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7 millennial money moves to make before middle age

Millennial savings

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Retirement realities

Millennials — those between the ages of 18 and 34 — are entering adulthood with unique financial challenges, from record levels of student debt to anemic wage growth. But they do have one advantage over Gen Xers and baby boomers: time.

That will come in handy, as growing life expectancies mean they can expect to enjoy a longer retirement than the generations before them. In fact, a recent report from JPMorgan Asset Management on millennials and money concluded, "Many will have to finance retirements that are longer than the number of years they work."

But when it comes to retirement, many of those under 35 may need a reality check. About 70 percent of millennials said they expect to spend less than $36,000 a year in retirement, according to a recent survey by the Insured Retirement Institute and the Center for Generational Kinetics. That's far less than the average annual expenditures for people ages 65 to 74, which topped $46,000 in 2013, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found.

The silver lining? Thanks to their youth, millennials still have decades to lay the foundation for a successful — and realistic — retirement, if they make a few key financial moves before they hit middle age.

By Lucy Maher, special to CNBC.com
Posted 2 Nov. 2015

Jamie Grill | Getty Images