That’s not the only discrepancy. When asked about finances, survey respondents reported, on average, $610,000 as the ideal amount to have saved by retirement age. Age-group-wise, baby boomers think they’ll need $574,000, while millennials foresee a higher, $687,000 as the goal. Neither demographic is aiming high enough; $1 million as a minimum nest egg, long the industry standard, is now considered too low by many pundits.
Worse still, neither group thinks they’ll actually hit their own self-delineated savings targets. Boomers foresee an eventual $228,000 saved by retirement, and millennials, $357,000. That’s a 40 percent shortfall for boomers and almost 52 percent less than ideal for millennials. (Interestingly, 37 percent of millennials think they’ll have no need, at all, for Social Security income, despite this apparent shortfall.) How survey respondents, millennials in particular, plan to make up the difference is anyone’s guess.
“There’s certainly a disconnect in terms of expectations and reality,” Czarnecki said. “Short of a financial miracle, or winning the next Powerball, millennials might want to reassess their current and future financial goals in order to make their retirement dreams come to fruition.”