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World War Z: Another Generation on the Couch

By Hal M. Bundrick

NEW YORK (MainStreet)--While some parents may be breathing a sigh of relief as Gen Y rolls out the door to independence, don't look now: Gen Z is on the couch and in no hurry to leave.

According to the 2nd Annual Generation Z Survey released by TD Ameritrade, nearly two-thirds of 13 to 22 year olds -- the venerable Gen Z -- say they feel welcome to move back in with their parents if things don't go well on their first foray from the nest. But at what age would they be embarrassed to still be living at home? Parents hold your breath, they could be pushing 30. On average, Gen Z says age 28 is the deadline for an exit from home. Nearly nine out of 10 (88%) would be embarrassed to still be living at home at 30, and almost half (49%) said they would feel awkward still being on the couch at age 25.

Not only does Gen Z hope to be out the door and on its own at 28 but that's also the age when they plan to start saving for retirement. Baby Boomers, on average, said they started saving at age 32, but wished they had started saving at age 24, according to TD Ameritrade. Gen Z, are you getting this?

"It's interesting to see that this young generation plans to take a fairly traditional path to their futures, however; the one piece that looks out of place is saving for retirement," says Carrie Braxdale, managing director of investor services for the firm. "Time and time again we hear Baby Boomers say they wish they would have started saving earlier, and the hope is that we can spread the word to Gen Z to start saving as soon as they start working, rather than waiting until they reach other milestones. Even a little bit can go a long way, and the power of compounding interest is an opportunity they do not want to miss out on."

This young generation is anticipating a $36,900 annual salary for their first job out of college, a bit below the $44,000 starting salary projected for 2012 grads by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Yet, they expect their income to $119,000 per year by the time they reach age 60.