The survey results are not to be lightly dismissed. "We need to do a better job of educating our children about the pros and cons of compound interest and how time is money," says Michael Keeler a certified financial planner with GFS & Associates. The sooner they start saving, even small amounts, the better.
The ramifications of not saving are huge. "The big problem is these people will never get ahead in life. They will always be digging themselves out of a hole that is getting deeper and deeper," says Keeler.
Even those who develop a savings habit later in life won’t necessarily make up for lost time. "Although they may increase savings rates dramatically in the future, the time lost may lead to lower overall retirement balances due to the missed compound growth over time," says Joshua Duvall, an insurance and social media specialist with Capital Financial Services.
How to chart a different course
What’s the solution for what ails the Millennials? "Financial institutions have fallen short of their responsibility to educate and provide financial guidance and tools that help account holders really understand their money and how they can improve. Institutions have to make managing money not only easier and more convenient, but a lot more enjoyable and exciting as well," says Ryan Caldwell, founder and CEO of MX, formerly MoneyDesktop.