53% of millennials think they’ll become millionaires in their lifetimes, even though they’re $1 trillion in debt, according to a new survey.
Millennials have great financial expectations.
About half of young people between the ages of 21 and 37 anticipate being millionaires some day — despite having a collective and crippling $1 trillion in student loan, credit card and other debt hanging over their heads, according to new report from brokerage firm TD Ameritrade.
The survey asked around 1,500 American millennials at what age they thought they’d hit millionaire status. And 53% believe they will become millionaires in their lifetimes, with 7% expecting it to happen by age 30; 19% predicted age 40; 16% said age 50 and 7% of people thought they’d be millionaires by 60 or later. What’s more, 4% of respondents were already millionaires.
This economic optimism is surprising, considering nearly one in five (17%) of these young adults haven’t even achieved financial independence from their parents yet, according to the survey. And the zealous planning to attain seven figures by age 30 seems like a stretch, since the same findings show that millennials don’t even plan to start saving for retirement until age 36; more than a decade, typically, after getting their first job.
The data looks much more glum when broken down by gender: 70% of male millennials expect to be millionaires or already are, while less than half — just 38% — of females said the same.
TD’s chief market strategist, JJ Kinahan, told CNN Money that could be because women may plan on taking time off to have children or care for older relatives, which research has shown often affects their income potential. Most males, by contrast, “see their career in a straight lines,” Kinahan said.
Other studies have shown that women are generally more pessimistic about their professional futures compared to male colleagues. About a third of women expect to earn a salary less than $50,000 in their careers, and one in four never expects to get promoted above an entry level position.
Despite the findings, Kinahan urges that all young people should get on track with savings now, starting with opening up a 401(k) if they want to live up to expectations of hitting millionaire status. “It doesn’t happen because you woke up one day and made a million dollars,” Kinahan told CNN. “For most people, it’s because you saved. You set money aside when you were 25 for when you were 65.”
More and more college grads seem to have unrealistic expectations of the real world. Like their millennial predecessors, more than half of Gen Zers graduating from college in 2017 (69%) expected to make more than $35,000 a year in their first job. In reality, however, less than half (49%) of 2016 graduates made that much.
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