hands holding a smartphone and texting A trending topic on Twitter recently showed theexasperation and loss of hope (but also their sense of humor) ofmillennials on the subject of retirement. (Photo:Shutterstock)

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Millennials' worldview includes enough obstacles to a blissfulretirement that plenty of them have plans for that future periodthat sound more like a dystopic novel.

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So says MarketWatch, which has plenty of Twittercitations to back up its evaluation of the dim view of the futurethat colors the millennial mind.

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Why are they so gloomy about something so far away? Simple: highstudent debt, low salaries, high rents and a high cost of livingall add up to a challenging financial situation—and that's assumingno financial or health emergencies intervene to make a badsituation worse.

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Health care was in fact a major factor in millennials' gloomyview of their aged futures (assuming they make it that far,according to the most pessimistic among them). Among the tweetsmentioned by MarketWatch, one Twitter user planned never to retirebecause she'd still be dependent on an employer's health insuranceto be able to afford insulin to "stay alive."

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Another hypothesized about moving to another country to be ableto have universal health care. And another didn't look beyond theage of 40, figuring that medical complications from foregoingexpensive treatments would put paid to their existence.

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Others approached the issue with black humor, like the Twitteruser who said they'd go to Mars after the collapse of Earth'senvironment—where humans would proceed to trash yet another planet.Or the one who plans to push offspring to become millionaires, thenlive off their wealth.

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Permanent residence in parents' basements offered onealternative for living quarters, while another threatened to useGoFundMe to finance retirement.

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Retirement is a sore subject for millennials, as it is for manyof their elders. The report suggested some (very small) stepspeople might be able to take if they can't afford to save forretirement on a regular basis. Figuring out a way to contributeenough to an employer's retirement plan to at least get theemployer match was probably the biggest, although otherpossibilities include a thorough review of bank and credit cardstatements to eliminate unnecessary subscriptions or "happy hoursthat don't actually bring joy."

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.