According to the Northwestern Mutual Foundation's financial literacy Web site, most young adults think they'll need to be millionaires before they retire.
Visitors to the site were asked how much money they would need to have saved in order to retire. More than four out of five respondents (about 85%) aged 18 to 29 said they would need at least $1 million, and almost half (45%) said they would need at least $2 million. In comparison, only 60% of adults aged 30 and up thought they would need to save $1 million, and only 27% thought they would need at least $2 million.
"While today's adults think they'll need one nest egg to retire, young people think they'll need a baker's dozen," said Meridee Maynard, financial literacy expert and senior vice president, Northwestern Mutual. "In contrast to their older counterparts, young adults see a need to save more for retirement, which is wise given this generation is expected to live longer than any in history."
Over the past century, the average lifespan of people in the United States lengthened by more than 30 years. In late August, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that U.S. life expectancy had reached an all-time high, climbing to 77.9 years in 2007. The U.S. Census Bureau projects life expectancy will exceed 79 years by the year 2015, and new mortality tables indicate that some Americans could even live until the age of 121.
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