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Old 04-21-2018, 07:11 PM   #61
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+1 for DD and some of my nephews. I think that some of that generation have seen how ill prepared that some of the baby boomers are not interested in that path and they have seen that those baby boomers who did save are enjoying the benefits of having saved and want that path.
I'm not buying the oh wo is me I can't do it in this day and age" story. Unemployment is at historic lows. Interest rates are historically low. Heck, today alone for kicks I umpired a double header and made $190 for about 4.5 hours of (i guess you call it) work. My neighbor owns a HVAC place. He has the hardest time getting young kids (18-22) to work hard. He starts them at $15/hour with zero experience. In an year they can easily be up to 20. If you can't be an engineer join the military. DS is an F/A-18 Avionics mech. The government is paying him to finish his degree. He has just shy of 120 credits. Should get selected for a comission next year. If wage growth was so awesome in the previous generation why aren't all of those folks FIRE? There always have been lazy people who can't figure out money and there always will be. If you literally gave every human on each 2 million dollars some would soon be broke. I personally know kids who's parents gave them all the advantages and they blew it. Failed in college. DUI's, drugs, pregnancies, etc... Failed relationships, bad car deals, misfired career's. I also know plenty of folks who were literally kicked out of the house on their 18th birthdays and 25 years later at financially independent.

YRMV Sorry for the rant.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:19 PM   #62
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Passing drug tests is just so tough!

But seriously, this is an issue. Yes, it is different. It is almost as if pill popping is more acceptable than tobacco smoking? Not saying either is good, but this is getting weird.
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Old 04-21-2018, 07:59 PM   #63
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Personally the mid-west minion crack didn't faze me but the white male thing did. Insert any other race or gender and see how it plays. That aside any inspiration for LBYM I see as a positive. My son is 20 and just barely missed making six figures last year, so I have a data point of one. He works hard and saves his money, so I encourage him not by telling him what to do but by telling him about my own good and bad decisions.
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:37 AM   #64
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Personally the mid-west minion crack didn't faze me but the white male thing did. Insert any other race or gender and see how it plays. That aside any inspiration for LBYM I see as a positive. My son is 20 and just barely missed making six figures last year, so I have a data point of one. He works hard and saves his money, so I encourage him not by telling him what to do but by telling him about my own good and bad decisions.
So we're up to 64 posts on this subject but first-hand reports of Millennials doing well seem to be leading those that aren't.

Are they all going to make 6 figures? No, but it does support my contention that in every generation there have been those who do well and those who don't despite a changing set of obstacles; doing so by a grabbing changing set of opportunities.

Student loans? Sure, a challenge nowadays. But if you took a $200K loan to study 'your passion' of South American Pre-Columbian art, it's not the same as a $200K loan to become a dentist, lawyer or other professional who would actually not be burdened by it.

Our grandparents were hit with the Great Depression (now, there was an obstacle to success); my granddad made a fortune from it (he was 27), his brother went broke. Life isn't fair.

The playing field isn't level and never was but I think boo-hoo-ing this generation on our part sells them short. These kids will find their own way.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:15 AM   #65
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Yes, lower prospects for sure, from what I see around here. Sure, you can get a job, but good luck trying to buy a home (or even rent a decent place), buy a car and get car insurance, and pay your other basic bills while earning $12-$14/hour. And I'm talking about young people with some education beyond high school.
Increasingly, we're seeing the truth about education coming out and being discussed in the media: There's no question that education increases one's chances of doing better financially, but as more and more Americans have sought and obtained higher education, the impact is undeniable: That has drastically devalued education, itself. If my parents had had university degrees, it would have practically guaranteed a life of comfort and luxury. My two university degrees have furnished me with a certain level of comfort and luxury, but remarkably not much beyond that my parents enjoyed, and I cannot really say it guaranteed me much. Regardless, by contrast, the Millennials in our family will pursue university degrees strictly as defense against a guarantee that without a university degree there is a very large probability of being unable to pay one's own way and secure one's future.

And the trap is even more insidious: While I paid off my university education loans within eight years of graduating, the Millennials in our family likely will be still paying their loans off when it is time for them to start taking loans out to send their own children to university.

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Personally, I'm very thankful that I graduated high school and went to college when I did (70s). It was competitive then, but if you studied hard and had some motivation, you could get a job that paid enough to at least pay your bills and maybe save a little bit for the future. I see that as being much more difficult these days for a lot of young people.
Definitely.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:36 AM   #66
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Yes, but I'm not sure how different this is from any other generation or era.
See above.

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There's always been young people making good money and others unable to get traction.
Correct, but what's different now is how the ratio has changed, and how much more costly "paying the dues" is now.

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Kids today are getting good jobs in fields that didn't even exist 5 years ago.
Whereas before those same young people would get getting great jobs in fields that have existed a long time. Not only has the excessive accomplishment of university degrees devalued them in the context of securing one's own future, but the structure of work, itself, has been drastically changed, with Taylor's scientific management dutifully applied so well that more and more of the work that needs to be done can now be done with lesser skills and more interchageable skills, yielding a situation where there is a far greater supply of workers available to choose from and a far lesser demand. Greater supply and lesser demand explains why wage growth has been completely flat since the mid-1970s, while productivity has continued to skyrocket. Recall that wage growth tracked with productivity for fifty years before that.

The media touts the company executives who claim that they cannot find enough qualified workers. Dig into those sensationalistic media stories and you find the truth: That they're talking about a very small subset of work, and more importantly, a subset of work that our society has failed to properly value. If such work paid enough and could be relied on to pay enough for a full career, that would naturally draw students to that discipline. We saw that happen for doctors in the 1960s and lawyers in the 1970s and software developers in the 1980s. I suspect that the commoditization of software development was part of what broke the natural system that previously fed industry with enough qualified workers.

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Sadly, "Life isn't fair" but it's sort of the way it's always been. Wanting a world where everyone gets a fair shot is admirable but not something I expect to see.
Look at the statistics and you see that our society was well on the way, even past the 1970s. This developed into a system, first outlined by Ian Mitroff in 1983, within which responsible companies would view their business from the standpoint of its impact on: (simplified)
  • investors/owners
  • customers
  • employees
  • society
The attacks on this system began by the mid-1990s, most notably by what seemed to be an evolution of Mitroff's stakeholder model, but in reality was an opposing model, the Balanced Scorecard, that sought to turn the non-investor/owner stakeholders (customers, employees, and society) into commodities that could each be turned to fostering the interests of investors/owners. The 2002-2003 recession was the "excuse" that allowed industry to completely break the systems that were improving things for most Americans, and switch us onto a track where quarterly profits to investors/owners were the only concern.

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I have no data except from personal experience...
And that's critical. Data is the only way to gain a reliably accurate understanding of the situation. Anecdotal experience can, indeed, very readily lead you to the incorrect conclusions about the situation. And in this case, there is a real danger that it could lead someone to fostering grievously unforgivable notions about other people, simply because they didn't have the luck that the anecdotal examples were privileged with.


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I'm not buying the oh wo is me I can't do it in this day and age" story.
That's why it is so important to expose you and others to the reality of this situation, even those of us doing so are not benefiting from doing so, and indeed we would benefit if what you believed was actually true.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:44 AM   #67
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>>> A Growing Cult of Millennials Is Obsessed With Early Retirement.

What percentage of the US population is this? Or asking a different question, is it statistically different from the current older generation?
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:48 AM   #68
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Most Baby Boomers were beyond school age by the late 1970s. More importantly, what small period of doom and gloom may have occurred, the reality is that the United States economy has treated Baby Boomers better than the Greatest Generation and the Silent Generation. The jury is still out for Gen X, but it seems clear that the Millennials are facing a markedly lower prospects than previous generations. Even the cautious IMF is expressing concern:

United States : 2017 Article IV Consultation-Press Release; Staff Report
Don't know that I agree: First house purchase in 1979 when FHA mortgage rates were 17%. Second house purchase in 1982 when rates were still above 12% (had to get owner financing on both homes-10%). Third house in 1984 at 7 percent adjustable rate, re-adjust annually. Fourth house purchase in 1986 for 9.9% fixed 30 year. Next three personal homes in the 6-7% range until early 2000.

Have had numerous (greatest gen) clients who purchased small homes for $30k in the early 70's and sold them 15-20 years later for over $100k, which is a great return (in the Midwest). (Over 30 years of investing in homes/rentals and I have NEVER had a return like that on real estate unless it was a severe fixxer-upper/repo type).

Many of us faced an oil embargo recession in the early 70's which hit us just out of college (gas TRIPLED in cost over 2-3 years!). We had to fight through another recession during the Carter presidency (25% unemployment where I lived), not to mention market meltdowns in 1987, 2000 and 2008. We were the first gen to experience the death of factory jobs, pensions and "jobs for life". How many Boomer 50 year olds lost jobs during the recent great recession? How many never recovered (due to age bias)?

Each generation has it's own trials and tribs. To say the Boomers have been treated better than other generations is to ignore history.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:55 AM   #69
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Don't know that I agree: First house purchase in 1979 when FHA mortgage rates were 17%.
My parents bought their four-bedroom house in a New York suburb for $18,000. Remember, my father didn't have a university degree. He set type - literally and physically pulling type from actual type cases and putting into the composing stick and then transferring it into the galley - not a high-tech vocation, yet it paid enough to afford a nice home for such a small amount. That house recently sold for $530,000. Explain to me, please, how my father could afford to purchase that home today.

See how useless anecdotal information is?

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Each generation has it's own trials and tribs. To say the Boomers have been treated better than other generations is to ignore history.
No, it isn't. It reflects knowledge of history, and responsible and fair analysis.
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Old 04-22-2018, 06:00 AM   #70
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it's just possible that "millennials" include a variety of types of people. Some who save, some who spend, some who work hard, some who don't.

Just like every other generation.

Except Boomers. Everyone knows all Boomers are identical.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:42 AM   #71
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It's useful and important to exchange different viewpoints and observations civilly. That's one reason this board is very good.

Millenials seeking ER in the US today have abundant opportunities, and a 4 year degree is very accessible if they choose that path. Few places on earth offer such opportunity.

If you are a median income US family and your kids have average intelligence and a small-moderate amount of discipline, they can have a free or very inexpensive 4 year degree at an average state school. How? Free federal Pell grants, university fee remissions, subsidized loans, summer work/work study < That's the financial aid package that ALL students from median (and slightly above median) income families w/o college savings received at the state U that I worked for. This is a large, respected state institution. Minority, low to moderate income students? ..... *free ride* at that same school.

For those who don't get all the freebees that students from median income families get, loans and student work can be had. Investing in your edu is good not bad! Loans for edu are good. Many will graduate and buy/lease new cars that cost more than they pay for their education.

68% of 2015 bachelor's degree recipients graduated with student loan debt. The average total student loan balance was $30,100 (Time) A new car costs more - $33k (USA Today). Surprised the media and politicians have twisted the truth and/or lied?

US Higher education is very accessible and affordable. Don't believe the mantra "it's so expensive. No one can afford it today...." HUH?
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Old 04-22-2018, 11:01 AM   #72
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it's just possible that "millennials" include a variety of types of people. Some who save, some who spend, some who work hard, some who don't. Just like every other generation.
Yes, definitely. The question is whether, "overall, on average, aggregated across the whole, in summary and in general," whether the additional amount of struggling being experienced is due to a mass psychosis of indolence versus due to systematic changes to American society and its economy, principally from globalization, scientific management, and automation. I suggest it is the latter.

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Few places on earth offer such opportunity.
To be fair, the United States remains among the privileged nations in that regard - very true. There are some other nations that have joined the United States in recent decades, though, and some have excelled past the United States. Also, at the same time, still other nations have done a great job of climbing out of the very lowest rungs in this regard.

And, again "to be fair", a lot of that is attributable to globalization, which has effectively been exporting of some measure of US standard of living to nations that the US used to, for lack of a better word, exploit. By grabbing a hold of what was, by right, theirs, many foreign nations have improved their situation, and mostly at the expense of American Millennials. So much of what we've been discussing above, in terms of how things are worse for Millennials than they were for previous generations, while true, are probably things for which if we take a broader view, a global view (within which globalization has no effect) rather than a national view, would not appear quite as negative.
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:18 PM   #73
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Listen to Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." to get an idea of what his audience felt about their chances back in the '70s. Specifically, when the Vietnam vet comes home and tries to get a job in his home town. That is the 1970's I remember.

Wow, 9.9% mortgage in 1986? As a single woman, with stainless credit and zero debt, buying my first house in 1985, the best rate I could get was 13%, and the bank wanted a co-signer to boot (they suggested "your father.") Even at the time, I strongly suspected sexism was at work. Haven't changed my mind about that.

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Don't know that I agree: First house purchase in 1979 when FHA mortgage rates were 17%. Second house purchase in 1982 when rates were still above 12% (had to get owner financing on both homes-10%). Third house in 1984 at 7 percent adjustable rate, re-adjust annually. Fourth house purchase in 1986 for 9.9% fixed 30 year. Next three personal homes in the 6-7% range until early 2000.

Have had numerous (greatest gen) clients who purchased small homes for $30k in the early 70's and sold them 15-20 years later for over $100k, which is a great return (in the Midwest). (Over 30 years of investing in homes/rentals and I have NEVER had a return like that on real estate unless it was a severe fixxer-upper/repo type).

Many of us faced an oil embargo recession in the early 70's which hit us just out of college (gas TRIPLED in cost over 2-3 years!). We had to fight through another recession during the Carter presidency (25% unemployment where I lived), not to mention market meltdowns in 1987, 2000 and 2008. We were the first gen to experience the death of factory jobs, pensions and "jobs for life". How many Boomer 50 year olds lost jobs during the recent great recession? How many never recovered (due to age bias)?

Each generation has it's own trials and tribs. To say the Boomers have been treated better than other generations is to ignore history.
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Old 04-22-2018, 04:50 PM   #74
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Listen to Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." to get an idea of what his audience felt about their chances back in the '70s. Specifically, when the Vietnam vet comes home and tries to get a job in his home town. That is the 1970's I remember.

Wow, 9.9% mortgage in 1986? As a single woman, with stainless credit and zero debt, buying my first house in 1985, the best rate I could get was 13%, and the bank wanted a co-signer to boot (they suggested "your father.") Even at the time, I strongly suspected sexism was at work. Haven't changed my mind about that.
The sexism part back then is very likely.

However, for rates, to be fair, they were dropping fast. '85 started around 13% and '86 ended near 9%. So it depends on the exact time. Source: 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages Since 1971 - Freddie Mac

I got a mortgage in '86 at 10%. I had to have mommy and daddy sign a big old form about a "gift" they gave me to help with the downpayment, even though I paid part of it back. Please don't tell the bank!
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:04 PM   #75
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Listen to Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." to get an idea of what his audience felt about their chances back in the '70s. Specifically, when the Vietnam vet comes home and tries to get a job in his home town. That is the 1970's I remember.

Wow, 9.9% mortgage in 1986? As a single woman, with stainless credit and zero debt, buying my first house in 1985, the best rate I could get was 13%, and the bank wanted a co-signer to boot (they suggested "your father.") Even at the time, I strongly suspected sexism was at work. Haven't changed my mind about that.
Don't feel bad. I just went back and checked our mortgages. DW and I got one in 1986 at 13% for a whopping 43k. Two prior mortgages with perfect payment history.

As far as the tales of woe regarding the current situation, I fail to see the current problem. Anybody taking out six figure student loans better have a plan. If you can't find a job, make one. Life is hard.

Working hard in itself is not a guarantee of success. I know a multimillionare drywaller in Naples Fl. He had a 10th grade education and was not entitled to anything. He simply was able to manage a growing business and hire people. I don't think he actually hung more than a couple hundred sheets himself. Work smarter not harder.

Use what you have. DS#2 and DD have made it by various paths of BS jobs and doing what others won't do. Production manager, Teacher, Cop and State employee. Most importantly LBYM. You're not going to find any millennial whining at our family gatherings this Summer.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:26 PM   #76
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Yep, that sounds about right.

I don't feel bad about it nowadays, since I LBYM'd and worked overtime like a wild woman for 5 years to afford that little house, and buying it all by myself made me feel like a true adult.

I wasn't in that house too long before Mr. A. proposed, and next thing I knew, my little house was a rental and I was a landlord. We used the rent proceeds to pay it down enough to get rid of the PMI, and refinanced it at 9.3%. Back then, landlording seemed easier.

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Don't feel bad. I just went back and checked our mortgages. DW and I got one in 1986 at 13% for a whopping 43k. Two prior mortgages with perfect payment history.

r.
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Old 04-22-2018, 05:45 PM   #77
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I remember refinancing our 16.9 mortgage to a 9.9% in the 80's Bought for $ 60K in 1982 sold it for $90K in 1993. We have been blessed our entire life.
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:29 PM   #78
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When DW and I got our first mortgage in '82 (15.75%) I asked if it was assumable. They all just laughed.
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Old 04-23-2018, 05:46 AM   #79
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Increasingly, we're seeing the truth about education coming out and being discussed in the media:

And the trap is even more insidious: While I paid off my university education loans within eight years of graduating, the Millennials in our family likely will be still paying their loans off when it is time for them to start taking loans out to send their own children to university.
There are so many ways to get an education WITHOUT huge student loan debt. 1). AP classes in HS that count for college credit=FREE 2). College classes on nights/weekends/online while still in HS=FREE(not always free) 3). Stay at home with parents first year or two/community college=usually cheaper than going off to large state/private school and living in dorms. 4). Going to community college part time while working full time until you figure it out. 5). Military-tons of options here. Active duty, reserves. All fields available. TV production, radio, all medical fields, legal fields, aviation and yes, infantry if you want that. Tuition assistance programs and of course the post 911 GI Bill. Transferable to dependents. 6). Graduate in three years instead of four. 7). Become a TA or dormitory rep. Usually reduced tuition and/or stipend. 8). Get a job at the college (security guard) then apply and get free/reduced tuition because you are an employee. 9). Be an athlete. Some schools even have bowling teams. Maybe not a full ride athletic scholarship but most schools give expanded financial aid packages to athletes-even in obscure sports.

It is a trap but so is everything else in life. Fast food is a trap, credit cards are a trap, loss leaders, some investments, new car's, payday loans, college text books, recurring subscriptions, time shares,

Student debt and high RE prices are and can be a problem. Every problem has a solution.
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Old 04-23-2018, 06:03 AM   #80
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The greatest problem with education is where it is already free. Something is wrong with K-12 education, and it isn't all about money either.
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