The uncertain future of the Millennials
Millennials (anyone born between 1982 and 2004) are the hardest hit by the financial crisis. More millennials live with their parents than with roommates. They are delaying partner-marrying and house-buying and kid-having for longer than any previous generation.
What is different about the world around us is profound. Salaries have stagnated and entire sectors have cratered. At the same time, the cost of every prerequisite of a secure existence—education, housing and health care—has inflated into the stratosphere. From job security to the social safety net, all the structures that insulate us from ruin are eroding. And the opportunities leading to a middle-class life—the ones that boomers lucked into—are being lifted out of our reach. Add it all up and it’s no surprise that we’re the first generation in modern history to end up poorer than our parents.
Recessions always leave a mark on people’s financial lives, and it’s hard to separate the financial from all other aspects of life. Money might not make the world go round, but it certainly makes things easier. So while the country may have moved out of recession, though it took a while, for many it still has a bearing on how their lives are panning out.
It’s plain to see that the millennial generation is living life a few steps behind those who came before. People are marrying later, putting off having children and home ownership is a pipe dream for the majority, who can’t rely on the bank of mum and dad or grandparents for help.
Starting out in the workplace at a time of low wages and low interest rates means a lot of millennials approach finances in ways their parents probably wouldn’t recognise.
The housing crisis hasn’t helped, with the lack of available properties and inflated prices keeping people locked into the cycle of ever-increasing rent curbing their ability to save. Meanwhile, young people are increasingly saddled with debt.
So it’s no surprise recent studies have declared millennials, especially women, the most anxious generation in history. Anxiety comes in many forms, but the simplest way to describe it is feeling worried or nervous about the future or uncertain situations. In small doses, anxiety can help motivate us to get things done. However, when it escalates it can be debilitating and have serious effects on our physical health.