401K. Roth IRA. Contribution rates. Fund allocations. Investment strategies. Emergency funds. All phrases Millennials should be comfortable with. But are they?

According to a study* by CMB and PNC Investments, two-thirds of Millennials say their parents encouraged them to save, but only half say their families modeled good money management – even fewer say they were shown how to grow wealth (beyond having a job). I’m one of the lucky members of this generation as my parents provided me with a solid financial example as well as a quality financial education. But, as a Millennial, I can also attest to the fact that it can be difficult to plan for retirement – especially when balancing a mortgage, student loans and the numerous bills that come along with parenthood.  

Millennials, Gen Z and Baby Boomers alike are worried about having enough savings for retirement and needing help with budgeting. A recent poll completed by MaritzCX shows that more than 60 percent of Millennials and Gen X worry they will need to continue working to pay bills rather than retire full time. The generational study encompassed 1,500 respondents comprised of 600 non-full-time student Millennials living on their own, 300 Gen Xers, 300 Baby Boomers and 300 in the Silent Generation.  

“As this generation [Millennials] matures and acquires more wealth, it’s absolutely critical that they devise a comprehensive financial plan, which consists of an emergency fund, a mix of savings and investing and an intimate understanding of their future goals,” says Rich Ramassini, senior vice president and director of strategy and sales performance at PNC Investments.

A few months after graduating from college I began working with a financial planner. While the initial experience was great, she simply wasn’t a convenient long-term resource, so I stopped using her services and have worked more independently ever since, relying more on free f...