Gen Z’s Foremost Concern: Ensuring Financial Security for Retirement

**Young Workers Are Concerned About Retirement Savings**

Workers of all generations are increasingly worried about saving enough for a comfortable retirement, with the youngest workers expressing the most concern. The percentage of workers who lack confidence in their ability to retire with the lifestyle they desire has more than doubled since 2021, according to a report by Blackrock. Blackrock’s survey included 1,339 workers with workplace retirement accounts, 1,319 workers with independent retirement accounts, and 304 retirees.

**Gen Z Faces the Most Uncertainty**

Surprisingly, the youngest generation of workers, Gen Z, is the least confident about their retirement savings. Out of all the generations surveyed, 31% of Gen Z workers believe they won’t save enough for retirement. In comparison, 23% of millennials, 24% of Gen X, and 20% of baby boomers expressed similar concerns.

**Unique Challenges for Gen Z**

Financial advisors suggest that Gen Z’s lack of confidence is warranted due to the unique challenges they face. Many of them entered the workforce during an economic crisis, which led to exorbitant prices for essential goods and services. Clark D. Randall, a Texas-based certified financial planner, points out that Gen Z workers are also grappling with high inflation rates, a competitive housing market, and the well-known issues with the Social Security trust fund.

Additionally, the inability to afford homeownership means Gen Z workers have to spend more on rent. They are also burdened with heavy student loan debt. Moreover, Gen Z has directly experienced two significant market downturns. The looming climate crisis further compounds their pessimism towards their financial futures.

**Shaking Confidence in the Absence of Financial Safety Nets**

The aforementioned challenges have shaken the confidence of all workers, particularly the younger generations who haven’t had enough time in the workforce to establish a financial safety net. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic added to their economic turbulence during young adulthood. Charlie Pastor, a certified financial planner, emphasizes that older generations should understand the impact of economic instability on the next generation of savers.

**The Importance of Investing Basics**

The Blackrock survey reveals that 71% of Gen Z workers admit to lacking understanding when it comes to managing their investments. This is the highest percentage among all generations surveyed. To gain confidence in their financial future, financial advisors suggest that Gen Z workers start by learning the basics of long-term investing. This will provide them with the necessary knowledge to effectively manage their investments.

**A Silver Lining: Gen Z is Investing More for Retirement**

Despite their lack of confidence, surveys show that Gen Z workers are actually investing more for retirement compared to older generations at the same age. This signifies a positive trend. It is crucial for Gen Z to stay focused on long-term saving and investing to ensure a secure future.

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