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Old 03-18-2016, 08:40 AM   #21
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Because the Baby Boomer Generation was born with low-consumption values, stayed committed to their marriages, handled credit so well and their Greatest Generation parents were thrilled with the Boomers' strong savings and investing habits and resulting low-reliance on Social Security in their retirement years. Whew, I'm sorry to be Gen X and to have missed that time of profoundly-good money management! :-)
Not that I want to encourage squabbling here on our multi-generational forum open and welcome to all, but may I at least offer a hearty

<SNORT> at this.
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:09 AM   #22
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:20 AM   #23
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Not that I want to encourage squabbling here on our multi-generational forum open and welcome to all, but may I at least offer a hearty

<SNORT> at this.
Me neither, just a tiny protest against the somewhat recurring shots I see here on the forums at the Millennials for some reason. I manage a bunch of them and am generally impressed with their capabilities. The OP is relevant to FIRE, I guess, but it landed as a bit unnecessarily judgmental and over-generalized to me. No big woop, though.
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:26 AM   #24
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I work with very smart young folks, who seem to be frugal too. They should not have too much trouble retiring, assuming the whole world doesn't implode between now and then.

And I wish I could be them. I'd like to see what's going to happen and be young enough to appreciate it.
Totally agree. The millennials that I know(daughter, son in law, and their friends) are generally intelligent, frugal, and hard working. My daughter and SIL are much better with money than I was at their age. Small sample for sure but I certainly don't subscribe to the idea that young people are all a bunch of slackers and spendthrifts. In all likelihood they are no better of worse than previous generations.
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:34 AM   #25
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Me neither, just a tiny protest against the somewhat recurring shots I see here on the forums at the Millennials for some reason. I manage a bunch of them and am generally impressed with their capabilities. The OP is relevant to FIRE, I guess, but it landed as a bit unnecessarily judgmental and over-generalized to me. No big woop, though.
generation gap - they generally have different values and priorities - unfortunately they are almost certainly in a DC-only world (unless they are in the public sector) and are faced with saving 20% a year in order to fund a decent retirement benefit, above and beyond any SS they might get

and once income hits a certain threshold they are hit by the 402g limit (currently 18K a year) and most employer sponsored DC plans don't match more than a few percent of pay


the purpose of the post wasn't to start an intergenerational attack, by any means, it was to point out that these kids have to start socking it away right now
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Old 03-18-2016, 09:54 AM   #26
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In one specific way, I'm glad I'm not a Baby Boomer.

There were plenty of Boomers who grew up planning to follow their father's example by getting a good job at a local plant; working at the same company for their entire life; and retiring at a reasonable age on an accrued pension.

Somewhere along the way, though, the rules of the game changed. And instead of getting the pension they were promised, many got forced early retirement.

Millennial's have no similar illusions that anyone will take care of them in their old age. And while that certainly sucks, it sucks less than the false promise many Boomers spent their lives working towards.
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:02 AM   #27
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I agree it's another broad brush generalization article. Just like the articles that try to say that no one can ever afford to retire in their 60's today... this one is full of suppositions.

Rents are higher... get a roommate or 10.
Student debt... consider getting a 2nd job to pay it down.
...

There will be some millenials that live within their means or even below their means... save... and retire well before 75. Just like there are some boomers who woke up at age 65 and realized they couldn't afford to stop working... so they keep going.


Which is really no different than when I graduated college. I'm a native new yorker. LOL back in the 70's my first apartment was a run down walk up that I shared with my sister and best friend above a strip joint. lol, we loved it. rent has always been high.

personally I wish I had a dollar for every one of these "doomsday" articles I read.
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:07 AM   #28
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Everywhere I go, middle-aged and older people are killing time on their devices too. I'm always the only one in the waiting room who actually reads the magazines. I think smartphone engrossment must be a human being thing, not just an age thing.

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M
And the comment about people being engrossed in their cellphones is worldwide. It's a worldwide phenomena.
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:13 AM   #29
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Everywhere I go, middle-aged and older people are killing time on their devices too. I'm always the only one in the waiting room who actually reads the magazines. I think smartphone engrossment must be a human being thing, not just an age thing.
+1

I always take my 3DS portable gaming console with me and play on it in the waiting rooms, with the sound muted. It's about the same size as a large cell phone. I'm pretty sure this is no more virtuous than playing on my cell phone, which I used to do before I had the 3DS. One of the wonderful things about living today is that we can actually have fun doing something we enjoy, even when waiting in a waiting room.

On the other hand, being of an older generation I feel like it would be rude to plug in my ear buds and listen to the games I am playing. If anyone starts talking to me, I am perfectly happy to talk and shut off my game. So maybe that's a difference (or maybe not).
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:17 AM   #30
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Everywhere I go, middle-aged and older people are killing time on their devices too. I'm always the only one in the waiting room who actually reads the magazines. I think smartphone engrossment must be a human being thing, not just an age thing.
Don't forget the rise of selfies (I'm not going to say what I thought that word meant when I heard it the first time). From a recent piece on Sunday Morning:

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We're obsessed with proving that we HAD experiences, rather than appreciating them as they occur. We cannot admire a breathtaking mountain without inserting ourselves into the scenery.
​Death by selfie - CBS News
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Old 03-18-2016, 10:28 AM   #31
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This is only andectodal cherry-picking, but here's the situation of a few millenials I know...

1) 22 year old, in college, getting his bachelor's degree, but I think he's on the 5-6 year plan (I don't think that many people do it in 4 years anymore). Lives on campus. Has a 2014 Civic that he bought new, is making payments on. Also has a part time office job, but not sure how much he makes. and I forget what he's in school for. I want to say some kind of work that would involve counseling kids? He'll have student debt when he graduates, most likely, but I'm not sure how much.

2) 24 year old, lives at home. Graduated high school, but hasn't gone to college. Parents are getting on him about it. Had a job as a cashier in DC, making $10.50 per hour, which is their minimum wage. Got laid off when the store closed. Just got hired after about 3 months out of work, again making $10.50. Has no car.

3) 30 year old, has an associates degree in Criminal justice or something related like that. Works for a bio-tech company. Makes about $35000 per year. Rents a room in a house, no car. Also has no student debt whatsover.

Just for comparison...when I was 22 years old, I got a job making $10/hr, and had another part time job that paid around $7. That was back in 1992, so it seemed like a lot of money at the time. I was driving a 1968 Dodge Dart, so I was saving money there by not having a car payment, and driving something that was cheap to repair. I was living with my grandmother, and lucked out in that my Dad paid for about half of my college tuition, and I was able to cover the rest.

When I was 24, I had a full-time job and a bachelor's degree. This was 1994. I was only making $10.50/hr, but had benefits. And the other job was up to around $7.50/hr. I was still driving the Dart. Later that year, I was able to buy an $84,000 condo. It was a struggle, and in retrospect I shouldn't have done it, but I survived...

By the time I was 30, in 2000, I was making about $35K per year. Same as my 30 year old buddy, but adjusting for inflation, that would be about $45K today. I was driving a new 2000 Intrepid that I was financing, but it was 0.9%, and had recently refinanced my condo to a cheaper rate. I had also paid down all the debt, roughly $30K, from a bad marriage/divorce that happened between that 24-30 age range. Oh, almost forgot, I also had a second job delivering pizzas. Once the $7.50-8/hr job wasn't enough to cover the mounting debts from that marriage/divorce, I replaced it with a job delivering pizzas, and averaged about $16/hr, after taxes. In 2000, I think it came to around $16,000 for that year. That was also the year I figured I was well off enough financially to give up the second job.

So, looking at me, personally, I was further along financially at 22, 24, and 30 than either of these three millenials are now. But, again, this is just cherry picking, as you can't base the whole generation on these three. There are plenty who are doing much, much better than these three, but also plenty who are doing a lot worse. Just as there are many people who are a lot better off than me, at my age, and many who are worse off.

As for retirement, I'm not so sure it's going to go up as much as people predict. Even though people are living longer, I'm noticing that my parents' generation doesn't seem any healthier at 65-75 than my grandparents' generation did when they got to that age. Well, except for that fact I did have one Granddad who died at 73. He was strong as could be up to 73, but then the doctor discovered lung cancer. They tried to operate, but saw it had spread to the lymph nodes and there was nothing they could do, but slap him back together. The surgery weakened him, and the cancer took off, and he was dead in about 5 months. If he hadn't had the surgery, he might have had a few more good years, but then they could have been followed by many bad ones. So, who knows?
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:21 AM   #32
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So, is sitting around and complaining about the youth of today a rite of passage for curmudgeons or soon-to-be oldsters? Or is it a early warning indicator of what kind of oldster one will become?
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:41 AM   #33
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Amazingly, we all get to choose whether we indulge in this complaining or not!

Remember, intergenerational irritations may always have been with us, but intergenerational strife is completely unproductive, and is just being fanned by those who have something to gain from it.

It's sort of like the way I was taught to view Satan: He's always around, always looking for ways to make us miserable, incite us to be jealous of each other and hopefully, to get into fights instead of getting down to business and building solid lives for ourselves. Same with the rabble-rousers consultants and media talking heads who try to get people to view themselves as some sort of "cohort" with a distinct set of grudges.

By the way, I have no issue with people trying to get employers or even the general public to "do something" (= give $$) about their oppressive student loans (to give one example that is often cited about the way things are different today). That's called activism, and it's part of the democratic process. What I do loathe and despise is the sanctimonious way some people go about it - the "We Wuz Robbed" way they have of expressing themselves. Just speak your demands, elect your representatives, and keep the intergenerational nonsense out of it.

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So, is sitting around and complaining about the youth of today a rite of passage for curmudgeons or soon-to-be oldsters? Or is it a early warning indicator of what kind of oldster one will become?
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Old 03-18-2016, 11:55 AM   #34
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By the way, I have no issue with people trying to get employers or even the general public to "do something" (= give $$) about their oppressive student loans (to give one example that is often cited about the way things are different today). That's called activism, and it's part of the democratic process.
that's the approach I'm taking with this article - it's an opportunity to reach out to this group and let them know they need to save...now
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Old 03-18-2016, 12:06 PM   #35
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There are under achievers in every generation. I don't think today's younger generation is any worse (or worse off) than any generation that recently preceded them.

Seems to me, if you think that the younger generation is just a bunch of lazy, entitled brats, your beef is with the generation that raised them to be that way.
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Old 03-18-2016, 12:09 PM   #36
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Good thoughts. The approach which seems to resonate with the bright sparks at work, is to mention the time value of money

I also support their efforts to get the employer to help subsidize the student loans. Never hurts to ask, I say.

I never bother mentioning (unless asked) How Bad We Had it In Our Day. It just doesn't resonate. For some reason, it's very hard for humans to imagine a time before they were born.

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that's the approach I'm taking with this article - it's an opportunity to reach out to this group and let them know they need to save...now
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Old 03-18-2016, 12:58 PM   #37
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My last semester of college in 1972, my tuition was $192.50 at a large state university. This generation's facing $20K minimum student loans, and those going to private universities can easily push $100k. I knew a physician who got his loans paid at 50 years old.

That one thing can cost them years and years from being able to ER.

And the comment about people being engrossed in their cellphones is worldwide. Norway will be shortly going to a cashless society. I noticed every young person there sits down in a restaurant with their friends, orders their food, pulls out their smartphones and peck away until their food comes not verbally communicating. It's a worldwide phenomena.

I know first hand how costs have risen. My boy is a freshman at a State public university in Ohio. We priced over a dozen state and private colleges this time last year. It is over $100k now for most state schools for tuition, room and board and fees. His choice was $120k over four years, but that likely will go higher before he is out. Private schools were $250k.

Fortunately he got scholarships to pay most of it.


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Old 03-18-2016, 01:13 PM   #38
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The only thing worse than a Financial Adviser is a Millennial.

Seriously, though, I don't understand the obsession with cell phones / smart phones. It's clearly an addiction, although I agree that it impacts both the young and the old. What are all these people doing? Is it Facebook? Is it YouTube? How many cute kitten videos can one person watch? Do you really need to know what all your friends and acquaintances ate for lunch?

I also don't understand the complaints about student debt. Sure, the extreme cases of $250K debt seem rather high, but people complain about average debt loads of $35K-$40K. I had $15K of student debt by the early 1980's. In real terms, that's pretty close to the average debt today. I didn't think $15K was excessive. Even if I had double or triple that, I wouldn't have felt overwhelmed. If this much money is "too much," than college is not worth its investment value and we as a society should not place so much emphasis on the need for young people to attend.

In my admittedly limited but still non-trivial experience, my observation is that there is a different work ethic - attitude really - between millennials and the broader population. Younger people seem much more "9-to-5'ish." Perhaps their productivity per hour is higher, but young people are less likely to work evenings/weekends. In addition, they are more likely to want to bounce around between jobs. It's a problem in my work area due to the long learning requirement. We don't want people to leave after the 2-3 years it takes to train them. When hiring, we seek people interested in long-term assignments.
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Old 03-18-2016, 01:13 PM   #39
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I never bother mentioning (unless asked) How Bad We Had it In Our Day. It just doesn't resonate. For some reason, it's very hard for humans to imagine a time before they were born.
My grandmother used to tell me stories about life in the Philippines during World War II (Japanese occupation, frequent air raids, food rations, etc). Sounds interesting but scary and boy am I glad I was born during a time of relative peace.
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Old 03-18-2016, 01:18 PM   #40
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I'm not making any generalizations about the various generations, but this is worrying. The risks of raising a risk-averse generation. The statistic, anyway, whether or not I agree with the reasons.

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Recently released statistics show that the percentage of adults under age 30 who own a business is the lowest in 30 years. Today, only 3.6 percent own a stake in a private company, compared with 6.1 percent in 2010. Even more troubling: This number was 10.6 percent in 1989.
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