Millennial! Another of those media driven buzzwords, used to label those between the ages of 18 and 34, while the term Gen Xers define those between 35 and 50 years of age. Boomers, the group to which I belong, are those 51 through 69. This post covers 8 key pieces of advice.
Challenges millennials face today are different from the challenges my generation faced, chief among them, crushing student loan debt.
I hate millennials … well, not really. I ENVY them! I envy them because they have their entire lives ahead and I’m looking at mine in the rear view mirror. I hate them because, like all young people, they are ignorant—not stupid, but ignorant. They refuse to learn from the mistakes previous generations have made and many refuse to learn from the successes. But hate is the wrong word. How about profoundly disappointed?
I’m not a sociologist, psychologist or anthropologist. Therefore, I have no academic insights into the reasons young people so often refuse the advice of their elders. All I know is—they do! And like those that have come before me, I continue to offer my advice and counsel, secure in the knowledge that it will rarely be acted upon. As a millennial, you will have your opportunity to have your own look into your own rear view mirror one day. When you do, remember these:
Now is the time to start saving and investing. For example, if you invest $5000 each year from the time you are 25 years of age, you will have over $1 million at age 65. If you put $5000 per year in a mattress, you will have only $200,000. This illustrates the power of investing and compound interest.
Conquer your fears!
Forty percent of millennials surveyed are uncomfortable with investing in stock. This is a fear you need to conquer. For almost 8 decades, stocks have returned more than 10% gains when held over any twenty year period. Bonds, in contrast, have yielded about 4%.
Tune in, turn on and don’t drop out!
Shockingly, about one-third of those between the ages of 25 and 34 do not participate in their employer’s 401(k). Tune in to the benefits your employer offers, turn on the payroll deduction and don’t drop out of the plan. Need a reason? Ten years of savings beginning at age 25 trumps 30 years of savings started at age 35.