May 212014
 

Talking heads often say that young adults are struggling more than older generations in this economy. But a recent BMO report suggests that millennials are doing just fine compared to what their parents went through at their age. The study compares the financial situations of young adults today (age 25 – 34) to that of young adults from 3 decades ago.

Millennials looking for jobs today have a 93% chance of finding one (not bad,) compared to only 90% for those in the mid-1980s due to a higher unemployment rate back then. So don’t feel discouraged if you can’t find a job right away 🙂 Just remember that your parents probably had it worse.

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The median income of people between 25 to 34 rose from $33,900 in 1984-1988, to $34,700 in 2011, after adjusting for inflation. This means we can buy 2% more goods and services than our parents could in 1984 haha 🙂 #feelingrich. Median net worth of households of generation Y was $52,000 in 2012, almost double that in 1984 ($28,752 in 2012 constant dollars.) Wow.

I understand where the older generation comes from when they say “Kids these days. They don’t know how good they have it.” The recession they experienced in the 80s must have been pretty bad 🙁 But then again, maybe it’s not a fair comparison because the world was such a different place back then 😕

While many baby boomers prospered financially in the past thirty years, one could say that their children are starting new careers and families on an equal, if not firmer, footing in most regions.”
~Sal Guatieri, BMO economist.

As a millennial I realize that on average we do have more debts today than our parents did 30 years ago. And the costs of education and real estate have outpaced inflation so certain things are definitely less affordable to us. But we have better job opportunities than our parents did. We are better educated. We have higher incomes and more purchasing power. We have almost twice as much wealth (net worth) than they had. We even have access to new innovations like the internet and smart phones, which make our lives so much easier. So I’m just glad things aren’t worse for us right now 😀

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Random Useless Fact: Sometimes evolution can backfire.

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Jul 192012
 

Recently read and was inspired by this article to reflect on how people have changed throughout the generations, and really put things into perspective. We all know about generation Y (hey that’s me), generation X, and the Baby Boomer generation (such as my parents.) It’s no secret that we don’t always get along with each other. Boomers sometimes talk about how hard their lives are because their pensions might be cut, and they complain about how spoiled and lazy the younger generation has become today. On the other hand, people in their mid twenties are having  a difficult time getting any job and complain that their parents have spent the country into debt and now the younger generation have to pick up the bill, with interest.

Well there’s one other generation I haven’t mentioned yet. We don’t talk about them much, but I think every other generation can learn a lot from them. Of course I’m talking about the Greatest Generation (people who are 88 to 111 years old today.) These people were brought up during the great depression  (O_o) when unemployment was over 20% in America. Before things could get better for them WWII began and they had to go to war. And when the war finally ended they came back home and worked their butts off to make the United States into the world’s largest economy today. They were humble, hard working individuals, who understood the value of making a better life for them and their families. They sacrificed and worked harder than most people do today, without complaints. They really are the Greatest 🙂

image source: markmeynell.wordpress.com

Today’s generations (X, Y, even Z) are often saturated with whiners and excuse makers. But the Greatest Generation took responsibility into their own hands. They embraced new challenges, and simply got things done. Back then people didn’t need to buy a new car to feel good about themselves. And when they bought something they would use it until it broke. Then they would fix it themselves and continue to use it rather than buy a new one. They treated relationships the same way. That’s why divorce was uncommon. If they had marital problems they would just work it out, instead of playing mind games on each other, and then breaking up.

I have much respect for these people and thank them for all their contributions to society.  I try to incorporate much of their attitudes towards material wealth, work ethic, and frugality into my own life. Our problems today are nothing compared to their’s 50 years ago. If you think your pension is in jeopardy then do something about it.  I’m investing in large-cap, dividend stocks today to ultimately create my own pension plan, because the Greatest Generation didn’t rely on other people for their future financial security, so neither will I \(^_^)/

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Random Useless Fact: I took an online IQ test for fun recently. Got 130. I think that’s normal for Canadians.

IQ Test