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Taxes & Retirement

Apr 17, 2019

Why Saving for Retirement Isn’t Playing the Lottery

Most millennials say winning the jackpot is a reasonable retirement plan.

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You know there’s a retirement crisis going on when a sizable chunk of Americans think winning the lottery is a reasonable way to stop working, rather than developing a saving and investment plan.

Yet approximately 40% of U.S. consumers–and nearly two thirds of millennials—say winning the lottery could be a good retirement bet, according to a new survey conducted by Stash on attitudes toward investing. Stash partnered with Propeller Insights for an online survey of 1,156 respondents in March.

Not a bull market for everyone

Although the stock market has been in the middle of a bull market for close to ten years, most survey respondents said they lack the know-how to invest, and they consider putting money in the stock market to be confusing and out of reach.

In fact, nearly half of survey respondents said they would start building retirement nest eggs if they had more knowledge about how and where to invest. Additionally, more than one third said access to free, high-quality advice would be an incentive for them to invest.

Slightly less than one-third of respondents said they avoid investing because they feel they lack the necessary expertise to do so, they also find the whole process of investing overwhelming.

Millennials struggle with financial basics

Millennials, people who are currently between the age of 22 and 37, are even more likely to lack a financial plan for retirement.

In fact, a staggering 59% of millennials said winning a lottery jackpot is a reasonable way to retire.

Additionally, more than three-quarters of millennials said they live paycheck to paycheck. That means they also haven’t built up an emergency fund that can help cushion the blow for unexpected life events that cost money, such as unexpected medical care, car repairs, or even a layoff.

“Playing the lottery may be fun, but it’s the opposite of a safe bet,” Brandon Krieg, the co-founder and chief executive officer of Stash, said in a statement. “Instead of crossing their fingers and hoping their lottery jackpot dreams come true, people can take concrete steps to improve their finances. And we’ve created a tool to help them do just that.”

Lack of retirement planning

Here’s how else people plan to retire:

  • More than one-fifth (22%) of survey respondents said they plan to spend their retirement working a part-time job.
  • A minority (4%) said they will move to another country to find cheaper living abroad.
  • An additional 4% said they will depend on their children.
  • And 3% said they will try to find a rich spouse to support them.

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Jeremy Quittner is the editorial director for Stash.

Note: The survey was conducted online within the United States by Bospar, on behalf of STASH, using Propeller Insights in March 2019. The survey was completed by 1,156 people. Of the 1,156 individuals: 55.3% (639) identified themselves as females, 44.1% (510) identified themselves as males, and .7% (7) identified themselves as “other.” “Millennial” is defined by birth year of respondents between the ages of 22-37, “Generation X” is defined by birth year of respondents between the ages of 38-53 and “Baby Boomer” is defined by birth year of respondents between the ages of 54-72 as of March 2019. This material has been distributed for informational purposes only, and is not intended as investment, legal, or tax advice.
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