March 15, 2023 | Eul Basa

Soft Saving: Gen Z’s Alternative To Retirement

While most people spend their working years saving up for their retirement, some members of the younger generation are adopting very different lifestyles.

Tay Ladd, a young corporate lawyer from New York City, is an advocate of “soft saving” — a financial mindset that trades the traditional hustle mentality for a gentler approach.

“I’m working just as hard, but…I'm being more mindful about setting aside time for things that are important to me,” Ladd explains. “I don’t see myself retiring at all.”

Soft saving is all about shifting one’s priorities from the future to the present. Instead of focusing on 40-year plans, young adults today are living in the moment and paying more attention to the things that matter to them, all while making sure they are still spending responsibly and with good intentions.

Brittney Castro, a certified financial planner at Intuit, explained to Yahoo Finance that Gen Z is interested in “living for now” and having a better quality of life. “This is more about comfort, less stress, less pressure to save for the future and really balancing it out,” she adds.

Many young people in today’s workforce are being put under a tremendous amount of pressure to perform, and some of them are starting to rethink if the money is even worth it. For Ladd, her previous stint at a private equity firm had her under constant stress and at one point, her health began to decline. 

“I was like, ‘None of this matters if you’re not here.’ I haven’t looked back since,” she said.

Ladd didn’t quit her job, but she did reevaluate the way she managed her time. She set clear boundaries for herself; ones that let her completely separate her work time from her personal time.

“I want to romanticize these things that are important to me because, for so many years, I was not taking care of myself. I was neglecting my mental health and my well-being.”

Castro agrees with Ladd, adding that soft saving can be a great financial move as long as it is done responsibly.

“It's really about finding what prosperity means to you,” she explains. “It’s more about just managing the money in a simple way to reach what is most important to you. And I think that's really, really key because everybody's life goals are going to look different.”

Source: 1


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