Ok, Fine. I'll Defend the Millennials.

I've heard it everywhere. On tv, the local radio team whispered amongst corporate executives. "They just don't work hard." "Their attitude sucks." "They don't know what it's like in the real world." Stop me if you know who I'm referring to.

Ok, Fine.  I'll Defend the Millennials.

Stop me if you know who I'm referring to. Below is my attempt at the World v. Millennials case outlining beyond a reasonable doubt that millennials are NOT GUILTY of the overwhelming cultural charge against them as being "just the absolute worst group of people." Admit it, you've heard it too, or worse- you think it.

Full disclosure, I'm a 1981 baby, so by Lindsey Pollak's definition of a millennial, I could be one. Given I sit on the fence of Gen X and Gen Y(Millennials), I don't affiliate with either. Here are 3 massive challenges Millennial's face that previous generations did not. You decide who has it easier.

1) Student Debt. As the Brookings Institute points out, in 1990 only 5% of borrowers graduated with more than $25k in debt, by 2014 it was 40% of borrowers. Back then it was rare to come out with $100k in debt, now 5% of borrowers owe at least that much. At 6% interest, it costs this "don't know what it's like in the real world" generation $850 a month to pay that off over 15 years. It's no wonder we/they can't afford to buy houses, and many people agree.

2) Compensation Changes. Every other generation got paid cash, easy enough. This "don't get it" generation, however, sometimes gets compensated by stock, options, ISO's, NQSO's, RSU's. It's alphabet soup, not cash. They are required to make many more complex decisions related to tax and timing that have serious long-term consequences to their financial well being. My co-worker wrote a very successful blog about it here.

3) Retirement. Pensions left the private sector years ago, so self-funding retirement visa-vi a 401k or 403b is common to many generations. I'm talking about social security because it's broke. So this "attitude sucks" generation is left paying for political mistakes made decades ago. Millennials cannot count on social security to be there for them in retirement in the same way every other generation has been able to. So when it's their turn to collect, Uncle Sam might have to give them I.O.U's. Not the typical acronym-based compensation they are used to, but I'm sure Millennials will persevere.

My defense could dive deeper but even Gen X's attention span isn't great these days, zing! Wealth management goals and challenges aren't generation biased, and neither are we over here at Claro Advisors- so get in touch with us.

 

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