Will Millennials Ever Get to Retire?


Listen up, millennials—it’s time to start stocking up on the anti-aging cream because we’re in it for the long haul. An October 2013 study released by NerdWallet found that 73 will be the norm retirement age for millennials. SEVENTY-THREE. The current average retirement age is 61. Help us, we’re poor.

With the median debt for a student upon graduation at $23,300 and 18% of students unemployed at that time, there’s no question why this is our fate.

According to the study, a “struggling graduate”—one with $40,000 of debt at graduation and making a starting salary of $40,000 will actually retire at 75. If THAT’S struggling, I don’t even want to know how NerdWallet would label me and some of my friends. (“Dead,” probably.)

While this all seems quite daunting, I’m not even thinking about what life will be like for millennials by the time they retire at age 75 (or in my case, 107.) I spend a lot more time wondering about the journey to old age. My mind constantly wanders to this place that houses these amazing visions of grandiose. You know, things like having two children, owning a car that wasn’t manufactured before 1999, living without roommates or parents in a home with an actual bedroom, not living paycheck to paycheck.

It’s dreadful, but in the grand scheme of things, I don’t feel that sorry for myself when I put things in perspective. I’m a first-generation American that made the decision to pursue higher education. I’ll be paying for it for a while, but my quality of life is pretty great compared to others around the world. That said, I refuse to spend the remainder of my youth cooped up in a bedroom, eating nothing but ramen because I have to pay Sallie Mae. While I won’t be treating myself to lavish, unaffordable vacations to the South of France, I will find ways to sate my wanderlust. And I will find ways to enjoy my life as much as I can while saving for retirement and reasonably paying down my student loans. My hope is that my fellow “struggling” millennials feel the same.

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