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Millennial Savers

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A lot of us like to complain about Millennials, those young adults who are increasingly coming to dominate the labor market. Employers frequently complain about their elevated need for flexible time, their intense desire to work from home, and their questionable social skills and emotional intelligence. But the fact of the matter is that Millennials represent an enormously talented bunch and that many of us could learn much for them.

For instance, Millennials are emerging as a generation of savers. According to the Natixis 2016 Retirement Plan Participant Study, the average Millennial with access to a defined contribution plan, often a 401K plan began saving in a plan at the age of 23. That compares to age 27 for my generation, Generation X, and age thirty one for Baby Boomers. The fact that many Millennials have begun to save earlier will position them for better financial outcomes later in life.

 CNNMoney recently estimated that beginning to save at the age of 23 as opposed to age 27 could translate into approximately $150,000 in additional retirement savings by the age of 65 under a standard scenario.  That same analysis indicates that if one begins to save at the age of 31 instead of the age of 23, that will translate into about $260,000 by the age of 65. Saving early in life is the best thing that Millennials can do, and many of them are taking advantage of their opportunity.  

Anirban Basu, Chariman Chief Executive Officer of Sage Policy Group (SPG), is one of the Mid-Atlantic region's leading economic consultants. Prior to founding SPG he was Chairman and CEO of Optimal Solutions Group, a company he co-founded and which continues to operate. Anirban has also served as Director of Applied Economics and Senior Economist for RESI, where he used his extensive knowledge of the Mid-Atlantic region to support numerous clients in their strategic decision-making processes. Clients have included the Maryland Department of Transportation, St. Paul Companies, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Players Committee and the Martin O'Malley mayoral campaign.