Nearly 64% of working millennials say they will never accumulate $1 million in retirement savings over their lifetime, according to Wells Fargo & Co.'s 2016 study on millennials released Wednesday. The study was conducted online between April 11 and April 26, 2016, by market-research firm GfK and surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. adults between the age of 22 and 35. Participants needed to be employed (not in the financial services/banking industry) and a U.S. resident for at least three years.

Low incomes, the gender wage gap and college loans are some of the reasons for millennials' lack of optimism, the survey found. Despite their relatively dim view on savings prospects, 59% of millennials have started saving for retirement, while 41% haven't.


According to the study, the nearly two-thirds of millennials who say they won't be able to accumulate $1 million report a median personal income of $27,900. The 32% who do expect to save $1 million report a median annual personal income of $53,000.

The study found there are significant differences in the earnings and financial outlook of millennial men and women, with 54% of women reporting they live paycheck-to-paycheck compared with 43% of men. Millennial men report a median personal income of $39,100 compared with $28,800 for women. In turn, the wage gap has real implications for women's finances now and in retirement, says Mr. Ready...

There is some hope for the millennial cohort: Those who are saving may already be on the path to becoming millionaires even though they may not know it... Still, many millennials may also be saving less than the 10% to 15% of their salary that financial advisers often recommend. For millennials who have started to save for retirement, 44% report they are saving 1% to 5% of their income, 33% are saving 6% to 10% of their income and 6% are saving 11% to 14%, the survey found.

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