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Nationwide Survey Finds Majority of Millennial Investors Have A Financial Plan, Yet Save Only Half What They Need

November 19, 2014

Financial advisors can help millennials fill the gap

Columbus, Ohio - A new investor behavior survey conducted by the Nationwide Retirement Institute found that 64 percent of millennial investors (aged 18 to 35) say they have a financial plan. While this is encouraging, the survey also discovered that these younger investors believe they’re only saving half of what they should be saving. In fact, 68 percent said they’re not investing enough for retirement.

“While it’s great that many millennial investors now have a financial plan, they’re still coming up short when it comes to savings. To help close the gap, we recommend that millennials work closely with a professional financial advisor,” said Mike Spangler, president of Nationwide’s mutual funds business, which manages 114 funds with approximately $57.8 billion in assets. “An advisor can help make sure an investor’s plan is realistic and accounts for major life events and offer valuable insights to help investors avoid missed opportunities.”

Despite their generational confidence and access to information, the survey found 36 percent of millennial investors only guess at how much they need to fund their retirement, and nearly one in four do not know if they have a 401(k) plan. While 58 percent of millennials conduct their own financial research and make their own investment decisions, only half are confident they know how much to save for retirement. For those millennials without a financial plan, 28 percent feel that creating a financial plan is overwhelming and 40 percent said “they haven’t gotten around to it yet.”

In addition, 56 percent of millennial investors think they would be more financially successful with professional financial advice, but only 39 percent actually use a financial advisor.

“The good news is that millennials acknowledge the value of a professional and want to save and invest more,” explained Spangler. “The financial industry has a real opportunity to help millennials understand how to balance the demands of paying for today with investing for their future.”

The survey also includes information about how current retirees approach investing when compared to millennials. Like millennial investors, 56 percent of current retirees surveyed reported that professional financial advice would help them be more successful than going it alone. Of the 62 percent of retirees who work with an advisor, 83 percent have spoken or met with him or her at least once in the past year, compared to 55 percent of millennials who have done so with their advisor.

The Nationwide study also found that millennial investors are more likely to consult family (50 percent) and websites (49 percent) than a financial advisor (39 percent) for their financial planning needs. Retirees, on the other hand, turn to a financial advisor (62 percent), traditional media (37 percent) and follow their gut feeling (36 percent).

“We found that, more than any of the other generations we surveyed, millennials like to feel empowered when it comes to making financial choices,” said Spangler. “It is admirable that millennial investors take the initiative to seek investment advice online or from family members, but nothing compares to the support and experience a financial advisor can provide to help them make sense of all the information they can find from these sources.”

Investors of any age can learn more about working with a financial professional by visiting here.

Harris Poll, on behalf of Nationwide, conducted online interviews with 2,033 American investors aged 18 and older between June 11, 2014 and June 30, 2014. The study participants are financial decision-makers in their households and have investable assets of at least $50,000.

For more information about the survey, please visit

About Nationwide
Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, commercial, homeowners and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; banking and mortgages; specialty health; pet, motorcycle, boat and farm insurance. For more information, visit


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