How Much Is Your Time Worth? Here’s What Each Generation Says

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Mother and daughter looking down at a watch. /

Just like a dollar, time can be spent. But, unlike a dollar, you can’t earn more. That can make it more valuable to us than what our bank accounts often reflect.

Empower, a retirement planning service, recently surveyed 2,200 American adults. They found that Americans believe an hour of their time is worth $240, on average. That amounts to $499,200 per year with a 40-hour work week — exceptionally higher than the average U.S. salary of $59,384.

This varies a lot by generation, though, with millennials placing the highest average value on their time:

  • Gen Z: $266.92 per hour
  • Millennials: $328.84
  • Gen X: $215.90
  • Boomers: $137.19

While only a third of survey participants put their value under $50 an hour, 1 in 4 millennials valued their time at more than $500 an hour.

At the same time, many workers are willing to earn less if it means they have more hours to spend as they please. About a quarter of respondents would take a 15% pay cut in exchange for more free time.

The majority of respondents — 63% — said they “feel wealthy” when they have enough time to spend with friends and family. More than a third said saving time is more important to them than saving money, and some even feel comfortable taking on debt if that means they’ll have more free time.

Instead of luxuries like lavish vacations and mansions, many Americans dream of the luxury of avoiding household chores and having time to spare.

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