Nest Egg vs. Nesting: Gen Y Values Retirement Over Home Buying

Nest Egg vs. Nesting: Gen Y Values Retirement Over Home Buying

The big thing on Millennials' minds these days is ... retirement?

That might come as a shock to those accustomed to hearing about the younger generation—and all their spending stereotypes.

But according to a new National Endowment for Financial Education survey, the No. 1 financial goal for respondents between ages 18 and 34 is, in fact, socking away money for retirement.

And while almost 30% of Gen Y says that they're primarily focusing on retirement, just 21% say that homeownership is their major focus—despite the common belief that owning real estate is a part of the American Dream.

Just three years ago, in the same survey, homeownership did indeed claim the top spot for Millennial financial goals. So what's caused the shift in priorities?

"Americans seem to be finding reassurance in more long-term financial-security-based values rather than material values," Ted Beck, president and chief executive of the National Endowment for Financial Education, told CNBC.

This change in thinking could have been prompted by the housing crisis, when Millennials may have seen their family and friends' homes lose value rapidly. Or they could be influenced by seeing their Baby Boomer parents struggle to build up adequate savings later in life—and want to get a head start now.

RELATED: Retirement Savings: The Advantage of Starting Early

Ready to take the first steps toward saving for your golden years? Start here.


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