You’ve likely seen the game show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Perhaps you’ve even played along at home, chucking to yourself and thinking, “Sure, it would be nice to have, but I’m glad I don’t need a million dollars.”
Not so fast, say a majority of registered investment advisors (RIAs) in a new study from Scottrade Advisor Services. Money Management Executive reports that according to the poll, RIAs say current workers should save even more – up to $3 million for some age groups – to secure a financially stable retirement.
The recommended investment goals for Generation Y (ages 18-26) are the greatest. More than three-quarters (77%) of advisers recommend a goal of at least $2 million, while more than 40% of RIAs say Generation Y should be aiming for more than $3 million in retirement funds.
Generation X (ages 27-42) should save between $2 million and $3 million, according to 46% of RIAs surveyed. Another 22% said that Gen X-ers should have $3 million in retirement funds.
Thirty-five percent of advisers polled feel that boomers (ages 43-64) need between $2 million and $3 million to retire, with another 13% believe that they should have more than $3 million. Meanwhile, another 35% of RIAs say Boomers should have a retirement goal between $1.5 million and $2 million.
Seniors (ages 65+) are the only generation for whom a paltry $1 million might be sufficient savings for retirement according to many of the advisers surveyed. Forty-four percent of RIAs said that $500,000 to $1.5 million is a sufficient target for seniors. Only 20% of advisers recommended a savings goal between $1.5 million and $2 million.
Sheryl Garrett, the founder of The Garret Planning Network, an international network of fee-only advisers, tells MME that younger people often have an “illusion of wealth,” in which $1 million sounds like an endless supply of money.
But once you take a million dollars and factor in that an 18-year-old might not retire for another 49 years — a conservative annual inflation rate of 3% would place that $1 million at something closer to $4.3 million, Garrett says.
“For the younger age groups, my advice is to not plan on Social Security income,” she says. “It’s kind of like planning on getting an inheritance when you look at your parents and they’re barely making ends meet.”
Garrett also cautions that when RIAs are looking at what the average American family would need to live on, they are talking about an income that hovers somewhere in the $50,000 range. This does not take into consideration those who are used to living on $75,000 or $100,000. All of the projections also don’t take into consideration the periodic big expense or significant long-term care costs, MME reports.
So, start auto-enrollment and get that independent financial adviser in front of your employees, stat! Or, tell them to pick someone to be their phone-a-friend. Either way, communicate in certain terms that the next time someone asks, “Who wants to be a millionaire?” the only correct answer is, “ME!”
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