Half of high-income millennials ages 30 to 34 fear they’ll have to work their entire lives because they won’t be able to save enough to retire.

That’s one takeaway from a recent study that focused on high-income millennials, those with a minimum annual income of $100,000 for single people or $150,000 for married or partnered people.

The survey was conducted by the Spectrem Group, a wealth advisory company, and offers insight for the demographic that came of age during America’s worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.

In particular, millennials who are now 30–34 years old — meaning that they likely graduated from college in the depths of the downturn, when hiring in many industries had dried up — are the most cognizant of, or concerned about, finances.

That “middle” cohort, scarred by memories of a dismal employment market, are also far more willing to work at a job that they might not like than their younger or older peers.

High-income millennials under 29, who graduated from college when the economy had started to recover, are more optimistic: They’re more willing to hold out for a job they enjoy, and less worried about having to work indefinitely.


Other survey insights:

• Older high-income millennials are more concerned about having a job that pays well than a job that is fulfilling.

• More than a third of millennials say that their career decisions are influenced by whether a firm offers student loan payoff assistance.

• One quarter are concerned that retirement will be forced upon them or their spouse before they’re ready.