"Millennial" is Not a Dirty Word


While the idea of older generations accusing their younger counterparts of being "less" than they were at the same age is nothing new; the blame and bad reputation that are placed on millennials can arguably said to be much worse than many prior generations. With news as instant as the click of a button, it seems that not a day goes by without seeing or hearing a new article using the term "millennial" in the headline. And just as repetitive as the idea of older generations blaming younger generations for the way this country may be headed; it's also just as cyclical for the younger generation to feel unfairly treated and ostracized. The cycle is vicious and ongoing. 

However, lately, those headlines calling out millennials tend to be calling for a sort of truce. In BBC recently, the facts surrounding American spending habits came to light and discussed the idea that, "decade after decade, young people have dodged the idea of planning for their old age." They compared results of a 2017 survey to a study in 1998; and the results of both were more based on the age of those surveyed, rather than the generation they were labeled.  

"Douglas Hershey, director of Retirement Planning Research Lab at Oklahoma State University says [saving] has more to do with young people in general than millennials. "I don't think there's much difference in how important millennials think retirement is, or their attitudes, from say Boomers when they were in their 20's."". There is something to be said about the shift in responsibility of where the money is being saved from, as well. In the past few decades, employers have taken more of a backseat when it comes to contributing to retirement funds. Many younger people are now finding themselves solely (or largely) responsible to plan their own futures and set aside money on their own. 

One of the biggest shifts millennials are navigating is the real estate world. Homes can be shopped online without a realtor or the need to check out MLS notebooks full of listings. Just like the never ending and instantaneously published news articles shaming millennials for their spending habits; in many cities, the transactional real estate world has increasingly sped up, but it's not leaving the millennial group behind. "Millennials are quickly ascending the world of real estate, taking out the greatest share of all new mortgages and buying up the most homes in lower price tiers--but they're taking on way more debt to do it, according to a new analysis by... realtor.com."  

Though, this goes hand in hand with the general shift in the job market. According to a 2014 report, 72% of millennials want to be their own boss someday. This shift in attitude towards the typical 9-5 office job many prior generations are accustomed goes hand in hand with giant leaps in the technological fields, the new start-up culture, and the delay in Boomer retirements and the trickle down effect of lack of open positions in middle management. With the world changing, millennials are demanding the job market changes, too. "Millennials want to work for an employer who gives them flexible opportunities to fit with their lifestyle," states Forbes opinion article from Rocco Baldassare, CEO of Zebra Advertisement.

So, with the same stigmas but a changing world can we really continue to blame our younger counterparts for everything? (The answer is, of course, no - but that won't stop people from tying.)