Your Retirement Anxiety Can’t Be Cured Online

The often-cited goal of having a $1 million retirement nest egg needs to be retired itself. Adjusted for inflation , it would take nearly $1.9 million to have the same purchasing power today as in 1999, when the oldest of millennials were just turning 18. Granted, $1 million still sounds like a lofty sum to many Americans, which could be why so many are nervous that they won’t reach the double-comma club by retirement.

What makes me anxious for my fellow millennials, however, is how many are relying on social media, YouTube, podcasts and cable news for free advice about how to build their retirement plans. All these platforms are loaded with unreliable information that could create unrealistic expectations.

anxious about retiring

Nearly 80% of millennials and Gen Z have turned to social media for financial advice, according to a Forbes Advisor survey . One reason is that it is very hard to set up a simple, safe and affordable retirement plan. With no federal requirement for employers to offer a 401(k) plan to employees, let alone an employer match, it falls to individuals to figure out how to plan for old age.

So I shuddered recently when I heard longtime personal finance guru Dave Ramsey suggest retirees could expect to afford withdrawals of 8% each year from their retirement savings, which is presumably based on the assumption that the stock market will return 12% on average .