The Weight of Tomorrow: Gen Z and Retirement Anxiety

Gen z

By Deva Narayan

In ancient civilizations, the ultimate goal in life for many was to be rich enough to never work in their trade ever again and leave the trouble of finance to the minds of their sons and daughters. The same holds for human society today as well, and this goal in life has been named retirement. It is an expected phase of many adults where they age too much to be able to continue working their trade and must be comfortable enough to live the rest of their lives in leisure. However, as times have gone by, the money required to attain this goal has only increased, to the point that many young adults nowadays have never even thought about life beyond their work.

Gen Z is a term used to refer to individuals born between the years of 1997 and 2012. It is a slang term that has risen among the teenagers and young adults of today. The youngest of the Gen Z would now be at least 12 whereas the oldest would be 27. As they enter the 30s of their life, it is the stage where they are expected to be able to plan out the rest of their life including the age and point at which they retire. However, a crisis has broken out in their minds as they no longer know how to live as a retiree or whether they are even able to reach the point of retirement.

A study finds that the average American believes the minimum amount of money one needs to save to retire comfortably is approximately $1.46 million whereas the money required for a comfortable retirement in India is estimated to be ₹1. 63 crore (16.3 million). Many of our generation believe that this sum is unattainable in their lifetime, whereas several others have not given it thought at all. The ones who do worry about their finances develop something known as retirement anxiety, a fear of not attaining their retirement and to a lesser extent, the fear of not having purpose after retirement.

There are a few reasons as to why Gen Z believes this money to be a pipedream. As of recently, the pandemic has caused a massive economic setback with many of the Gen Z populace. Furthermore, the cost of living is increasing at a rate unprecedented before and makes it harder for many to save money towards their long term goal of retirement. Gen Z individuals are more likely to engage in non-traditional employment arrangements, such as freelance work or gig economy jobs, which often lack retirement benefits such as employer-sponsored retirement plans or matching contributions.

Many Gen Z individuals may lack the financial knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of retirement planning effectively. Without access to financial education and resources, they may struggle to make informed decisions about retirement savings and investment strategies.

The most common age of retirement in India is 58-60 whereas it is closer to 65 internationally. As with all anxiety, the only cure is to face the problem and understand how to overcome it bit by bit. Many of the Gen Z generation already worry about a phase that is 30 years into the future and not enough on the problems concerning the present day. The future will wait for many years to come but the present will not wait for a second for your action. To achieve money or success in the future, the steps to guarantee it must be taken today and not be troubled about.

Note: The viewpoints and stances articulated in the article are the author’s personal views and may not necessarily align with those of the edu news team.


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