insurance from 60-65 (for free), then medicare will kick in. Another health benefit I will have is to use the VA hospitals, which will save me money in retirement medical bills.

  95. Money Beagle

    I’d be interested to see how previous generations responded to the same questions back when they were the same age. As someone who’s now been in the workforce and in charge of my own money for 20 years, I know that my expectations are a lot different and I’m a lot more knowledgeable than was the case 20 years ago. Part of the differences could be unreasonable expectations, but there’s probably some element that goes to inexperience.

    1. Mark Senatori

      I’m a Junior in college now. I had unreasonable expectations three years ago; but now my expectations have become more of a dream/aspiration that if I do not achieve, it won’t break my spirit. I think most of my peers who have high expectations haven’t yet modeled realistic scenarios with their finances.
      Also most of my friends don’t understand (or pay attention to) the time value of money and how important it is to save like mad and live well below your means in the beginning.
      I am surprised at how optimistic other older millennials are. I’m young (23) and inexperience, yet not optimistic at all.

  96. Millennial here. Most of my friends are not saving $20k+ a year, mostly because they have student loans to pay back. We can be divided into 3 categories: those who are drowning in debt and lucky to be living with a roommate, those who have some debt and live with a roommate or by themselves if they’re lucky, and those with no debt who have always lived by themselves and are working on buying a house. Keep in mind these are very much broad categorizations.

    I futzed around with the retirement calculator on Personal Capital, so I confess that I’m one of the millennials that put in a 15 year career timeline and expectations of a $500k savings goal. However, I do NOT expect any sort of inheritance whatsoever and will be hustling my butt off to achieve my goals!

    1. Is there no 4th category of Millennial who is cruising along just fine with rich parents taking care of everything?

      Also, I’d love to learn more from you regarding your retirement expectations. How old are you now and what do you do to expect to retire in 15 years? How will you make $500K last given it will only provide for $15,000 a year in income at a 3% interest rate?


      1. I agree, there is definitely a 4th category. I have many Gen X friends that are in 1-3 categories mentioned above, however I have a decent group of friends all under 30 (including myself) that have 1M+ in RE and no debt except mortgages. All are doing very well investing in RE in Boston and working 50-60 hr weeks making 6 figures at good companies. It is possible if you hustle in all aspects of your portfolio (career, stocks, businesses and RE). 5 years ago I started at a negative net worth coming out of school and now closing in on 700k net worth. Depends how hard and smart you are willing to work. Educating yourself is key (like reading the FS site).

  97. I would hope people will work hard and succeed on their own. Even if your parents will eventually leave you a million dollars. With the advancement of medical care you will not be inheriting money before your parents reach the age of 80/85+ which means you might be 55 or older by the time that million dollars comes around. Not saving money and succeeding leaves you at the mercy of others for next 25/30 years. Not very appealing if you ask me.

    I live in a country with forced savings through a pension-system. The upside is that I sleep well knowing that my parents (both working) have a secure financial future. The downside is that it is only for them and cannot be inherited. So I can and will create my own wealth.

    Btw. these people want to buy a home for $120.000? Wtf. Don’t you have financial classes at school that teach basic personal finance?

    1. I paid exactly $120k for my 3 bed, 2 bath 2000 sq ft ranch with attached 2 car garage on 1/2 acre in a great community (Plymouth) in metro detroit, a few years ago. As for financial classes, I’m pretty good with numbers, engineering major and went on to get a masters in business (finance). So it’s not too unreasonable.

      1. That is impressive. But the average lifestyle of millennials does not support such a purchase. And besides that many want to life the big city life and as Sam pointed out there is just no way that budget allows for any kind of property in Sf or any other major city for that matter. Perhaps you comment can be a lesson for them. Detroit has of course experienced a specific economic downturn, which perhaps allowed you to buy more for your money’s worth. In a way the opposite of what Sam wrote last week profit from a IPO-boom.

  98. Millenial here. I believe that the numbers can be explained largely by a bias in Personal Capital user base. Disclaimer: I have no evidence to back this opinion, other than the highly studied correlation I’ll point out below.

    Its a nuanced point, but I’ve come across Personal Capital through podcast advertising and reading financial blogs. It’s not an easy system to use if you aren’t comfortable with computers and online accounts. There’s a subset of people that read financial blogs and listen to podcasts. Therefore, it stands to reason that the people using the system are more educated and computer literate than the general population. You know what correlates strongly with a person’s education level? Money. More specifically, money in the hands of your parents.

    Maybe those inheritance numbers aren’t so far fetched?

    1. Fervent Finance

      Definitely agree. Those of us with FIRE goals are the ones using it. I don’t see my millennial friends who think they’ll be working to 60 using this…

    2. Absolutely. People who tend to care more about money, have more money. People who have more money tend to use financial tools like Personal Capital to help manage their investments and stay on track of their net worth.

      If memory serves me correct, the average net worth of the PC user is around $400,000 – $450,000, and the average age is around 42-44. The median age in America is around 35, so the PC user is an older demographic. Good thing is, they’ve been able to focus in on the 18-35 yo demographic and see the results.

  99. People are living longer than ever; especially well educated and rich Americans. These kids are delusional in that an inheritance will help them reach financial goals. What if the parents need the money for long term care or outlive their assets and end up needing help from grown children? You can’t get in a time machine and go back to save more money. I won’t be waiting till I’m 50 to see my parents croak to start meeting financial goals. Perhaps I’m alone on this one, according to the average inputs on the calculator.

    1. The data does portend to whether Millennials will be F*cked for at least a decade, or at least very unhappy because they didn’t get the windfall, and their lives didn’t turn out the way they hoped. But that’s life. Nothing ever turns out perfectly as expected!

    2. Are people really living longer? Men in my family sure aren’t. I had two die at 69 and one 71 in the past 5 years. I don’t consider living to my late sixties or early seventies a long life, a good life maybe, but not a long life (especially if I retire in my sixties). All three men referenced had health issues but there was no added cost as these costs were covered by medicare and supplemental insurance (isn’t as expensive as you think). Not all of us will be lucky enough to live long enough to worry about long term care. My 92 year old grandmother was the only one that made it to a care facility and that only lasted about 3 years. It was expensive but only because she had assets; it was very low cost or almost free to most of the residents who were subsidized by the government (low income or no savings).

      I think most Millennials will try to save and plan as previous generations have done. I’m not a Millennial (42) but I’ve always planned on my own savings, supplemented with social security (as opposed to popular belief it will be around forever as there is no plan to turn it off – just talk, talk, talk, and no action – there will be peace in the middle east before SS runs out of money), and inheritance from my family. Its not that I hope my family will pass away, on the contrary, I want them to live and enjoy their twilight years as long as possible. Knowing them and their spending habits (they taught me the same habits) I seriously doubt they will run out of money. And if for some crazy reason they did run out, their family will be there to help, Millennials included!

  100. ChopsBuster

    I’m one of these spoiled millennials who will receive a load of money (probably closer to $3mil and split 10 rental homes/condos between my brother and I). I’m still continuing to work 60+ hour weeks, though. Most of my drive comes from the fact that I feel I have to prove to the world that although I’ve come from a spoiled background, I can still ‘make it’ on my own. My dad never went to college and started his own company that became quite successful. I see all that he has accomplished and, in a way, want to ‘one up’ him. With all that said, it’s still comforting to know that I have something to fall back on. Perhaps, knowing that I have this safety net has allowed me to take the risks that I have.

    Quitting and getting an ‘easier’ job does cross my mind a lot but, I don’t have the guts to quit and take on something easier. I also would hate to take a pay-cut since I’m such a cheap ass, as is.

    1. I have a great goal for you and others who are expecting a great windfall. Build the same amount, or greater amount of net worth on your own that you expect to inherit, or donate most of it away if you do not get there by a certain time. Win win!

    2. Financiallyfree123

      I will get a sizable inheritance from my parents. I’ve been working hard for the past 15 years missing total of less than 10 days of work. However my career is at a standstill. I don’t have the resources or the opportunities to make a big move. I often think about taking it easy, work part time, and spend my free time creating art, traveling. The only thing that is keeping me from taking that route is seeing these other spoiled “slackers” burning cash under the guise of pursuing their passion.

        1. FinanciallyFree123

          It is mostly real estate. My parents are getting a decent cash flow from rental income. Based on what they currently receive I figure my share would be close to 6 figures annually. It’s not a ton, but right now I am busting my ass to build a retirement nest egg. If I take into account of what I will potentially get, then I can cut back on work, still max my IRA, cover my living expense without trying to squeeze out extra for after tax savings, and just chill a little bit and do fun and creative stuff. Very tempting as I feel totally burnt out.

          1. If you can do it take the break! You deserve it. I did it two years ago and while it is a step backwards financially it’s good to pause and reassess your goals in life. You can always find another opportunity.

  101. I will likely see a good amount of inheritance, but that’s not until my parents pass away in another, hopefully, 35+ years. By that time I’ll be well within my retirement years as a 70+year old.

    Isn’t this the case for most inheritances? Do kids get money before their parents pass? It would be incredibly unwise, however, to assume you’ll get any money, considering a lot can happen in 30 years.

  102. This is so true. You mentioned inheriting from parents but don’t forget about grandparents. I’ve heard from more than one person that they get their grandparents house once they die or move into an assisted living home. What kind of person volunteers this information? I think it’s disgusting but I’m not depending on inheritance.

  103. In my day job as an attorney (estate plans and probate/trust litigation), it always shocks me to see how so many people think that their parents’/relatives’ money belongs to them, as if those folks are required to work, scrimp, and save their entire lives, and then live in virtual poverty in their twilight years just so they can pass the money down to younger relatives. It may sound like I’m exaggerating, but I’ve seen kids tell their parents “are you sure you need a new car?” when their parents are in excellent financial and physical shape, just because those kids don’t want to see their inheritance shrink a little.

    Even worse, when the parents get older, many times there’s at least one kid who starts helping Mom and Dad with usual things, like paying bills or making it to doctor’s appointments, and those kids often talk themselves into making “gifts” of their parents’ money to themselves in appreciation for their hard work. I’m not saying that the kids who do the extra work shouldn’t get compensated for putting in effort when the other kids are ignoring their parents, but it takes on a whole new flavor when the kid doing the work is making the gift to themselves by writing their own check out of Mom’s checkbook. Purse-raiding on a larger scale. It all seems to start from an entitlement mentality, and then you’d be shocked at what people can rationalize to themselves.

    As the kid of a fairly wealthy parent, I might inherit between $600,000-$1 million or so (the estate will be dividing among kids and grandkids), but I’m not counting on a dime of it. You never know when a parent’s long term illness will require round-the-clock helpers, which gets expensive fast. Also, your parent could decide to donate a hefty chunk to charity, especially if your parent sees you slacking off and assuming you’re going to just take your parents’ money and blow it on stupid things.

    It’s better to assume you’re getting nothing and plan accordingly, and if you get an inheritance later, it can be a nice bonus. Plus, it avoids you building up resentment about how your parents spend their money in their later years.

    1. Great reply! I’m sure you have seen your share of true stories. I am 50 and I’ve seen many of many friends “think” they are getting an inheritance when things change, ie; step parents spend the money before the kids get it, changing of wills so some kids get nothing & others get more, etc. I would agree- I would NOT depend on an inheritance even if you think you may get some- it was never your money in the first place.

    2. You’re so right when you say that illness gets expensive! I live in the metro New York area, which is notorious for sky high nursing home costs. After a hospital stay, my grandmother had to go to a nursing facility for rehab, and it cost over $14,000 a month. Luckily, she didn’t have to stay much longer than the 100 days Medicare covers, but there were a lot of people there who were in really poor financial shape.

      Even if you have a long term care policy, savings gets eaten up quickly. She is now in a senior apartment that has all but exhausted her savings over the last five years. I’ve gone from thinking I was going to be able to pay off my mortgage with my inheritance to now facing the very real prospect of having her run out of money and needing to move in with us in the next six months.

      Moral of the story: you might *think* you have a pretty sweet inheritance coming, but the reality is that in retirement, money out very quickly exceeds money in.

    3. I’m encouraging my dad to buy a new car, the 2016 Honda Accord Sport, to be exact. He owns a Toyota from 1997, which could use some updating. But he doesn’t want to upgrade because he doesn’t drive so much.

      That’s interesting some of the adult children would say that with that intention. How do you know its their intention to save their inheritance though? Maybe they are just trying to practice frugality for their parents on a fixed income.

      1. Good for you! I’m all for encouraging parents and grandparents to live it up if they can afford to do it. That’s the whole point of working hard and then retiring. :)

        In this particular example, I know that is the intention of these children. The children are all in their 50s or so and not very financially responsible. Their mother is in her early 80s, still driving around just fine, and she’s worth about $2 million or so and is easily able to afford the $35,000 car she was considering. I know it’s not a safety issue, because they weren’t encouraging her to give up driving in general. She just said she wanted such-and-such new car because hers was getting a little old, and they said “no, Mom, you don’t need a new car.”

        For what it’s worth, the kids’ mother has complained about her own kids’ financial habits before. She asked one of her kids what she would do if she started receiving annual gift checks of $14,000, and her daughter immediately said “I’d go on a shopping spree at Lord & Taylor.” She wasn’t joking. :-/

        1. A close friend of mine owns some nursing care facilities. He’s shared too many sad stories of what 50+ year old kids have done to insure there is inheritance left for them.

  104. My expected inheritance is high 6 figures. It did not impact my savings or retirement expectations. But it is a great safety net. I am at the very end of the boomers, but meet the characteristics of gen x better.
    My question for the millennials is when do you think you will inherit this million? If your parents live to 90, you will be in your 60’s. A little late to fund your early retirement or buy your house.

  105. I’ve always found the intergenerational disdain amusing. Older generations look down on the young whipper snappers, younger generations look down on the older “out of touch” folks, and on the whole everyone fails to learn from one another.

    I wonder why the data implies Millennials expect a large inheritance when all the other reports about retirement savings indicate there are no retirement savings. Hard to inherit money from a a generation that has saved very little…

    1. Your kidding right? The boomer generation has no savings? The biggest generational wealth transfer in recorded history is about to begin. At 42 I’ve saved my own millions and expect to inherit millions more from my parents. My parents weren’t rich but lived a comfortable life and still made millions, as did their peers, off of the stock market boom of the past 30 years. This is exactly why the younger generation doesn’t care. Unfortunately for them they will likely squander their inheritance away through poor money management.

        1. These types are surveys are skewed by the larger population of low income earners who save nothing. If your parents/relatives had a decent blue/white collar job over the past 30-40 years they should be rolling in cash. These are the same nonsense surveys that say the average 401k balance in the US is 20K. Of course the numbers decrease dramatically when you include everyone. If you parse out the data for working professionals or even blue collar workers (my HVAC, car mechanic, and landscaper are all hardworking multimillionaires) the boomer wealth is off the charts. Of the 20+ relatives in my family falling under the boomer classification all are multi-millionaires. Both sets of my grandparents who lived their lives in a small town in middle America died as millionaires. They didn’t have great jobs by any stretch (teachers, a bookkeeper, and bee keeper for crying out loud!) and they still finished with over a million in the bank and they all died 15-20 years ago.

          The survey you reference is typical click bait media. Case in point, my Mom has over 4 million in the bank at age 72. She constantly worries that her money won’t last through retirement. Even in down market years she still makes more money than she spends from dividends. My Mom and the majority of boomers grossly overestimate how much money they will actually need in retirement.

          Let’s say we believe the stats in the referenced article: 27 percent of baby boomers are confident they will have enough money to last through their retirement. 27% of 76 million boomers is about 21 million boomers who will leave an enormous amount of cash to about 42 million boomer children (average of two kids per boomer). Thats a huge part of the adult US population who will be getting a significant inheritance 42 million out of 60 million (GenX and fringe GenY). 70% chance for GenX to receive a nice inheritance and probably about 50% chance for GenY depending on when you were born. I’ll take those odds. Don’t even get me started on the pile of cash GenX will be living their children! Just save as much as you can and still live a comfortable life and you’ll be just fine.

          1. Tom,

            I agree with you. There is much more wealth out there than people realize. The media LOVES misery. They love putting groups down. It was outrageous the amount of schadenfreude during the dotcom collapse, and the housing collapse.

            I also strongly believe in the rise of Stealth Wealth. It doesn’t pay to flash your wealth or tell people how much you make or how rich you are (unless you are trying to make money from people on how to make money). The government will punish you. The public will lynch you. The IRS will target you. No, it’s much better to blend into the middle class while secretly living a rich life.



            1. I wrote a whole post once on the “retirement savings crisis” myth. Those articles are ridiculous. For one thing they almost always cite average retirement account balances, even though most households that save have multiple retirement accounts. And in any event that average or median figure is skewed by the young/poor workers with low account balances. Further, many of the wealthiest people have plenty of non-retirement investments – businesses, real estate, taxable accounts, etc. Here’s my article if you’re interested:

              I will say I’m the exact type of Millennial that PC survey describes! Haha. My most recent figures I plugged in have me retiring in 11 years (when I’m in my early 40s) and inheriting around $2M during my life. Here’s the thing: I was playing with the tool to consider the best and worst case scenarios. That would be a best case, but I also ran it assuming my parents spend all their money (which I hope they do!) and assuming horrible rates of return and high inflation.

              And PS my first home cost $145K – a condo in Dallas that I still own and rent out and would be thrilled to move back into one day as a single old retired lady once my husband inevitable croaks before me. So that estimate fits my bill too. :)

  106. Preston @TheDrunkMillionaire

    I would have ZERO self respect if I were to stop grinding hard because I had $1M+ headed my way (I am a Millennial who only expects a nice armoire as an inheritance). I think this payout expectation may be one of the many causes of this sense of entitlement I see among most of my peers. Great post!

  107. While yes, there are certain jobs you do need to be in specific locations for, there are plenty of jobs in related careers that you can do elsewhere.

    Unless you’re working for a tech startup, you can work anywhere in this country. I work in non-profit fundraising and my husband works in TV, and we both got jobs just outside Philly, where we also bought a house for $99,000.

    My brother works for a major law firm in NYC, and while he does make more money in NYC, he could easily get a big firm job in many cities across the US. The reduced taxes paid (remember, NYC also has city earnings taxes) plus the reduced cost of living would more than compensate for the reduction in salary. Some cities you wouldn’t even think of, like Charlotte, NC (home of Bank of America), can easily yield high paying jobs. It helps if you live in those expensive cities like NY first though, to get the good job experience to pad the resume.

    1. This is a good point. The US is huge, and people can easily lower their cost of living while making still good money at the same time. Charlotte is a good example. Austin and Houston are probably two other good examples.

  108. Thias @It Pays Dividends

    I read a study last year from the Insured Retirement Institute and the Center for Generational Kinetics that showed that 1 in 10 millennials didn’t worry about retirement because they expected it to be gifted to them through inheritance. That is scary as hell to me to have to rely on my parents not spending all their money in retirement to be able to retire. How many of these people also don’t have a great understanding of their parent’s situation so they just assume the money is there for them.

    The only thing you can control in investing is how much you save. If you don’t save, even your worst ideas of retirement can be achievable. Take some initiative and put yourself in charge of your future.

    1. I wouldn’t doubt that study. It’s the same idea as people counting on only Social Security to retire. It’s foolish. Being financially complacent is very dangerous. That said, the Baby Boomers are the richest generation ever!

  109. Alexandru C.

    If I knew I had access to 1million in inheritance I was probably going to invest majority of them and start a business over here. I live in Europe, and If I want to open a solar plant with some EU money I need to put 50% down payment… and that means close to 500k euros.
    I would sure try that If I had the money, probably more money will just keep me motivated to start more businesses and focus in more directions.

  110. John C @ Action Economics

    I guess I’ll chime in because a bit applies to me…. I’m a 29 year old millennial. I have a pretty darn nice house (5bed/2bath tri-level w/2car garage) that I spent exactly $148,000 on, and plan to live here forever in Southwest MI.

    Currently My wife and I are earning around $75,000 per year, and saving 40%, This years goal is to hit $80K and 50%. I also plan on retiring in about….16 years (age 45, after 27 years of full time work), but where I differ strongly is inheritance and vacations. I don’t plan on inheriting any money. There is NO money on Mrs. Cs side, and my parents had kids very young, so by the time I would inherit anything, I should be an old man as well! My eyes popped out of my head when I read the numbers on vacations…This year we are planning on taking a family vacation to Universal studios at a total cost of around $2K, but we have never gone on a real vacation before, and probably won’t again for a few years.

    With all that being said, based on my peers, I represent an extremely small percentage of millennials that I know. I know only 2 other guys who count as millennials that I work with who are on a similar track to early F/I.

    1. The $142,000 datapoint for a house really jumped out at me. Thanks for sharing your housing specifics. Now it’s up for investors to figure out whether Millennials are delusional about how much they can spend on a house where they actually live, or whether there is this strong desire for Millennials in the East and West to move to the MidWest. If so, this data could suggest aggressively investing in the MidWest now. What do you think?

      1. John C @ Action Economics

        I think it may become a fairly common practice for people, especially young adults, to move to the midwest due to low cost of living as more and more jobs become location independent. I think if it doesn’t matter where you live to earn your money, more people will forgo paying $3K per month for a modest place in NY or SF when they can get a similar place for under $1K in the midwest.

        My guess is there is a substantial portion of millennials who grossly underestimate what housing (and numerous other expenses) cost in their current locations.

          1. I am misunderstanding. You said, “the locations of Personal Capital’s Millennial users mimics the percentage distribution of the overall US population.” Since it stands to reason that the $140,000 median nationwide first-time home buyer figure is also reflective of the percentage distribution of the overall US population, it seems that millennials, like first-time homebuyers, do (for the most part) live in areas where $142k homes are available. (Some don’t, but those may be the ones estimating a condo purchase of $350k while others in the Midwest and South are planning on a $90k home).

            1. Given the way Personal Capital asks for projections, it is possible that the 142k is actually the average down payment that millenials are putting down to buy a home in the future? That would put the average home price at 710 which seems much more reasonable (especially in the North East).

              If they are currently renting, they might consider that they will be keeping monthly expenses the same once they purchase but will need to spend cash to buy a home.

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