On Thursday, Politico published an article examining millennials and retirement, making the basic argument that since millennials aren’t saving for retirement in the way that their parents and grandparents did, in turn, they will have to work longer. Written by Treasury Department veteran Alicia Munnell, the article acknowledges the hurdles millennials have faced such as entering the work force in the age of the dot.com bubble burst and Great Recession, and that they’ve been forced to take lower-paying jobs (while shouldering crippling student loans) often without access to employer-funded 401(k) plans.
Munnell explains her logic in the conclusion to the piece:
Working longer is a powerful lever. Social Security benefits claimed at 70 instead of at 62 are at least 76 percent higher, and the additional years of work allow 401(k) assets to increase and reduce the period of time that the assets need to cover. In fact, my research shows that the vast majority of millennials will be fine if they work to age 70. And although that might sound old, it’s historically normal in another sense: Retiring at 70 leaves the ratio of retirement to working years the same as when Social Security was originally introduced.
Agree with her or not, Munnell does make some legitimate points. But unfortunately, those points were lost in this tweet Politico blasted out to promote the article:
Analysis: Millennials should be willing and able to work longer than their parents and grandparents did https://t.co/NiWsxQY7SW
— POLITICO (@politico) June 7, 2018
Well, when you put it bluntly like that it’s easy to see why people would take umbrage with the sentiment. And take umbrage they did, because this is Twitter after all—hearkening back to that recent MarketWatch article that stated 35-year-olds should have twice their salary saved.
Analysis: Fuck the hell off https://t.co/tEbsaqdqGZ
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) June 7, 2018
ANALYSIS: WE ARE PREPARED TO DIE YOUNG OUT OF SPITE https://t.co/DwxPYB9goc
— NOT A WOLF (@SICKOFWOLVES) June 7, 2018
— mattpotato🥔 (@mattpotato) June 7, 2018
ANALYSIS MILLENNIALS SHOULD BE WILLING AND ABLE TO FEED THEIR SOULS AND THE SOULS OF THEIR CHILDREN INTO THE ETERNAL WORK ENGINE https://t.co/5HLiMGeDqF
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) June 7, 2018
Millennials should be prepared to work harder, longer, sacrifice more to Yx’Thoq Lord of Nightmares to finally know the peace of the void
— Sam Sykes (@SamSykesSwears) June 8, 2018
Others offered valid counter-arguments, pointing out the systemic flaws in our economy (thanks in no small part to boomers) that got us into this mess in the first place.
Here’s some analysis: millennials are the most educated, yet worst paid generation since 1980. The issue is not millennials — the issue is an economy in which stagnant wages and enormous student debt are being sold as a cruel new normal. It is not normal, and we must change it. https://t.co/z1wGZrQH6K
— Our Revolution (@OurRevolution) June 7, 2018
We live in an era of unparalleled automation for some reason combined with crazy redundancies (i.e. bullshit work). There is no need for millennials to work more. We should be working less. What needs to stop is the redistribution of wealth towards the already rich.
— Margot Machado (@jenesaiswha) June 7, 2018
"everyone should change the way they're doing everything except for the idle rich"
— mike (@MikeOdenthal) June 7, 2018
Read that silly article onhow millennials will have to work longer hours than previous generations. Ignoring that a) they already do, b) productivity DECREASES when people work long hours and c) broken economic systems can’t be fixed by with more of the same.
— Matt Haig (@matthaig1) June 8, 2018
No matter how you look at it, the bottom line is that millennials got screwed. But hey, at least there’s one bright side to all this!
Sure millennials will have to work longer than our parents. But we’ll be on drugs. Not quitting them in our 20s like a bunch of candy asses.
— Amy Miller (@amymiller) June 7, 2018