Younger Americans like the idea of retiring relatively early. When Bankrate asked millennials, which it defined as Americans ages 18 to 37, what the perfect time to retire would be, they said 61 years old.
They tend to be optimistic about reaching that goal, too: According to research from Charles Schwab, which surveyed 2,000 Americans aged 16 to 25, they expect to retire, on average, at age 60. That's "seven years earlier than full Social Security benefit eligibility for their age bracket," the report notes.
As of the second quarter of 2018, millennials — which Fidelity defined as those ages 21 to 37 — with 401(k)s had an average balance of $25,500 and were contributing 7.3 percent of their paychecks. Fidelity also found that employers were matching, on average, 4.1 percent, which put the total savings rate for millennials with 401(k)s at 11.3 percent.
While younger adults are saving more today than they were five years ago — in 2013, millennials with 401(k)s had an average balance of $13,100 and were contributing 5.9 percent of their paychecks — many of them are not on track to retire in their 60s. Keep in mind that the numbers from Fidelity represent young people who are saving in the first place: Roughly two-thirds of millennials have nothing saved for the future at all.