Money

Most millennials have zero savings—but one sub-group outperforms all other generations

The Pearson family on NBC's "This Is Us"
NBCU
The Pearson family on NBC's "This Is Us"

In general, young people are putting off saving for the future. Just 31 percent of millennials are contributing to a retirement account, for example.

But one sub-group of millennials is out-performing not just their peers but also all other generations when it comes to retirement savings: millennial parents.

According to a new survey from NerdWallet, parents aged 18 to 34 are contributing the expert-recommended 10 percent of their annual income to their retirement savings. Generation X parents — those aged 35 to 54 — are contributing a median of eight percent. Boomer parents, defined as 55 and older, are setting aside even less: five percent.

"Despite being earlier in their careers and having lower incomes, [millennial parents are] saving considerably more than conventional wisdom gives them credit for," NerdWallet reports.

Their higher savings rate means bigger nest eggs and could even set them up to retire with $1 million more than boomer parents and $400,000 more than Gen X parents.

What's more, a good portion of millennial parents are super-savers: 38 percent say that they direct more than 15 percent of their income towards retirement savings. Meanwhile, "only 24 percent of Generation X parents and 23 percent of baby boomer parents report the same," says NerdWallet.

In general, parents of all ages are more prepared than non-parents: 84 percent of employed parents are saving for retirement, compared with 69 percent of non-parents.

The results are "surprising," says Arielle O'Shea, investing and retirement specialist at NerdWallet, "especially given the high cost of raising children. But it's also important to consider the fact that, in many cases, becoming a parent forces you to settle down and change your priorities: You think more about the future and you want to focus on building that nest egg."

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