Recently, I’ve been conducting research for a Real Estate project in regards to the behaviors, buying habits & personality traits of millennials. As a millennial myself, (as painful as that is to admit at times), I wanted to see how I “measured up” and if I was ahead of, behind or right on track with the rest of my age group. I happen to fall right on the cusp of a Millennial/Gen Y. Some articles/people will say they’re one in the same, while others will define clear cut differences between the two generations.
I’ve read millennials are collectively carrying over $1 trillion in student debt, while 48% of millennials aren’t working in jobs or careers in which they have their degree. 88% prefer a collaborative work environment, and 64% of Millennials would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love versus making $100,000 a year at a job they don’t like. (source)
Another staggering statistic is that 84% of millennials say that helping to make a positive difference in the world is more important than professional recognition. So for all the nay-sayers out there, spewing opinions about millennials being “self-centered” or “selfish” – that little tid-bit of information is for you! (source)
So ultimately what’s the point of this blog? I started writing it for various reasons & now realize as I’m typing that it’s simply an opinion piece – me trying to understand how millennials have gotten such a bad rap – heck, even I was guilty of those thoughts. Does everyone really think we’re all a group of entitled, lazy, non-saving, irresponsible individuals? I needed to research for myself what the struggles are of many millennials and what the future holds for us.
Well, I did the research (specifically Real Estate related) and read every article from “how 80% of Millennials would like to purchase a home but only 72% can actually afford it” to “Some millennial couples are making a combined $200K+ per year and are purchasing their first home AND investment properties.” That’s a pretty broad spectrum!
I wondered; how much should I have saved for an emergency? For retirement? For a down payment on a home? In what should I be investing? I’m not going to lie, it all seems frightening & discouraging most of the time but on the flipside, I think about how far I’ve come on my own and how I’ve always figured it out, moved on and become a stronger person for dealing with those constant voices. Here are some of the answers;
- How much should I have saved for an emergency? 3 – 6x your monthly expenses (source)
- How much should I have saved for retirement by the time we’re 40? 3x your salary (source)
- How much should I save for a down payment? 20% (source)
- In what should I be investing? 401K, Roth IRA, Volatile Investments/Stocks (source)
Ultimately, I’m glad I looked into this particular topic since the word “Millennial” is so commonly associated with negativity. We’re all in this crazy cycle we call life together and when everyone has a better understanding of the struggles & nuances of each generation, it makes our world a better place. Each of us are dealing with decisions we’ve made in the past, staying afloat while planning for the future and figuring it all out. It’s easier to have a positive outlook when we’re not having to combat issues and defend ourselves for circumstances out of our control.
The next time you’re involved in a conversation and find yourself scoffing at a millennial comment, or agreeing with a misinformed nay-sayer, remember that we’re just like you. We’re intelligent and educated, hard working, we want freedom and flexibility within reason and the opportunity to build a life by design. We want to buy homes and save money, we want to start families and have pets, travel the world and live lives of quality and abundance.
Be happy for and learn from those who are “ahead” of you, help those who are “behind” you and maintain a positive outlook throughout your journey to always live a life fulfilled.
Written by Kelly Vescio
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