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Old 10-16-2014, 07:08 PM   #21
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As someone who is a millennial and starting out in the work force I feel like I could weigh in on this. I think a lot of people this generation just don't have the corporate ambition of generations in the past and that's not a bad thing. Whereas before you HAD to work until 65 to get a company pension and going home ment maybe listening to the radio and eating the same simple meals over and over, people have choices now.

How long have IRAs and 401ks/403bs been around? The internet, netflix, craft beer, etc...? People don't live in a slum apartment with nothing to do all day like in the past (obviously not TOTALLY true but just hear me out) If I want to live in the city and work just enough for rent, netflix, and dining once a week I can do that and be happy. In the past people spent good money to watch cartoons in a movie theatre, now I have 1000s of shows and movies at my beck and call for an hour of minimum wage each month. Most apartments I've been in have at least tolerable conditions and location matters more than ever. For those who want to earn big money it's easier to do so now, now my money is separate from my employer and not led hostage via a pension until I'm old. We have mutual funds, index funds, online trading platforms.... I can build my own retirement or income streams to fund the life I want instead of the traditional life in the past.

I don't think millenials are any lazier than enervation of the past, I think they just have more opportunities to create the life they want to have, and the ability to have comforts is cheaper than ever. Sure there's slackers in our generation like every other one, but nowadays there's a new story everyday focusing on that. Did the news report everyday that there were lazy boomers who didn't want to work 6 days a week? This generation has seen what people who buy material possessions can wind up with in a bad economy, their solution may be to just have fewer things to start with and live an easier life as they see fit.
I think many millenials have less disposable income than in the past. Back when I graduated college (way back in 1999), internet access and cable and phone cost about $80/month. There was no cell phone bill. I was happy drinking beer that cost $12/case rather than $12/22oz bottle. It's interesting to see what young folks these days spend their money on... $80+ cell phone plans are a must. A netflix subscription and internet still costs about the same as what I paid right out of college for TV/Phone/Internet, and I think if you suggested to some that they reduce these bills, they'd look at you like you have a horn...
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:13 PM   #22
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No, you're not. It is starting to look to me like the millennials as a group are very much aware that they need to save/invest from a very early start if they are to have even a prayer of anything approaching a decent retirement.
A lot of them are learning from the mistakes of their parents. I graduated in 1999 and started funding my IRA and TSP at age 22. It was about 1/10th of what I save each year today, but I started. Why? Because even though I was born in 1977, I knew my parents didn't have any savings started until I was in college on scholarship, and I knew they were going to work forever. Both worked well into their 70s, and Mom's still going... Not for me, thanks.

I think this label of millenials is kind of silly, but it happens. I don't see much difference between "them" and whatever generation I am. There are industrious, focused individuals and there are those who are more concerned with updating their Facebook photo. Same stuff, different day.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:20 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Greencheese View Post
As someone who is a millennial and starting out in the work force I feel like I could weigh in on this. I think a lot of people this generation just don't have the corporate ambition of generations in the past and that's not a bad thing. Whereas before you HAD to work until 65 to get a company pension and going home ment maybe listening to the radio and eating the same simple meals over and over, people have choices now.

How long have IRAs and 401ks/403bs been around? The internet, netflix, craft beer, etc...? People don't live in a slum apartment with nothing to do all day like in the past (obviously not TOTALLY true but just hear me out) If I want to live in the city and work just enough for rent, netflix, and dining once a week I can do that and be happy. In the past people spent good money to watch cartoons in a movie theatre, now I have 1000s of shows and movies at my beck and call for an hour of minimum wage each month. Most apartments I've been in have at least tolerable conditions and location matters more than ever. For those who want to earn big money it's easier to do so now, now my money is separate from my employer and not led hostage via a pension until I'm old. We have mutual funds, index funds, online trading platforms.... I can build my own retirement or income streams to fund the life I want instead of the traditional life in the past.

I don't think millenials are any lazier than enervation of the past, I think they just have more opportunities to create the life they want to have, and the ability to have comforts is cheaper than ever. Sure there's slackers in our generation like every other one, but nowadays there's a new story everyday focusing on that. Did the news report everyday that there were lazy boomers who didn't want to work 6 days a week? This generation has seen what people who buy material possessions can wind up with in a bad economy, their solution may be to just have fewer things to start with and live an easier life as they see fit.

I agree. I am at the tail end of the Gen-X generation and share many of the Millennials' views. I think that this is a generation of entrepreneurs who do not yearn for a traditional career at Megacorp. Frankly, Megacorp has very little to offer to this generation. No pension, no job security, an overbearing hierarchy, fewer and fewer benefits, etc... I admire the Millenials' ability to think outside the box and use technology to their advantage. I learned the other day that many youngsters make seriously large incomes on Youtube for example.
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:31 PM   #24
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I agree. I am at the tail end of the Gen-X generation and share many of the Millennials' views. I think that this is a generation of entrepreneurs who do not yearn for a traditional career at Megacorp. Frankly, Megacorp has very little to offer to this generation. No pension, no job security, an overbearing hierarchy, fewer and fewer benefits, etc... I admire the Millenials' ability to think outside the box and use technology to their advantage. I learned the other day that many youngsters make seriously large incomes on Youtube for example.
I agree. And let's not forget that this is the generation that will be looked back on for advancing many, many social causes. I'm personally very impressed by this generation.
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Old 10-16-2014, 09:34 PM   #25
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I hate generational labels, but society as a whole seems to love them.

What you see going on with the unwashed, youthful masses is simply a reaction to a sea change in employment and compensation practices. I would submit that those under 30 do not have a monopoly on it either. There are a lot of "real" adults doing the contract/entrepreneurial/non-career thing for the same reasons the younger people are doing it: corporate employers no longer offer any loyalty and they get none in return. We are moving increasingly toward a mercenary labor market. Obamacare accelerates that trend as did the great recession. I don't think this is a problem; in fact it appears to me that this makes employees act more like rational economic actors rather than fools who still hang on due to misguided ideas about loyalty, career-long employment, etc.

When the millenials actually manage to start reproducing at rates that will at least replace their own numbers I will regard them collectively as something more than overgrown, self-indulgent children.
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Old 10-16-2014, 10:35 PM   #26
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I am a boomer but I think people are wising up about the American Dream. There are the things advertising says will make us happy and then there are the things happiness studies show really make people happy. Interestingly there is a lot less overlap than I would have thought. After a certain amount of money to it just is better for health and happiness not to work so much. Social connections are one happiness factor and they are hard to form when you are working 70 hour weeks. Good health is another happiness factor, and it is harder to stay healthy when you sit on your rear all day inside an office building and go home when it is dark outside.

When I first started working employees usually only got laid off if either they screwed up or the company was in financial trouble. But the last decade or so has shown employees being worked to death, sometimes literally, getting great reviews and bonuses and still getting laid off at any time just so the CEO can make $15M a year instead of $13M. It is not a motivating situation. If the reward for working hard and getting a project wrapped up is to to get outsourced at the end why bother to work hard?
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Millennials and Work.
Old 10-16-2014, 11:26 PM   #27
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Millennials and Work.

Alas many corporations have taught their employees that hard work is not worth the sacrifice. Having watched their elders get screwed blued and tattooed despite all their best efforts at being a loyal employee, the young folks have learned the lesson. I don't mean to be cynical, but I have seen so many people get tossed in the waste bin just because the big boys and girls messed up.

Years ago my father told me that while I may be employed by somebody else, I should always be working for myself. He was right.
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Old 10-16-2014, 11:44 PM   #28
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My husband worked for a company where they laid everyone in the department off to move to a cheaper state. Everyone got laid off and some chose to move and reapply and earn 2/3 their old salaries, no paid relocation and in California that meant giving up their Prop 13 tax base. Some did move and then the company rewarded those loyal employee who relocated their homes, spouses and school age kids for them by laying them off again and moving their jobs overseas not too long afterwards, leaving them unemployed in a city with fewer job opportunities.

At many megacorps the employees are just nameless, faceless FTEs, as one of my former bosses referred to the people in her department (fulltime equivalent units).
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:17 AM   #29
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When I started working it was expected that one would have, at most, two or three jobs before settling down in one place for a career where one would stay until retirement. That's not a very good plan now! Yesterday's "unstable job hopper" is the norm and practically a requirement.
Note that there's a subtle side-effect of this kind of "career lifestyle." I'm 39, and am currently with my 4th employer. Out of university (circa 1999), I joined a high-tech megacorp that fell victim to the dot-com bust. I then went to a much smaller startup, which eventually failed, and I went to another relatively small (<50 employees) company. I'm now with the government.

Yes, such work histories are more the "norm" now, and resumes featuring such hop-scotching are not regarded with nearly as much disdain as in the past. However, some work benefits are still based on years of service, rather than years of experience. Specifically, I only have 3 weeks of vacation. I've been "stuck" at 3 weeks of vacation for over a decade, and I'm looking at at least 5 more years before I get that 4th week (I started my current position with the government relatively recently). I doubt I'll ever make it up to that mythical 5th week of vacation.

Of course, this has benefits to employers, as they're shelling out fewer vacation days to their workforce, and get the benefit of increased productivity. On the other hand, workers have less time-off, and concordantly, less time to SPEND their money. Honestly, I'm not sure I'd know what to do with 5 weeks of vacation. I'd probably travel more, which would cost me more money and slow my progress towards retirement.

Some interesting social consequences to the trend toward frequent job changes.
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Old 10-17-2014, 07:30 AM   #30
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I'm a baby boomer but have come around to a way of thinking that is similar to the Millennial way of thinking, and so have many of my contemporaries. My co-worker Bill said it really well yesterday: "Work is what we do so we can (afford to) spend quality time with family." I now firmly believe that people are what matters, and work, accomplishment, revenue growth, etc., exist to facilitate personal connections at some level. I got here by realizing what was important to me. Maybe many Millennials got there as a reaction to a measure of futility they perceive in the other prospect. Doesn't matter. It is what it is.
+1 but I see it more as a return to origins. In the late 60s and early 70s I and many of my contemporaries echoed these same sentiments. Then we had kids and transformed into dedicated hard workers for 30+ years, always with a bit of irony and rebel attitude towards both our own conformity and our organizations' rigidity. Now that we are ERd and can afford it we feel fully returned to those earlier attitudes. I am reading Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, about "new" attitudes to work and management and, while some of them are quite innovative, the underlying attitudes and efforts are not far off from things we tried to do in decades past.
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:41 AM   #31
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I think that this site is about financial independence and what it takes to get and keep it. financial independence is about the ability to spend your time and life as you see fit, not how some one else says you should. whether it be more time with family or other pursuits , it is still your time once you have the means to do it.
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:49 AM   #32
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I think that this site is about financial independence and what it takes to get and keep it. financial independence is about the ability to spend your time and life as you see fit, not how some one else says you should. whether it be more time with family or other pursuits , it is still your time once you have the means to do it.
Generation to generation, the FIRE philosophy hasn't changed. Money = Freedom. While many recognize this simple truth, few seem to have the discipline to implement it. The lures of "shiny things" and instant gratification are far too strong for most people.
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Old 10-17-2014, 08:58 AM   #33
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Years ago my father told me that while I may be employed by somebody else, I should always be working for myself. He was right.
Somewhere along the line I picked up the following phrase:
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Get while the gettin's good because it might not be good forever...
It might have had something to do with my upbringing during the 70s recession.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:05 AM   #34
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I thought I was a member of the Greatest Generation, because I was born in the mid 1930's.
When I found this website, that specifies the parameters of the different "generations"...

Here Is When Each Generation Begins and Ends, According to Facts - The Atlantic

I was disappointed to find out that my generation is not defined, since I was too young to fight in WWII.

Words of disappointment from a member of the Lost Generation.

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Your official demarcation of generational boundaries
We identified six different generations, and labeled their eras.

Greatest Generation. These are the people that fought and died in World War II for our freedom, which we appreciate. But it's a little over-the-top as far as names go, isn't it? Tom Brokaw made the name up and of course everyone loved it. What, you're going to argue with your grandfather that he isn't in the greatest generation? The generation ended when the war ended.

Baby Boomers. This is the agreed-upon generation that falls within DiPrete's punctuated timeframe. It began when the Greatest Generation got home and started having sex with everyone; it ended when having sex with everyone was made easier with The Pill.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:30 AM   #35
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Have you seen the new benefits that today's corporation are offering to this new group. No Pension, very expensive medical plan if available, very low wages, and you can forget about any reasonable increase. Today's corporations have started a new transformation that one day they will regret. In the old days, any time a new rule was created it was apply to everyone on a equal basis. I have gone through some new rules that do not apply to management but do apply to everyone below a certain grade. I do tell the new hires to learn as much as they can and jump ship when a new opportunity comes along. New dog learning new tricks!!!
Unless you are in the rarified luxury top.

Example from strategy consulting firm: 10% goes into pension fund, full medical coverage (including things like dental), 200k+ salaries after 5 years or so, increases in double digits and a generous bonus plan. Sponsored MBA is also par for the course.

Thus millenial behaviour: either go for the top in a few short years and put in the hours, or putter along the bottom milking the system. Or better yet, don't go to megacorp. Craft your own way for about the same pay and more freedom.
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Old 10-17-2014, 09:38 AM   #36
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I thought I was a member of the Greatest Generation, because I was born in the mid 1930's.
When I found this website, that specifies the parameters of the different "generations"...

Here Is When Each Generation Begins and Ends, According to Facts - The Atlantic

I was disappointed to find out that my generation is not defined, since I was too young to fight in WWII.

Words of disappointment from a member of the Lost Generation.
You are the "Silent Generation" according to Wikipedia.

Generation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:01 AM   #37
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Generation to generation, the FIRE philosophy hasn't changed. Money = Freedom. While many recognize this simple truth, few seem to have the discipline to implement it. The lures of "shiny things" and instant gratification are far too strong for most people.
Well, that's a bit of what my post asks: The Millennials don't seem to have much money but have a lot more freedom. They seem to have a different set of values of what makes them happy and seem willing to accept more freedom at the expense of having to work too hard for that money.

As one young poster mentioned so well, a lot of things that they value are available for very low cost to them that we didn't have (or value).
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Old 10-17-2014, 10:15 AM   #38
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I think there is an innate bias to think one's generation is better than all subsequent generations, especially when comparing to the most current one.
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:05 PM   #39
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I think there is an innate bias to think one's generation is better than all subsequent generations, especially when comparing to the most current one.
Agreed... but kids these days need to stay off my lawn.
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:17 PM   #40
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When the millenials actually manage to start reproducing at rates that will at least replace their own numbers I will regard them collectively as something more than overgrown, self-indulgent children.
What makes you say that people who deliberately choose not to reproduce are "self-indulgent?"
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