New Study Finds That Gen Z Is Aimming To Retire By Age 60 – And Expecting To Live To Age 100

Retirement written in sand on a beach by blue ocean water
via Shutterstock

Imagine this: It’s your 60th birthday, and you’re blowing out the candles on your retirement cake. Your working days are over, and you’re ready to embrace the freedom of your golden years. Now picture living those jubilant moments, not for the standard 15 to 20 years, but for a whopping 40 years!

If you’re among the ambitious Gen Z aiming to retire at 60 and live to 100, this isn’t just a daydream—you truly believe it is your future.

Gen Z, the generation born between 1997-2012, is ready to rewrite the script on retirement and longevity, proving they are on a mission to embody the iconic Star Trek Vulcan salute, “live long and prosper.”

According to a new study, post-millennials have set an ambitious goal for themselves: to retire by the age of 60 and live to see a century.

The findings come in Northwestern Mutual’s 2023 Planning & Progress Study, which found that Americans believe they’ll need $1.27 million to retire comfortably. The study also found that most U.S. adults have modestly increased their retirement savings over the last year, reporting a 3% increase to $89,300 in savings from $86,869 in savings in 2022.

According to the survey, the average person currently in their 20s has $35,800 currently saved for retirement. 

No longer seen as mere youthful exuberance, this unique approach by Gen Z to retirement and life expectancy shows their determination to navigate through the paradigm shifts of 21st century life.

They aim to achieve unprecedented prosperity during their lifetimes, as well as reaching new frontiers in health and longevity. 

Gen Z Wants To Retire By Age 60 And Live To 100

Gen Z is going to have to hold onto their party hat, because the planning it takes to pull off a forty-year retirement is not for the faint of heart. This audacious goal requires a meticulously choreographed financial ballet of disciplined saving, smart investing, and razor-sharp budgeting starting from your first paycheck. It’s about ensuring your financial reserves don’t just limp along, but sprint and leap across the retirement finish line

The Northwestern Mutual study found that people who identify as “disciplined financial planners” can shave about two years off the average retirement age of 63. Those bad at financial planning? On average, they’re adding two years, retiring at 67.

According to the study, a sizable chunk of Americans—28% to be precise—envision themselves reaching the age of 100. However, this optimism seems to swell when you zoom in on the younger population. An impressive 40% of Gen Z and Millennials predict they’ll toast their 100th birthday.

Curiously, the gender breakdown paints a slightly skewed picture. A higher proportion of men (31%) are forecasting a life of a century, outpacing the women at 26%. However, this contrasts sharply with existing mortality data. Currently, women make up a staggering 85% of the centenarian population in the U.S. It’s a fascinating juxtaposition of perceptions versus statistics, suggesting an opportunity to recalibrate expectations with the reality of longevity.

The study also revealed that a significant 42% of Americans envisage a future where Social Security could be a thing of the past. Despite this belief, people are still leaning on Social Security to constitute 28% of their total retirement fund—a larger chunk than personal savings at 22%, and on par with retirement savings at 28%.

However, there’s a noticeable shift when we examine younger demographics. Gen Z and Millennials are displaying more restrained expectations—they project Social Security to account for only 15% and 19% of their overall retirement funding, respectively. This is a sharp decline compared to the Baby Boomer generation and older, who are relying on Social Security for a much heftier 38% of their retirement wealth.

In the face of rapid technological advancements, an uncertain global economy, and the looming challenges of climate change, Gen Z’s audacious aspiration to redefine retirement and life expectancy exemplifies their determination, resilience, and adaptability. Through a powerful combination of fiscal responsibility, innovative career strategies, and an unshakable belief in their future, these young mavericks are boldly aiming to create a future where prosperity doesn’t fade with age, and living to 100 is more than just a wish—it’s an expectation.

B. Carlisle

Contributing editor at Wealth Gang. An entrepreneur at heart, he's passionate about meaningful ways to leverage technology and social media for business opportunities and side hustles.