Are the Millennials screwed because the Baby Boomers are screwed?
Sort of in the same vein as my earlier post in August: Outsourcing and how it affects the job market, I came across an interesting article: Are the Millennials the Screwed Generation?
The average student, according to Forbes, already carries $12,700 in credit-card and other kinds of debt.
Student loans have grown consistently over the last few decades to an average of $27,000 each.
Nationwide in the U.S., tuition debt is close to $1 trillion.
As a Millennial, I did graduate with $60,000 in student loans, but I was able to pay them off in 18 months.
Partly by luck, circumstance and hard work, I am in a good position, but I know many of my fellow Millennials are not.
But is it really a direct result of the Boomer Generation (our parents) “screwing” our chances?
Or is it just that we were brought up to be unrealistic about what we’d earn and how our lives would turn out?
I see how some of my friends in college were in some sort of bubble where everything seemed to work out for them because their parents coddled them.
If they were stressed little brats and taking it out on people like me who were working full-time jobs, their parents swooped in and said: Oh she’s stressed. I’m taking her to NYC next week to shop to help her calm down before school starts.
The look I gave her mother…… you don’t even know.
Maybe we’re also horribly unrealistic about our job prospects and earning potential.
There can only be so many lawyers required in the world.
Once supply overtakes demand, salaries will drop. It’s basic Economics 101!
On the Baby Boomer side of things, if you take a look at Financial Uproar’s post earlier this month about incomes being a fantasy, you read this:
I’d like to gross $200,000/yr and work 30hr work weeks.
I’d probably like to work around 20 to 30 hours a week. Income would be tougher for me to determine at this point but ideally my minimum would probably end up at least 100,000.
My magic number at this point in my life is $150k… I would like a 20 – 30 hour week.
My ideal income would be $300k combined… 20 hours a week would be ideal.
I think $200,000 sounds like a good number for me to shoot for, but I think I would like to work 4 hard (normal) hours (per day).
…and think: it’s hard to even earn $100,000 in active income, and the median salary for Americans is $50,000 a year.
Now they’re not necessarily ALL Baby Boomers, some might be Millennials, but…..do these people have a magical plan?
Have they crunched the reality of those kinds of numbers? Doubtful.
What do I have to back all of this up?
(One commenter brought this up as a great point that no one can’t say this definitively because people DO accomplish the above.
I don’t dispute that, but I am disputing that the majority of Americans could make it, no matter how hard they dream, and sadly, no matter how hard they work.)
Well here’s what I have:
- 50% of Baby Boomers feel like they can’t retire
- 46% of all Americans die with less than $10,000 in assets
Those are not shy percentages.
Sure, the ones thinking about making more money will retire eventually and have more than $10,000 in assets…. but will they achieve those numbers above?
I’d love to hear a foolproof, luck-free, connections-free method that can work for every American who will earn $200,000 a year working 4 hours a day, because I WILL THROW MONEY AT YOU to buy this plan!!!!
(Okay, not really. I’m going about my own goals, my own way.)
It’s nice to have dreams and goals, but it’s also nice to know that they’re realistic and achievable.
Perhaps TV and the media talking about those less-than-1-%-outliers (any millionaire under the age of 30, really), is warping our sense of reality and what is possible with the amount of work and sacrifice most people are willing to put in.
Not to mention luck and circumstance.