Running out of money is a major concern for today's older workers. But a new report from the National Institute on Retirement Security tells us that younger workers are worried about it as well. In fact, the report says, 67% of millennials are concerned about outliving their retirement savings, and given that 66% haven't begun building nest eggs, that sentiment certainly makes sense. The question is: What will they do about it?

Younger workers face retirement challenges

Though retirement can be a worrisome prospect for older workers, younger workers undoubtedly have their own share of challenges to contend with. For one thing, more than half of millennials are expected to live until age 89 or beyond, which means they'll need the savings to sustain a lengthier retirement. At the same time, younger workers are less likely than their older counterparts to have pensions, which means they'll need to take savings matters into their own hands.

Young male deep in thought

Image source: Getty Images.

And then there's Social Security to worry about. Based on the latest projections, come 2034, the program will exhaust its trust funds unless Congress manages to step in with a fix. At that point, future recipients are looking at a 21% reduction in scheduled benefits, which means younger workers will need to save even more to compensate.

The situation, however, isn't entirely bleak, because younger workers have a crucial weapon in their arsenal: time. And if they use it to their advantage, they can make up for their current lack of savings, and then some.

A solid opportunity to save

If you're a younger worker with no money in your nest egg to date, you should know that you still have a prime opportunity to amass some nice savings. That's because you probably have anywhere from three to four decades of work ahead of you, and if you commit to consistently saving a small amount month after month during that time, you might come away wealthier than you'd think.

Let's assume that you're 30 years old with nothing saved and are aiming to work until 70. Here's what your nest egg might grow to, depending on how much you put in each month:

Monthly Savings Amount

Total Accumulated Over 40 Years (Assumes an Average Annual 7% Return)

$100

$239,000

$200

$479,000

$300

$719,000

$400

$958,000

$500

$1.2 million

Table and calculations by author.

One thing to keep in mind about these figures is that they assume an average annual 7% return on investment, which is doable with a stock-heavy portfolio. If you stick with safer investments, like bonds, you won't see the same returns, and your ending balance will be considerably lower. But if you're young, you have plenty of time to ride out the market's volatility, which means there's no reason not to put the bulk of your savings into stocks.

If you're wondering where the money will come from to make those monthly contributions, the answer boils down to making choices. Look at your budget, review your expenses, and decide which ones you're willing to cut in order to free up some cash for your retirement account. Maybe you'll choose to downsize your living space, or vacation locally rather than take exotic trips. It doesn't really matter what expenses you slash as long as you come away with some money to add to your nest egg regularly.

Another option you might look into is getting a side hustle. If you're able to generate more cash with a second job, you'll have an opportunity to fund your nest egg while leaving your existing expenses alone.

Though younger workers have many years to save for retirement, the fact that most haven't yet begun is troubling. So if you're worried about outliving your savings, take steps to ensure that it doesn't happen. Fund your nest egg consistently, and aim to boost your contributions as your earnings increase. With any luck, that'll enable your savings to last as long as you need them to.

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