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In the final part of our 5-part series, Jayla is chatting with Southern Bancorp CEO, Darrin Williams about longer term wealth building goals as you look forward to the future and the potential for retiring without stress. It may seem like retirement is a long way off but time has a way of accelerating without you realizing it.

Darrin shares his experience and insights on two important parts of your long-term financial wealth strategies – home ownership and saving for retirement.

Homeownership

Remember when people used to think millennials would never buy homes? Well, surprise! Millennial home buyers have passed baby boomers and Gen Xers for the seventh year in a row.

Most of us don’t pay cash for our first home. In fact, 97% of millennials buy with a mortgage. That’s why it’s important to have a strong down payment—not only to lower your interest rate, but also to help you pay off your mortgage even faster.

If you’re struggling to save for the down payment, you’re not alone. Almost a fourth of millennial home buyers couldn’t do it by themselves and accepted a money gift from a friend or relative. And it’s no wonder why: It now takes an average of 14 years to save a 20% down payment!

That’s why, if you’re still saving, be patient and stay the course. Keep saving! Start with a clear plan. Know how much house you can afford. After you have a goal in place, it will take less time than you think.

Saving for retirement

A full 45% of millennials have a retirement savings account, such as a 401(k) or IRA, and 33% are actively contributing to it, according to the survey.

Millennials — roughly defined as those born between 1980 and 1999 — have a lot going for them. They’re quick on the draw with technology, generally display more entrepreneurial drive than previous generations, and have an “intense curiosity” and mission to succeed, said Sophia Bera, a Millennial and founder of Gen Y Planning. “I actually see more opportunities than challenges,” she added.