Millennials are lucky in that they have plenty of time to think about retirement. This generation of savers also have no delusions of anyone helping them out. This combination would be an ideal audience for retirement planning, except for millennials' staggering student loan debt and their consumer-focused approach to life.
But millennials are also optimistic by nature. They want to make smart decisions and own their lives and their choices. The smart financial advisor will tap into that energy and show these young investors how small contributions today can give them greater freedom tomorrow.
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Be aware, however, that millennials are not going to take kindly to the "Just one Starbucks a day can make a difference" pitch.
That $4 luxury feels like a birthright. Instead, an advisor should suggest they apply half of each year's raise or bonus toward retirement—it's money they weren't spending, and they have time to let those smaller contributions grow.
It's essential that these young investors develop good saving habits early.
—By Cam Marston, special to CNBC.com. Marston is president of Generational Insights and author of "Motivating the 'What's In It for Me?' Workforce" and "Generational Insights."