Millennials, engage! It's the reason you keep losing to baby boomers.
- Millennials keep waiting for technology to fix their problems, but they can improve their quality of life now through voting and civic engagement.
- Baby boomers participate in politics and turn up to vote at much higher rates, so their priorities dominate the political system. (The median member of Congress is 59 years old. That's bad.)
- Removing roadblocks to voting will help millennials realize their political power so they can vote for issues that affect them most, like climate change policy, raising wages for workers, and closing the wealth gap.
Baby boomers seem to have had an advantage in nearly every financial metric compared to millennials, according to a new study from the Federal Reserve.
- Millennials earn less, own fewer assets and have more debt than previous generations.
- The fact that millennials' spending habits differ from previous generations is best explained by lower earnings and less wealth, rather than changing tastes.
- Some millennials might be too optimistic about their ability to retire early — or on time.
The "lasting impression" of the Great Recession<p>One distinguishing factor of millennials' coming-of-age story was the recession of 2007, and the weak labor demand that followed. "Millennials appear to have paid a price for coming of age during the Great Recession," the researchers wrote, noting the recession's subsequent weak labor demand.</p><p>They added elsewhere: "The severity of the 2007 Global Financial Crisis and the recession that followed may have left a lasting impression on millennials, who were coming of age at that time, much like the Great Depression left a lasting impression on the Greatest Generation."</p><p>That lasting impression might manifest in "attitudes toward saving and spending" that could be "more permanent for millennials than for members of generations that were more established in their careers and lives at that time," the researchers wrote.</p><p>The study also notes that millennials have about the same levels of debt as Generation X, though more debt than Baby Boomers. However, millennials also have markedly fewer financial assets than Generation X, even though millennials do seem to be saving for retirement more than other generations did at the same ages, a change that likely "reflects, in part, the replacement over time of defined-benefit retirement pensions with defined-contribution retirement accounts."</p>
Do Millennials have realistic expectations about retirement?<p>It's hard to say for sure, but some data suggests that millennials might be a bit delusional about their future economic standing. A 2018 TD Ameritrade survey, for instance, showed that 53 percent of millennials expect to become millionaires, and they expect to retire, on average, by age 56. </p><p>That optimism, as I <a href="https://bigthink.com/stephen-johnson/53-of-millennials-expect-to-be-millionaires-but-data-suggest-thats-delusional" target="_self">wrote in July</a>, doesn't seem to reflect the reality forecast by data showing that social security won't be able to pay out full benefits by 2034, the group has a collective student loan debt of more than $1 trillion, and young people are now earning relatively less than previous generations — a difference that's likely explained, in part, by more participation, particularly among women, in the workforce. </p><p>Still, millennials don't need to worry too much, as long as they're willing to work hard, save and push back retirement by a few years, as Alicia H. Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, wrote in a <a href="https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2018/06/07/millennials-preparing-for-retirement-000670" target="_blank"><em>Politico </em>article</a> on millennial retirement.</p><blockquote>... My research shows that the vast majority of millennials will be fine if they work to age 70," Munnell wrote. "And although that might sound old, it's historically normal in another sense: Retiring at 70 leaves the ratio of retirement to working years the same as when Social Security was originally introduced.</blockquote>
A new Credit Suisse report shows 27% growth since 2008 in the world’s wealth, with a disproportionately large share going to the already wealthy.
Unless you're one of a fortunate handful of people, it may surprise you to learn that the world's economy has not only recovered from the global financial meltdown of 2008, but has grown 27% since then, to $280 trillion, according to a new report from Credit Suisse Research Institute. (All graphics in this article are by Credit Suisse, and all figures are presented as USD or percentages.)
Most marriages end in resentment. Why should longevity be the sole marker of a successful marriage?
In November 1891, the British sexologist Havelock Ellis married the writer and lesbian Edith Lees. He was 32 and a virgin. And since he was impotent, they never consummated their union. After their honeymoon, the two lived separately in what he called an open marriage. The union lasted until Lees’ death in 1916.
Democracy needs a new PR team. Polls about the way US millennials view democracy seem shocking, but analyzing their reasoning brings about an unsettling truth.