Will our generation ever get to retire?

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By Kat Stoeffel

I always imagined I would sooner die than retire. Not because I love work and hate scrapbooking. Just the opposite! But as an oldish member of the youngest working generation, my fantasies of environmental and economic collapse were, until recently, slightly more vivid than my sense of mortality.

Now, the economy is back from the brink, and some of the hapless “millennials” of the public imagination have moved out of their parents’ basements. The lucky ones who have secured gainful employment are inundated with $7 billion worth of digital marketing from banks and investment firms desperate to turn young workers into grownup savers.

But save for what? Without the traditional commitments seen in financial planning commercials—the daughter learning to ride her bike, the suburban home she’s pedaling away from—the picture of financial security served up in every third sponsored Instagram is vague. (On my feed recently: a smug blonde clutching a white paper cup of coffee that she has presumably budgeted for or, better, earned with good returns on prudent investments.)

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