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Category: Leads · 4 min read

A Win-Win: Helping Millennials Save for Their Future

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on June 27, 2019

author profile photo

on June 27, 2019

group of millennials smiling

Millennials aren’t ready for retirement, but they are ready to save for retirement.  

However, there’s a problem: 25% of millennials who expect to retire between ages 66 and 75 have no retirement savings account.1 

Many millennials are overwhelmed with debt that their predecessors didn’t have, and they lack a clear understanding of how to dig themselves out. They want to save for a healthy financial future, but they either can’t or aren’t yet putting aside funds. 

That’s where you can come in and help them. Informing millennials about how and why they should be saving for retirement can help them prioritize their money. Here are a few tips to help you get that conversation started.  

There’s a problem: 25% of millennials who expect to retire between ages 66 and 75 have no retirement savings account.1

1. It’s an Emergency…Fund 

Before you get to the discussion about retirement (which can conjure up emotions about growing old), ease into it by talking about the importance of having an emergency fund. Job loss, poor health, and family emergencies can derail a person financially for months or even years. Share with them that even if they can only contribute $25 per month (which really just means not eating out once or twice a month), it adds up, and they’ll be glad they had that money if the unforeseen happens. Better yet, use or find real-life stories of people who saved for an emergency and were able to stay afloat and live the same or similar lifestyle as a result.  

As you talk through this, make sure that you’re informative and not scaring them. Many millennials prefer cash and savings over stocks and bonds, so this discussion can play well to that preference, but it should be done in a positive way.  

With the advancements in health and medicine, millennials may likely live longer than their baby-boomer parents (yay!), but that means that there’s more time for major, expensive life events to happen, and the need for an emergency fund becomes greater. At the same time, living longer also means they may need to have more saved for their retirement years.  


2. They’re Not Alone 

Make millennials feel at ease by telling them they’re not alone. Like I mentioned earlier, a quarter of millennials haven’t started saving for retirement, so they aren’t the only ones. Keep the conversation positive by reassuring them that it’s not too late to start putting money away for retirement. The sooner they get started, the better, and the less money they’ll have to contribute.  

The good news is that millennials are still young and still able to change their retirement savings outlook by doing some proactive planning and saving. And you can help them do just that. 


3. A Sense of Importance

As you reassure them, you should also convey a sense of importance. There’s still time for millennials, but they still should start saving soon and early to help make sure they’ll have enough for retirement.  

Veronica Willis, an investment strategy analyst for the Wells Fargo Investment Institute, says it this way: “One difference we’ve really seen with millennials is how conservative they are in retiring. They’ve started saving earlier than other generations started saving—but they’re saving too conservatively.”

Help your millennial prospects and clients realize that they may need to be more proactive and aggressive than they currently are. Break the numbers down for them and help them figure out how much they’ll need for and in retirement. For some, hearing about numbers and finances becomes a jumbled-up mess in their already overwhelmed brain. So, write things down for your client slowly and legibly, with clear explanations along the way.  


4. The Debt Problem 

A new study from the Association of Young Americans and AARP revealed that 4-in-10 people said that student loan debt is the reason for hitting pause on their retirement savings.3 And the people that responded were 41% of millennials, 38% of Generation Xers, and 31% of baby boomers. 

Odds are that many of your millennial prospects and clients will have some student loan debt. How do you deal with it in regards to saving for retirement? First, take a step back with them and view it with the rest of their finances. This lets you take the time to assess your clients’ overall financial situation, and determine what kind of shape they’re in with their loans and with the rest of their income and expenses.   

When you do this, it can help you figure out how to deal with their debt. If they’re in good standing and are making enough money to cover the payments each month and still have the finances to contribute to a retirement account, then they’re set. But, if they’re living paycheck-to-paycheck or in-between, and are dangerously close to missing loan payments or defaulting, then it’s time to help them prioritize and look at it in a new light as one piece of the larger financial puzzle. Overall, reassure them that saving for retirement and paying off their loans are both possible; it’s a matter of budgeting and saving in the right places. 

Help your millennial prospects and clients realize that they may need to be more proactive and aggressive than they currently are.

Helping millennials can be a win-win; you help them save for retirement, and they become one of your informed and appreciative clients. Even though they may not be ready to retire soon, helping them prepare can lead to more opportunities down the road and establishes their retirement goals.  

1. Loudenback, Tanza. “Millennials are delusional about the future, but they aren’t the only ones.” Business Insider. Apr. 9, 2019.
2. Zulz, Emily. “3 Generations, 3 Views on Retirement: Wells Fargo.” ThinkAdvisor. May 2, 2019.
3. AARP. “Three Generation Survey.” 2018.



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Written By

Mark Williams

President and CEO

Mark Williams is the President/CEO of Brokers International. Over his more than 25 years of financial services experience, Mark has been both a producing independent agent in the field and a home office leader consulting to agencies and field marketing organizations. Currently, Mark is focused on the future of the insurance industry, from the disruptions of InsurTech and robo-advisors to the changing demographics and needs of customers. He also is an avid mentor, helping financial professionals navigate the industry.

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