Author Topic: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site  (Read 15131 times)

amha

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Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« on: December 13, 2013, 06:36:39 PM »
Mocking isn't quite what's deserved here, but The Billfold (http://thebillfold.com/) is a personal-finance-for-millenials site that's, uh, sort of good---I'm from the same basic 20something hipsterish Brooklyny demographic, so I *want* to like it---but it's got a really pessimistic view about a lot of things. Like, that consumer debt is part of life, and that no one our age will ever be able to retire.

Case in point, and the impetus for this post, is http://thebillfold.com/2013/12/retirement-preparedness-questionnaire, written as a satiric questionnaire, representative excerpt:

Quote
What sort of lifestyle would you like to maintain in retirement?

a.) Preferably one where I’m working no more than 39 hours/week, at least most weeks.

b.) I’d like to be able to occasionally indulge in a favorite flavor of cat-food.

c.) Primarily indoor-sleeping.

I get really frustrated that so many people my age (I'm 27)(well, so many people in general) think of debt (= consumer debt) as a **normal part of life**---and to them, personal finance and financial goals consist of "getting out of debt" and "paying off my debt". It's a very NEGATIVE attitude---as if, once I get to net worth $0, I've succeeded---as opposed to making the goal, "building wealth", in which case the goal is to obtain more money (regardless of whether you're adding a positive to a negative or a positive to a positive).

The Billfold is worth reading, though. I've read it for a year or so. Often they have good stuff (despite a frustrating unwillingness to facepunch).

Jamesqf

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2013, 07:52:35 PM »
b.) I’d like to be able to occasionally indulge in a favorite flavor of cat-food.

Possibly an unanswerable philosophical question, but WHY do the people pushing the "poor old folks gotta eat cat food" meme never go to the pet food aisle of their local supermarket and look at the prices?  Those little cans are far from cheap.

Abe

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2013, 08:50:33 PM »
I've noticed a lot of  people our age over-value their skills, get frustrated when they aren't handed a well-paying job straight out of college or grad school, but want to continue to live an upper-middle class life they got accustomed to from their parents' earnings.

brewer12345

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2013, 09:08:30 PM »
I've noticed a lot of  people our age over-value their skills, get frustrated when they aren't handed a well-paying job straight out of college or grad school, but want to continue to live an upper-middle class life they got accustomed to from their parents' earnings.

They will adjust to the real world and get on with it eventually.  Everyone does.

I will have to be careful with my kids.  In casual chatting with my 9 year old (who understands what inflation, recession, etc. mean) tonight, it is clear that she can't fathom a world where you don't have enough money to do whatever you want.  We don't live what I would consider to be a luxurious lifestyle (pretty middle class American except for never being in debt or scrambling to pay bills) and DW and I have tried hard to give age appropriate lessons about money, but its pretty clear we have work to do.

MoneyCat

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2013, 10:06:13 PM »
Millennials are a pretty whiny and obnoxious bunch and I have met a lot of 30 year olds who still behave financially like they are 16 years old.  I think this Huffington Post article does a good job of summarizing the mindset of the Millennial: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/wait-but-why/generation-y-unhappy_b_3930620.html

TheDude

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2013, 10:50:11 PM »
I'm 32 and I think I am Millennial but shit I am not. You all are a whiny bitches. Ok maybe not that bad. But still I feel like those of us born in 81 +/- a year dont really fit it in either generation.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2013, 11:01:22 PM »
I've read that site off and on for a while as I am a regular reader of the hairpin, and they have some crossover.

It is really sad and one of the regular contributors just makes me want to reach through the screen and shake the ever-loving crap out of her with her "ha ha, I'm in horrible debt but it's not my fault stuff costs money and I can't save anything" type of attitude. I generally don't read too much there lately as it mostly causes that reaction, and otherwise makes me cringe with how incredibly careless and irresponsible so many people can be - and even being proud of the fact that they are that way.

I think there will always be the whiny, entitled and clueless in every generation. It's just since the advent of social media and blogs that it's so much in our faces now.

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2013, 11:26:38 PM »
I'm a millennial, by my birth year, and I've got a career that some of my friends are envious of (but happy for me, of course).  However, I am fully willing to acknowledge  that a good part of how I got here, was blind luck.  But the luck I got was opportunities to work my ass off, learn a lot about the operations I supervise, and continue to work really hard.  I worked hard through university, and through the opportunities I got via summer student work, to prove myself 'worthy' of taking a risk on.

I don't know if I've got flowers on my career-lawn, but this was the view out of my window when I woke up today:
« Last Edit: December 13, 2013, 11:28:16 PM by Self-employed-swami »

C. K.

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2013, 06:15:44 AM »
It starts the financial conversation for people and does it with humor. That is good. Those who want to know more might start looking around to other places (like MMM or Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey) for further analysis.

MrsPete

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2013, 08:07:34 AM »

Quote
What sort of lifestyle would you like to maintain in retirement?

a.) Preferably one where I’m working no more than 39 hours/week, at least most weeks.

b.) I’d like to be able to occasionally indulge in a favorite flavor of cat-food.

c.) Primarily indoor-sleeping.
I know people at work like this.  I'm thinking of one girl in particular -- wonderful girl, but so unrealistic.  She thinks like this about retirement, but she also just flew to New Zealand for vacation (no particular reason, just thought it would be cool, and it was), lives alone in an upscale one- bedroom apartment, eats out more often than she cooks, and is on her second car since college -- she's a 5th or 6th year teacher.  She's a bit disappointed, thinking that, having graduated debt- free she'd be a bit better off by now.  She sees no connection between her daily choices and her eventual financial stability. 

I think it's a common story.

Capsu78

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2013, 10:26:06 AM »
I liked it and thought it was pretty good satire... especially if it sparks some serious thought.
My lines are:
 We hope to have enough to retire to at least an Appalachian level quality of living, even if we have to raise our own vegetables...
and

 The good news is my financial planner says I can retire at 55... unfortunately I will have to go back to work at 56.

Don't forget to tip your servers!

Jack

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2013, 10:49:48 AM »
I've noticed a lot of  people our age... get frustrated when they aren't handed a well-paying job straight out of college or grad school.

Have you seen the statistics that get published for starting salaries? They're justified to expect a well-paying job when the college flat-out tells them "the average grad in your field gets a job paying $65K* straight out of school!"

(*This is what the statistics said for civil engineering when I graduated. Reality was that I was unemployed for a very long time, took an engineering job making $40K, got laid off after a year, gave up and got a computer programming job and am now finally making the $65K the statisticians said I should have been making 4 years ago.)

MrsPete

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2013, 12:40:50 PM »
I've noticed a lot of  people our age... get frustrated when they aren't handed a well-paying job straight out of college or grad school.

Have you seen the statistics that get published for starting salaries? They're justified to expect a well-paying job when the college flat-out tells them "the average grad in your field gets a job paying $65K* straight out of school!"

(*This is what the statistics said for civil engineering when I graduated. Reality was that I was unemployed for a very long time, took an engineering job making $40K, got laid off after a year, gave up and got a computer programming job and am now finally making the $65K the statisticians said I should have been making 4 years ago.)
Okay, you have a point there.  I read in newspaper articles, etc. what teachers earn, and although I'm fairly near the top of the salary scale for my state, I'm nowhere close to what they say I should be earning.  Even when they talk about my own state, I'm $15,000 -20,000 lower.  Either they're averaging administrators into the pool, or they're not doing any fact-checking.

Similarly, I was talking to one of my high school students the other day -- she's considering going to art school, but she said her parents have reservations about the cost vs. payback.  I told her I share those concerns.  She said she'd read online that the average art school grade makes -- oh, I probably have these numbers wrong, but just go with me here, I'm making a point, not being specific -- something like $50,000 - 100,000/year.  So she figured that if that's what the average person makes, a person with real talent and drive could make more.  I hate to squash enthusiasm, but I told her that I'm not sure that'd work out to be truthful, and she should investigate further into the realistic earnings.  She fails to realize that, although here in our high school she's THE BEST, in art school she'll be just another talented student. And she fails to realize that the $100,000 earning art school grads are the ones who did have the drive, started their own business, and had a bit of luck.  But she's figuring she'll be in the $150,000 range. 

So what the college kids don't realize is that everything printed isn't true, and it has to be filtered through common sense. 

toodleoo

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2013, 03:53:43 PM »
I'm 32 and I think I am Millennial but shit I am not. You all are a whiny bitches. Ok maybe not that bad. But still I feel like those of us born in 81 +/- a year dont really fit it in either generation.

I agree...I was also born in 81 and I don't feel like any of the categories really describes me. But I guess just by the sheer fact that I follow this blog I wouldn't fit into any of the conventional categories anyway :)

Frankies Girl

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2013, 06:59:42 PM »

Similarly, I was talking to one of my high school students the other day -- she's considering going to art school, but she said her parents have reservations about the cost vs. payback.  I told her I share those concerns.  She said she'd read online that the average art school grade makes -- oh, I probably have these numbers wrong, but just go with me here, I'm making a point, not being specific -- something like $50,000 - 100,000/year.  So she figured that if that's what the average person makes, a person with real talent and drive could make more.  I hate to squash enthusiasm, but I told her that I'm not sure that'd work out to be truthful, and she should investigate further into the realistic earnings.  She fails to realize that, although here in our high school she's THE BEST, in art school she'll be just another talented student. And she fails to realize that the $100,000 earning art school grads are the ones who did have the drive, started their own business, and had a bit of luck.  But she's figuring she'll be in the $150,000 range. 

So what the college kids don't realize is that everything printed isn't true, and it has to be filtered through common sense.

I had to stop laughing long enough to respond to this... my god, they're telling kids the dumbest things nowadays. Just because it's out here on the web, doesn't mean it's the truth and she is going to have a very rude awakening if she's that gullible. Even if you're off on the range by 20 to 30K, that's still crazy.

Most of my art/graphics friends make around $35K a year - and I'm talking really talented people that have been in the field for some time. They all have side hustles for their more creative endeavors, but even with the profits from those, they don't make it to the $50K minimum in that starting range your student found, and there is some serious level talent in there.

I lucked into a really great position that pays a bit better, (and I am not trying to brag) but I've won national design awards in graphic design and hold a BFA in illustration - and I'll never see 6 figures even if I worked another 20 years in the field. It isn't unheard of to eventually reach a 6 figure salary in someplace like New York (where the COL is also substantially higher) if you're in the top % of your class and have insane design skills, but we're talking huge odds of ever achieving even a mid-range of that "starting range."

Jamesqf

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2013, 10:36:40 PM »
Maybe the problem there is that they're using average earnings.  Only takes one guy selling $12 million stuffed sharks as 'art' to bump the average way up.

Albert

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #16 on: December 15, 2013, 01:50:11 AM »
Maybe the problem there is that they're using average earnings.  Only takes one guy selling $12 million stuffed sharks as 'art' to bump the average way up.

Could they really be that stupid? Of course the mean earnings should be used for this purpose.

SpacemanSpiff

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #17 on: December 15, 2013, 11:48:39 AM »
Maybe the problem there is that they're using average earnings.  Only takes one guy selling $12 million stuffed sharks as 'art' to bump the average way up.

Could they really be that stupid? Of course the mean earnings should be used for this purpose.

Please tell me you meant to say median.

Jamesqf

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2013, 12:05:01 PM »
Quote from: Albert link=topic=11479.msg182384#msg182384 date=13/87097411
Could they really be that stupid? Of course the mean earnings should be used for this purpose.

Not stupid.  Dishonest, probably.  The average income figures come from art schools, no?  They want to attract paying students, but wouldn't attract many if they used a median starting salary of say $20K in their ads.

That said, my neighbors' kid graduated from art school a couple of years ago, and aparently is making decent money doing art for computer games.

Albert

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2013, 12:21:25 PM »
Maybe the problem there is that they're using average earnings.  Only takes one guy selling $12 million stuffed sharks as 'art' to bump the average way up.

Could they really be that stupid? Of course the mean earnings should be used for this purpose.

Please tell me you meant to say median.

Yes of course. Translation mistake, sorry. :)

capital

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #20 on: December 15, 2013, 05:25:44 PM »
I've noticed a lot of  people our age... get frustrated when they aren't handed a well-paying job straight out of college or grad school.
Have you seen the statistics that get published for starting salaries? They're justified to expect a well-paying job when the college flat-out tells them "the average grad in your field gets a job paying $65K* straight out of school!"

(*This is what the statistics said for civil engineering when I graduated. Reality was that I was unemployed for a very long time, took an engineering job making $40K, got laid off after a year, gave up and got a computer programming job and am now finally making the $65K the statisticians said I should have been making 4 years ago.)
You may just had bad luck graduating around the recession, when demand for CivEs was at a nadir– I graduated in 2010 with a Computer Engineering degree, and due to lucky timing the market for my degree was excellent, my starting salary was well ahead of the average the college showed when I enrolled, and my salary has only gone up since then.

cats

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #21 on: December 15, 2013, 06:56:25 PM »
Maybe the problem there is that they're using average earnings.  Only takes one guy selling $12 million stuffed sharks as 'art' to bump the average way up.

Yup.  When I was in university, we had a joke about our dept. having the highest average salary post-graduation.  It was a small department and one graduate had made it as a big-time professional sports player.  Needless to say, he was skewing the average considerably.

Re: the billfold and their articles.  I don't read them regularly, but the ones I have read give me a very mixed opinion.  I do feel they generally tend to be too resigned to the idea of consumer debt and that the "it's not at ALL my fault, the system is stacked against me" attitude is quite prevalent, but every now and then there is some good advice.

Also, as a not-quite-millennial (born in '82), I do feel that the "actual" millenials a few years younger than us have gotten a pretty hard knock and I can see how that might create some bitterness.  My youngest brother graduated in the winter of 2008, right when the financial system was going to hell.  He had an engineering degree from a GREAT program, works really hard, is a very bright and personable guy.  It took him six months to find a job and that job paid about $15-20k less per year than his career office was suggesting as an average starting salary.  He had friends who graduated 1 or 2 years earlier and they were all walking right into offers that DID pay as well (or better) than the school's reported "average", with all sorts of sweet perks and benefits, and with no better GPA, work experience, etc. than him.  When you see that going on, I can understand the bitterness and the attitude that you really are a victim of circumstance.  Frankly, I sometimes feel embarrassed that my career path is (for now) going so much better than his, because I'm really not any smarter or harder-working or even more savvy about climbing a career ladder than he is.  I am probably in a better financial situation than he is, but I'd say that's only 50% due to more financial diligence...plenty of it is just chance or circumstance or whatever you want to call it.

SpacemanSpiff

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #22 on: December 16, 2013, 08:52:17 AM »

Please tell me you meant to say median.

Yes of course. Translation mistake, sorry. :)

No worries! It seemed a little goofy that a word with the same meaning as average (in this context at least) was being used.

gillstone

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #23 on: December 16, 2013, 09:08:18 AM »
I remember a millennial rant I heard awhile back..."When growing up our parents told us to go to college so we wouldn’t have crappy jobs flipping burgers.  Now when we graduate from college into a crappy market we get told we should stop whining about jobs flipping burgers.” I’m mixed on the millennial angst.  On one hand, we were sold a bill of good by our parents, guidance counselors, et al that said going to a 4 year college for whatever degree you want will mean a better job.  When we graduated with over-priced Sociology and History and Literature degrees into a market that doesn’t give a damn if you can recite Yeats we had a harsh awakening that would have been nice to have four years and tens of thousands of dollars earlier.  This is an even harder realization for those who never held a job in college because their parents wanted them to “focus on their studies” rather than “be employable”.

On the other hand, I have dealt with enough of my generation to know that we don’t help ourselves with whiny crap like this.  Many of us were grossly misinformed about our prospects and about how money works.  Our parent’s generation owns some of this because we learned about money from them and their buy it bigger, buy it now profligacy.   But there’s no point griping because the loan debt won’t pay itself and that crappy job won’t get better by complaining.  If your career track sucks, find a new skill that lets you get a better one.  If your dream job isn’t what you thought it was then get to work on another idea, don’t wallow and gripe about how it isn’t fair.

Debbie M

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2013, 09:20:31 AM »
I will have to be careful with my kids.  In casual chatting with my 9 year old (who understands what inflation, recession, etc. mean) tonight, it is clear that she can't fathom a world where you don't have enough money to do whatever you want.  We don't live what I would consider to be a luxurious lifestyle (pretty middle class American except for never being in debt or scrambling to pay bills) and DW and I have tried hard to give age appropriate lessons about money, but its pretty clear we have work to do.

Recommend finding one category of expenditures and, instead of buying things in that category for your kids, give them an allowance and have them buy the things themselves.  One common choice is clothing--Make it to where they can afford only one or two crazy-expensive "in" things each year.  Probably it's best to pick whatever category is important to each kid--video games?  electronics?  hair/make-up?  Or pick several categories that include each kid's favorite thing to make it seem more fair.

unpolloloco

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #25 on: December 16, 2013, 09:29:22 AM »
I remember a millennial rant I heard awhile back..."When growing up our parents told us to go to college so we wouldn’t have crappy jobs flipping burgers.  Now when we graduate from college into a crappy market we get told we should stop whining about jobs flipping burgers.” I’m mixed on the millennial angst.  On one hand, we were sold a bill of good by our parents, guidance counselors, et al that said going to a 4 year college for whatever degree you want will mean a better job.  When we graduated with over-priced Sociology and History and Literature degrees into a market that doesn’t give a damn if you can recite Yeats we had a harsh awakening that would have been nice to have four years and tens of thousands of dollars earlier.  This is an even harder realization for those who never held a job in college because their parents wanted them to “focus on their studies” rather than “be employable”.

On the other hand, I have dealt with enough of my generation to know that we don’t help ourselves with whiny crap like this.  Many of us were grossly misinformed about our prospects and about how money works.  Our parent’s generation owns some of this because we learned about money from them and their buy it bigger, buy it now profligacy.   But there’s no point griping because the loan debt won’t pay itself and that crappy job won’t get better by complaining.  If your career track sucks, find a new skill that lets you get a better one.  If your dream job isn’t what you thought it was then get to work on another idea, don’t wallow and gripe about how it isn’t fair.


I still see a work ethic and drive in the millennial generation - just one that's jaded by the lies that their parents told them.  And the parents' generation sees them as whiny because they complain that their parents lied to them.  It's a switch between a "do this and everything will work out" mentality to a "sink or swim" mentality where the parents communicate the old rules to a generation that's forced into the new rules.

Elaine

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #26 on: December 16, 2013, 09:32:27 AM »
I've noticed a lot of  people our age over-value their skills, get frustrated when they aren't handed a well-paying job straight out of college or grad school, but want to continue to live an upper-middle class life they got accustomed to from their parents' earnings.

I think this is the key. I'm 26, used to live in Brooklyn- now in Queens, so a similar demographic. But there does seem to be an unwillingness on the part of many of my peers to live below a certain standard of living. I recall one conversation with a friend of mine who had just gotten a job for 65k a year, and he was lamenting that it wasn't very much money. We were 22 and both graduated in non-tech non-math/science majors from school. The fact that he didn't even feel that was enough to live on says something about expectation and overvaluing your talents for sure. Especially if you have an English degree or something equivalent. Meanwhile I happened to be making $10 an hour working retail, and while my budget was fairly razor thin, I was still able to pay for all of my needs.

ArcticaMT6

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #27 on: December 16, 2013, 10:30:16 AM »
I graduated in 2010 in a very specialized field of engineering (There was 17 people in my major that graduated in the spring, and I was one of 4 that graduated in the fall). Just about everyone in my class went to DC to work for the government, or to work for government contractors. Needless to say, right now, that's not exactly a good place to be. I took a job at a government contractor for a year and a half, saw the writing on the wall, moved cross country and am working for a commercial based company now. After this past year, I'm pretty happy with my decision to move away from the DC shitshow. Luckily, upon graduation I was able to get a job (since there's very little people in the workforce period in my field), but many many other engineers didn't have that option. Something like 50% of the Aerospace grads got jobs, with 25% going to gradschool (most not by their first choice), and 25% not getting any jobs in the field at all.

I do think most of the hate on Millennials complaining about not having jobs is misguided. Sure, a lot of them have overinflated expectations on what the job market/salaries would be like, but it's certainly not our fault when we were constantly told unrealistic ideas from parents, schools, guidance councelors, etc...


gillstone

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #28 on: December 16, 2013, 11:44:26 AM »
One other thing I can't emphasize enough is how shitty financial education was for our generation.  The example laid out by boomers was a joke.  From the 1970's forward we have been a nation that thought debt was not a temporary and necessary evil, but was a part of the "American Dream”.  What financial education there commonly was missed the mark.  Financial literacy has not so much declined since the 70’s as the picture has gotten much more complex as things our parents took for granted 40 years ago are now things we have to tackle.  Pensions are now 401(k)s, good health insurance is no longer a given from an employer, and student loan debt is now hundreds of dollars a month in extra cost.

We are a generation who were told that we were in a big party that would never end and was completely paid for.  Then we woke up in the morning and found out we were the victims of a generational “dine & dash”.  The bill for decades of debt culture had come due and the people who racked up the debt and told us to do the same are now wringing their hands in worry and shame over OUR generation’s inability to navigate the economy effectively.

Unfortunately, a generation of parents that hovered to fix everything is now absent when we ask for help fixing their/our mess.  Our only recourse is to pull a Mustachian 180 to cut our spending, kill our debt and try not to fuck it up for our kids.  I wish getting mad would fix it.  It won’t.  No marches or petitions will get rid of the debt we now own.  They may make it better for the next generation but that won’t cover student loans due now. 

jsloan

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2013, 12:01:34 PM »
I also experienced bad luck when I graduated with my computer science degree in 2002.  Some of the smartest people I graduated with were easily beat out for entry level positions by unemployed programmers with more experience.  The long term affects of starting out your career in poor times does make a huge difference in long term earnings on average (heard this on the planet money podcast). 

In a lot cases my friends in CS went back to grad school due to poor job prospects only to incur more debt without much better earning potential.  Couple this with the fact that market returns have been dismal for those who started investing during this time and/or decided to buy an overvalued house.  This is the situation for those who did everything "right".  Those who partied during school, chose a major with poor earning potential, etc had even bigger problems.   

I do feel the pain that these 20 somethings are going through because, in most cases, I don't think they are complainers they are just pissed that they had to work much harder to achieve less then those who graduated during better times.     

With all that said, I am very grateful for the life I have.  I'm glad that I wasn't born in sub-Saharan Africa or some war-torn nation.  Things can always be much worse, but sometimes if your slightly older/younger peers are doing better than you because of simple circumstance it can make you a little bitter.  I'm ok with people complaining because I do feel their pain.       


       
   

Ayanka

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2013, 12:05:22 PM »
Well I did the effort to read more than the article and most of the side is while not Mustachian, some food of thought for people who don't deal with finances. No it is not Mustachian, but I could show this side to some of my non-Mustachian friends, who would run away from MMM at the fastest speed they can maintain. Also I am glad to have people my age simply thinking about finances outside of the ERE/MMM sites. Somehow it creates hope.

On the millenials being complainypants... I am a bit ambigue about the whole matter. I have an engineering degree, which took 2 additional years after getting my bachelor. I solely took the engineering degree to increase my chances of finding a job whatsoever. For me the most frustrating part is not 'not earning enough' but simply the job insecurity. I have worked 2 years in jobs that could fire me with one weeks notice. After 2 years that is what you accostume to. The youth unemployment (<25 years old) is 29%in the city where I live in. This is not the specific part of town I live in, which is the cheapest and poorest part. Maybe that is why the millenials are complaining...


StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2013, 03:00:04 PM »
I've noticed a lot of  people our age... get frustrated when they aren't handed a well-paying job straight out of college or grad school.

Have you seen the statistics that get published for starting salaries? They're justified to expect a well-paying job when the college flat-out tells them "the average grad in your field gets a job paying $65K* straight out of school!"

(*This is what the statistics said for civil engineering when I graduated. Reality was that I was unemployed for a very long time, took an engineering job making $40K, got laid off after a year, gave up and got a computer programming job and am now finally making the $65K the statisticians said I should have been making 4 years ago.)

Really? 65K? I've never seen promotional material that realistic. 6 years ago, they told my brother (a softwear engineer) he'd be pulling in six figures! My wife got the same from her geology program.
Mine just lied and said I'd get a job. (Not a single graduate of that program, that I know of, has ever found employment in their field. I don't know of any who got employment outside of it, either-- we all hid in grad school or went back to something else.)

They really ought to police this stuff. We're told education is an investment-- fine! Then regulate it like one. You can't flat-out lie on a stock prospectus.

 
I do think most of the hate on Millennials complaining about not having jobs is misguided. Sure, a lot of them have overinflated expectations on what the job market/salaries would be like, but it's certainly not our fault when we were constantly told unrealistic ideas from parents, schools, guidance councelors, etc...
Yes, this. I constantly hear Millennials told "you should have done the research" -- but at 17 years old, you can't hire Ispos-Reid to track down recent graduates of every program you're considering and get Nate Silver to run the numbers on them. You have to trust the information that's available to you... and just about all of it was bunk.

As a generation, we have an attitude problem because we did everything we were told, and got very little of what we were promised. Trusting your elders is a form of "entitlement," apparently.

dragoncar

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2013, 04:51:49 PM »

Really? 65K? I've never seen promotional material that realistic. 6 years ago, they told my brother (a softwear engineer) he'd be pulling in six figures! My wife got the same from her geology program.

Who is "they"?  It's pretty easy to just look up the stats, which aren't as rosy as claimed:

http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/cdc/jobs/salary-grads

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2013, 07:26:20 PM »

Really? 65K? I've never seen promotional material that realistic. 6 years ago, they told my brother (a softwear engineer) he'd be pulling in six figures! My wife got the same from her geology program.

Who is "they"?  It's pretty easy to just look up the stats, which aren't as rosy as claimed:

http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/cdc/jobs/salary-grads
"They" were the Department of Software Engineering at the University of [redacted]. Same with the geology major; the department of earth sciences at the university of [redacted]. It's great that Stanford is posting these now, wish every school would do the same. (I notice MY major isn't on there, even though Stanford is a major source of graduates.) Unfortunately, the page you listed has never been archived by the Wayback Machine, which makes me wonder how long it's been around. I note that even this level of transparency gives the impression of full employment, which even for Stanford grads seems unrealistic.
Double unfortunately, what realistic stats you can find get discounted by all and sundry. When the "experts" at the guidance counsellor's office, the universities, your parents & mentors are all telling you the same thing-- that you'll can only succeed and get into the upper-middle-class if you study what you love--it's hard to lose your trust in them and put it into a dissenting set of figures you find online.

If anyone cares, here's how the general malaise of our generation hit me, since I don't think I'm by any means exceptional:

I seem to recall a vague awareness that less than 1 in 3 physics majors* got research positions in government or academia (which was the general goal of all of us in the program). I very nearly went into engineering instead, because of that. I was talked out of it, my ego puffed up by the assurances of the whole damn town that of course I would be in the top 30%, and how could you get anywhere in life if you don't take a risk like that? And it's such a hard major, it's a STEM: there will be oodles of awesome jobs in industry, even if you stop at a BSc.
Oh, Mea Culpa. What got me was the incredible hubris to assume I'd make the grade, and that my 17-year-old self could be 100% certain of setting on a course that would take 10 years of post-secondary education to complete. Hubris is the seed of tragedy, for me, and probably everyone else in my generation. (And everyone, ever, according to some Greeks.) Hubris, and the gullibility to believe in these mythical fallback jobs, when nobody could name a single one. Now I'm taking my shiny MSc into a call centre for thirteen loonies an hour.

Still, when you're dealing with kids who've been coddled every damn day of their lives, you have to forgive gullibility, I think. The hubris,  well, yeah. I was a little shit and I'm paying for it. (OTH, make the focus of raising a child how exceptionally special they are, and you've got to own up a bit of responsibility for that hubris, too. It doesn't diminish my load of guilt, but adds to my parents' and teachers'.)

tl;dr: Mea culpa, it was hubris and gullibility. Probably the same for everybody.

Jack

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2013, 08:55:20 PM »

Really? 65K? I've never seen promotional material that realistic. 6 years ago, they told my brother (a softwear engineer) he'd be pulling in six figures! My wife got the same from her geology program.

Who is "they"?  It's pretty easy to just look up the stats, which aren't as rosy as claimed:

http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/cdc/jobs/salary-grads

Well, shit. Even in my new job I'm still at the bottom of the pay scale ($65,000-$120,000 for Comp Sci BS grads)! (And yes, I went to a school just as good as Stanford.) Just when I'd finally started to have a glimmer of hope for my career...

dragoncar

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #35 on: December 18, 2013, 12:28:10 AM »
Who is "they"?  It's pretty easy to just look up the stats, which aren't as rosy as claimed:
http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/cdc/jobs/salary-grads

"They" were the Department of Software Engineering at the University of [redacted]. Same with the geology major; the department of earth sciences at the university of [redacted]. It's great that Stanford is posting these now, wish every school would do the same. (I notice MY major isn't on there, even though Stanford is a major source of graduates.) Unfortunately, the page you listed has never been archived by the Wayback Machine, which makes me wonder how long it's been around. I note that even this level of transparency gives the impression of full employment, which even for Stanford grads seems unrealistic.
Double unfortunately, what realistic stats you can find get discounted by all and sundry. When the "experts" at the guidance counsellor's office, the universities, your parents & mentors are all telling you the same thing-- that you'll can only succeed and get into the upper-middle-class if you study what you love--it's hard to lose your trust in them and put it into a dissenting set of figures you find online.


I'm pretty sure it's been around for many years, because I've had versions of this discussion before.  Unfortunately, websites often change their URLs around, or remove links.

Here's some more transparent info from Carnegie Mellon:

http://www.cmu.edu/career/salaries-and-destinations/2013-survey/pdfs-one-pagers/ECE%20Post%20Grad%20Handout%202013.pdf

You can also reach some prior years by manipulating the URL, but I'm pretty sure they put out this data each year for a long time.

Edit:

Well, shit. Even in my new job I'm still at the bottom of the pay scale ($65,000-$120,000 for Comp Sci BS grads)! (And yes, I went to a school just as good as Stanford.) Just when I'd finally started to have a glimmer of hope for my career...

That sucks... but didn't you do CivE?  Hopefully the work hours are better.  I remember getting low-end offers coming out of undergrad.... from defense contractors who offered a strict 40 hour week with almost guaranteed job security.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 12:34:45 AM by dragoncar »

Self-employed-swami

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #36 on: December 18, 2013, 02:14:35 AM »

Really? 65K? I've never seen promotional material that realistic. 6 years ago, they told my brother (a softwear engineer) he'd be pulling in six figures! My wife got the same from her geology program.

Who is "they"?  It's pretty easy to just look up the stats, which aren't as rosy as claimed:

http://studentaffairs.stanford.edu/cdc/jobs/salary-grads

That looks surprisingly realistic for earth science grads as well.  I am working in Canada, where the majority of the geology jobs are in oil and gas, so our range is a little bigger at the high end, but the low end seems accurate.

grantmeaname

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #37 on: December 18, 2013, 06:35:50 AM »
I am continually surprised by millenials who feel they were given a social contract of "go to college, don't worry about what it costs, and the world will offer you more sunshine and fistfuls of cash than you can handle afterwards". The recession started during my senior year of high school, so if anyone was at the tender young age where they would be assailed by vultures guidance counselors during a period of irrational market exuberance, it was me. Maybe I missed the secret club meeting where JPMorganChase handed out the alternate set of fliers.

Or maybe I just have less patience for "It's not your fault"s and head-pats.

jsloan

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #38 on: December 18, 2013, 07:42:34 AM »
Quote
I am continually surprised by millenials who feel they were given a social contract of "go to college, don't worry about what it costs, and the world will offer you more sunshine and fistfuls of cash than you can handle afterwards".

Why wouldn't they?  Their parents did exactly that and were rewarded for it by great job opportunity, cheap housing, pensions and a great stock market.  Whenever anyone calculates their FIRE date on this site it is based on past performance of the stock market.  I think you have this attitude because you are more realistic based on the new market realities.  4% market returns over the last decade, over inflated home prices causing many to lose hundreds of thousands in net worth are just things we have come to expect now. 

NWstubble

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #39 on: December 18, 2013, 08:34:14 AM »
She sees no connection between her daily choices and her eventual financial stability. 

I think it's a common story.

I find this to be the most common issue among the generation that everyone loves to hate. Of course, that could be said about most people in America theses days.

I also find it funny to look back upon past generations and see that the shit talking about the "young/clueless/lazy/entitled" is just a simple cycle of older generations reflecting on how much better they were or how much harder things were for them. In 20 years the millennials will be the ones bitching about the newest generation of "clueless kids".

senecando

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2013, 08:49:21 AM »
In 20 years the millennials will be the ones bitching about the newest generation of "clueless kids".

Some of us have already started!

mm1970

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2013, 01:55:00 PM »

Here's some more transparent info from Carnegie Mellon:

http://www.cmu.edu/career/salaries-and-destinations/2013-survey/pdfs-one-pagers/ECE%20Post%20Grad%20Handout%202013.pdf

Well shit, that was depressing.

I went to CMU in Chem E so I jetted over to that page.  Ugh.  I've been out for 21+ years and the highest paid undergrad makes almost as much as I do!

ender

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2013, 08:04:56 PM »
In 20 years the millennials will be the ones bitching about the newest generation of "clueless kids".

Some of us have already started!

Three year olds just think they can have anything they want. They just don't understand!

Jacob F

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #43 on: December 19, 2013, 10:15:55 AM »
I am continually surprised by millenials who feel they were given a social contract of "go to college, don't worry about what it costs, and the world will offer you more sunshine and fistfuls of cash than you can handle afterwards". The recession started during my senior year of high school, so if anyone was at the tender young age where they would be assailed by vultures guidance counselors during a period of irrational market exuberance, it was me. Maybe I missed the secret club meeting where JPMorganChase handed out the alternate set of fliers.

Or maybe I just have less patience for "It's not your fault"s and head-pats.
This!

Jack

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #44 on: December 19, 2013, 07:55:42 PM »
Well, shit. Even in my new job I'm still at the bottom of the pay scale ($65,000-$120,000 for Comp Sci BS grads)! (And yes, I went to a school just as good as Stanford.) Just when I'd finally started to have a glimmer of hope for my career...

That sucks... but didn't you do CivE?  Hopefully the work hours are better.  I remember getting low-end offers coming out of undergrad.... from defense contractors who offered a strict 40 hour week with almost guaranteed job security.

I majored in CivE and CS (I started out as a civil major, but then just never stopped taking CS classes).

Admittedly, I would have been much better off if I'd given up on a civil job sooner, but I was stubborn about it because I want a PE license.

Luck better Skill

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2013, 01:18:54 PM »
Maybe the problem there is that they're using average earnings.  Only takes one guy selling $12 million stuffed sharks as 'art' to bump the average way up.

  There is also another trick in that earnings deception.  The average earning of graduates working in that field.  So if you get a job doing different work then your degree at lower pay, your pay is excluded from that average.

example -  Claimed 98% of our law graduates get jobs.*  Starting lawyers make an average of 100K. 
* - (98% get jobs, only 75% get jobs as lawyers.)

infogoon

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2013, 07:28:33 AM »
example -  Claimed 98% of our law graduates get jobs.*  Starting lawyers make an average of 100K. 
* - (98% get jobs, only 75% get jobs as lawyers.)

I remember reading in the Chronicle of Higher Education about a law school that hired its unemployed alumni to work in the fundraising call center for a month. The month just happened to be the one where statistics about alumni employment levels were collected.

I think Bunny Colvin called it "juking the stats".

Luck better Skill

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Re: Pessimistic personal finance for millennials site
« Reply #47 on: December 27, 2013, 09:30:53 AM »
example -  Claimed 98% of our law graduates get jobs.*  Starting lawyers make an average of 100K. 
* - (98% get jobs, only 75% get jobs as lawyers.)

I remember reading in the Chronicle of Higher Education about a law school that hired its unemployed alumni to work in the fundraising call center for a month. The month just happened to be the one where statistics about alumni employment levels were collected.

I think Bunny Colvin called it "juking the stats".

Unless a source opens it's data for review, explains how it collected the data, and such I consider all statistics to be padded or out right lies.