The average millennial graduating from college today will not retire until age 73, because heavy student-loan debt will prevent them from saving enough money for an earlier retirement, according to a new study.

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The average millennial graduating from college today will not retire until age 73, because heavy student-loan debt will prevent them from saving enough money for an earlier retirement, according to a new study.

The typical graduate has $23,300 in education debt and a median starting salary of $45,327, according to the analysis by financial website NerdWallet.com. In general, millennials are in their 20s or early 30s.

Despite the decent salaries, the average millennial has to earmark roughly 7 percent of earnings toward student loans. By the time the college bills are paid, the average millennial will be 33 years old and have only $2,466 saved for retirement, the study says.
Including foregone savings, student debt will cost the average millennial $115,096 in “lost” retirement savings, the study concludes.

“While retirement is certainly not impossible, for most it will have to wait until their early to mid-70s — over 10 years later than the current average retirement age of 61,” the study says.

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The lack of savings puts great importance on 401(k) retirement plans, especially matching contributions that companies give to employees. Contributions could make up half of a millennial’s total retirement savings, according to the report.