Today’s Retirees Have This Advice for Younger Americans

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Older man giving advice to younger man and using a tablet

Retirement is a time to both look forward and to think about the past.

By this point in life, you have accumulated some mistakes during your journey. Chances are good that you have some hard-earned wisdom to pass on to younger folks.

Recently, — a Medicare plan brokerage — surveyed more than 560 retired Americans and asked them what advice they would pass down to younger generations. Here are their answers.

3. Find a fulfilling work-life balance

Happy remote worker talking on the phone while working on laptop
David Benito /

Survey respondents who would give this retirement advice: 14%

Achieving a better work-life balance seems to be a priority among young Americans today. Many millennials and members of Generation Z have gone viral with social media posts about their desire to avoid the traditional grind at work.

A decent percentage of older Americans appear to believe these younger folks are on the right track.

2. Prioritize experiences over possessions

Group of friends watching football on TV
Pixel-Shot /

Survey respondents who would give this retirement advice: 19%

Another recent trend among younger folks is to prize experiences over possessions. Today, it is more fashionable than ever to enjoy travel, savoring new foods and connecting with others via social media.

By contrast, buying fancy cars and homes might have lost a bit of its luster.

Once again, a solid percentage of retirees are in lockstep with youngsters. These seniors suggest that if happiness is your goal, great experiences are better than accumulating more “stuff.”

1. Start saving as early as possible

Woman with piggy bank
Jason Stitt /

Survey respondents who would give this retirement advice: 67%

If retirees could pass on one bit of advice, it is to fatten that piggy bank now. Two-thirds of retirees say their top advice to young people is to start saving as early in life as possible.

The sooner you start the save, the more compound interest can work its magic. Far too many of us learn that lesson late. Today’s retirees want to save younger folks from making the same mistake.

Getting an early start on your journey to riches

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UfaBizPhoto /

The overwhelming majority of today’s retirees are hopeful that younger folks will get an early start on building a nest egg. If you are a millennial or member of Gen Z, honor your parents’ and grandparents’ wishes by checking out “How to Start Investing — No Matter How Much Money You Have.”

To get a sense of where you are today compared to your peers, read “Here’s How Much Each Generation Saved in 2023. Did You Beat Your Peers?.”

And if you’d like some help getting started, consider a consultation with a fiduciary financial advisor.

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