Author Topic: Why can't millennials get ahead?  (Read 46505 times)

expectopatronum

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #50 on: June 29, 2015, 12:06:03 PM »
My first thought when the generation/race/gender/class "who has it easier" contest comes up is just - why are we doing this? There can be legitimate reasons to discuss these things. This author's is not one of them (to me).

Generational woe-is-me is especially uninteresting to me, because what is it that can be done about it? What is the point of the 36 y/o author comparing her 20's to the 20's of some other generation, besides trying to argue who had it worse? It's not as if she issued a call to action to reform the student loan/higher education system. And THEN - of all things to pick on that make Millennials poorer, you choose the sharing economy??? Something that, when used correctly, can allow you to be more efficient and consume fewer things? Ha. Hahahahahaha. Sadly, this isn't even satire...

On the memes: Clearly, there over-generalizations and misconceptions on both sides. If it makes a Millennial feel better to believe that "everyone else had it easier" when that is a gross oversimplification, so be it. I feel sorry for them because that sort of attitude is rarely going to turn into success. In 20 years, they can come comment on my ER blog, and tell me all of the ways I was advantaged while ignoring the things I had to overcome and the gratification I had to delay.

I fail to relate to these articles. The only unsuccessful Millennial I know is one who chose to major in film and anthropology, travelled on Daddy's credit card, kept her iPhone and car on his dime, and did not even BEGIN the job hunt until 6+ months post-graduation. By last October she was unemployed, and I felt sorry for her up...until we found out that she had completed 0 applications at the time.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #51 on: June 29, 2015, 12:08:51 PM »
Taking a few years to get something decent is likely not a generational issue.


I will say I think "millenials" had a harder time "starting out" than previous generations because many of them had really really nice childhoods. They move from their McMansion and don't realize it wasn't their parents starter home. So they want to start in one of their own.  I HAVE seen that issue with some of my friends.  So one element that I contribute to my success is we realized that you start poor and move up.  You don't get to start rich. 
...
yup.  My parents like to remind me that their first apartment in Boston was a one-bedroom, fourth story walk-up which they shared with my older baby sister. Real-estate data shows that the median size for a single family home went from 1500ft2 to over 2300ft in a generation.  More families now have multiple cars than in the 1970s.  This list goes on.  The 'new normal' is so much higher than it was 30-40 years ago in almost every single metric, which leads to lots of people thinking they are struggling and poor to live like their parents/grandparents did at their age.

zephyr911

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #52 on: June 29, 2015, 12:18:23 PM »
I'm a millennial. Born 1989. Graduated college December 2011. Looked at "entry level" jobs requiring 4 years of experience. Did odd jobs and not much generally for a year and a half. Lucked into a position through a family member starting at $42k. It's now two years later and my salary is $80k. It's not that hard once you start. It's the starting that's hard.

On the other hand, housing is stupidly expensive. Like, $250k buys you a 'starter home' in a decent school district. You know, 2 bed, 1 bath, needs some work. Still, buying a place for about what we pay now in rent is possible, if rare.
Housing where you choose to live, you mean.
I can get you a nice 2BR/2BA condo - not even a fixer - for $75-90K in my town. We live in the nicest 1144sf, 3BR, 2BA, on the street, newly renovated, in a nice walkable neighborhood, and still only paid $122k ($588/mo).
Our tech jobs probably don't pay *quite* as highly, but there are plenty of them.
I think a lot of people just choose to be bitter because they can't find the perfect combination of work and housing right where they want it. But with a little strategic change, almost anything is possible.

Kaspian

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #53 on: June 29, 2015, 12:25:06 PM »
My first thought when the generation/race/gender/class "who has it easier" contest comes up is just - why are we doing this? There can be legitimate reasons to discuss these things. This author's is not one of them (to me).

Generational woe-is-me is especially uninteresting to me, because what is it that can be done about it? What is the point of the 36 y/o author comparing her 20's to the 20's of some other generation, besides trying to argue who had it worse? It's not as if she issued a call to action to reform the student loan/higher education system. And THEN - of all things to pick on that make Millennials poorer, you choose the sharing economy??? Something that, when used correctly, can allow you to be more efficient and consume fewer things? Ha. Hahahahahaha. Sadly, this isn't even satire...

On the memes: Clearly, there over-generalizations and misconceptions on both sides. If it makes a Millennial feel better to believe that "everyone else had it easier" when that is a gross oversimplification, so be it. I feel sorry for them because that sort of attitude is rarely going to turn into success. In 20 years, they can come comment on my ER blog, and tell me all of the ways I was advantaged while ignoring the things I had to overcome and the gratification I had to delay.

I fail to relate to these articles. The only unsuccessful Millennial I know is one who chose to major in film and anthropology, travelled on Daddy's credit card, kept her iPhone and car on his dime, and did not even BEGIN the job hunt until 6+ months post-graduation. By last October she was unemployed, and I felt sorry for her up...until we found out that she had completed 0 applications at the time.

Exactly that  ^^ !!  So genius I think I'll print it out and put it on the fridge.  I really don't have time in my personal life who people who feel "hard done by".  It's so insanely tedious no matter what age they are.  And you know, even if they recover from a relationship/money/housing/employment issue they go on to feel cheated by something else.  I know it's a cliché to say, but damn, I've been to places in El Salvador where they live in a corrugated steel shed and don't even have shoes on their feet.  The majority of us are basking in riches, eating glorious foods  the kings of the 15th century couldn't even dream of.  It's one of the main things that drew me to Mustachianism--people here have taken control of their own lives, nobody's sitting around sulking and feeling ripped off by life.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 12:27:45 PM by Kaspian »

expectopatronum

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #54 on: June 29, 2015, 12:26:57 PM »
I will say I think "millenials" had a harder time "starting out" than previous generations because many of them had really really nice childhoods. They move from their McMansion and don't realize it wasn't their parents starter home. So they want to start in one of their own.  I HAVE seen that issue with some of my friends.  So one element that I contribute to my success is we realized that you start poor and move up.  You don't get to start rich. 

This. Thinking you're struggling when you're really not. See: your lifestyle is optional. It's a problem of our (their?) own making.

I still can't see evidence in my own life that we as a generation are worse off, but I DO know a ton of friends who think they "can't afford to move out" from Mom and Dad's, but also own $300 Michael Kors purses, attend $600 bachelorette parties, buy bottle service for birthdays, meet for $10 cocktails, and own the latest generation iPhone. What the f*ckity f*ck.

mm1970

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #55 on: June 29, 2015, 01:06:45 PM »
..Oh, and for the record--I don't even think this is really limited to Millenials.  It seems to be a whole new line of thought this past decade pervasive in Western society--bitch constantly because you think other people got more than you in some regard and because things aren't "fair".  Focus hate, distain, and jealousy towards those who aren't you and your immediate peer group--especially if they're richer, poorer, younger, older.

AZDude & iowajes  --> I think this is normal?  I'm GenX.  Graduated in 92.  Didn't get my first real "good" job until '99.  It was close to 8 years in the wind going crap work.  I even had to go to a food bank twice.  Taking a few years to get something decent is likely not a generational issue.
I also graduated in 1992.  My roommie out of college graduated in 1991, and it took her a LONG time to get a "real" job.  And by then she was competing with people who graduated in 1992 and 1993.

The engineering jobs were plentiful in 1992, but I went into the Navy for 5 years - that gave me the chance to be employed in the 90s and learn skills, but I probably didn't have a decent paying engineering job until 2000.

nobodyspecial

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #56 on: June 29, 2015, 01:18:55 PM »
[Housing where you choose to live, you mean.
I can get you a nice 2BR/2BA condo - not even a fixer - for $75-90K in my town. We live in the nicest 1144sf, 3BR, 2BA, on the street, newly renovated, in a nice walkable neighborhood, and still only paid $122k ($588/mo).Our tech jobs probably don't pay *quite* as highly, but there are plenty of them.
"Northern Alabama" so fear of the banjos in the woods and the local police, keep the rest of America out and the property prices down ?

I visited Boise recently, it is a charming town that is really growing as a tech hub for people who don't want to pay Portland prices - who are the ones who moved away from Seattle - who are the ones that wanted to escape silicon valley....




 

Chris22

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #57 on: June 29, 2015, 01:38:50 PM »
I'm a millennial. Born 1989. Graduated college December 2011. Looked at "entry level" jobs requiring 4 years of experience. Did odd jobs and not much generally for a year and a half. Lucked into a position through a family member starting at $42k. It's now two years later and my salary is $80k. It's not that hard once you start. It's the starting that's hard.

On the other hand, housing is stupidly expensive. Like, $250k buys you a 'starter home' in a decent school district. You know, 2 bed, 1 bath, needs some work. Still, buying a place for about what we pay now in rent is possible, if rare.
Housing where you choose to live, you mean.
I can get you a nice 2BR/2BA condo - not even a fixer - for $75-90K in my town. We live in the nicest 1144sf, 3BR, 2BA, on the street, newly renovated, in a nice walkable neighborhood, and still only paid $122k ($588/mo).
Our tech jobs probably don't pay *quite* as highly, but there are plenty of them.
I think a lot of people just choose to be bitter because they can't find the perfect combination of work and housing right where they want it. But with a little strategic change, almost anything is possible.

But what if you want to do something silly like send your kid to school?  I get that the South has a pretty reasonable COL, but they also have demonstrably terrible services like education.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #58 on: June 29, 2015, 02:00:18 PM »
It's been interesting reading about people having hardships indifferent eras. I'll add mine - I graduated in 1999. Spent the first year in my home province (known for high unemployment) working contract jobs in my field of study while also working at Costco. After a year I moved to Ontario to find a decent job. I quickly got an entry-level job for low pay (about $35k in today's dollars) that got my foot in the door in my industry. I moved up and out a few times to increase my salary and responsibilities. To be honest, I cared more about learning in those first few years than my salary.

Though it did suck paying student loans ($30k) in those lean years, I managed by not having a car for the first several years and had a roommate up until I moved in with my now wife. After the first couple of years, I never felt like I was slumming it.

I think a big difference between myself at that age and a current 20-something is my complaints about being poor in those early years were to friends, not the whole world via blogs and social media. We had the same complaints but didn't have the same widespread audience, thus no 40-something readers to tell us we were entitled. Besides, we were too lazy for that, apparently.

zephyr911

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #59 on: June 29, 2015, 02:03:50 PM »
"Northern Alabama" so fear of the banjos in the woods and the local police, keep the rest of America out and the property prices down ?
Ha ha ha.

But seriously: I live in a town with more PhD's per capita than yours (everyone here knows at least one rocket scientist) and enough transplants to ensure diverse viewpoints and an interesting culture. It's not cheap because it sucks; it's cheap because it's only a quarter million people with tons of room to build. And because all the people in Northern Virginia whose jobs were shipped here by the Army had the same idea you do, the feds had to jack the locality pay inordinately high (near DC levels) to get enough workers. The bottom line for me is, high pay, low costs, great QOL.

But what if you want to do something silly like send your kid to school?  I get that the South has a pretty reasonable COL, but they also have demonstrably terrible services like education.
The South isn't monolithic, any more than "the North" or "the Midwest". There are great schools and awful schools in every state. But for us, this is just a place to get rich so we can FIRE near my family soon, instead of rushing there and struggling to make ends meet for decades. We'll foster or adopt once we're in the right situation for it.

I'm not trying to sell you on this spot, because I'm personally exploiting the shit out of the imbalance and if everyone knew how easy it was to get ahead here, that state of affairs might not last. Nor do I assume that what works for me is what works for everyone else; I'm just pointing out that there are more options than people think.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2015, 02:07:25 PM by zephyr911 »

nereo

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #60 on: June 29, 2015, 02:22:24 PM »

The South isn't monolithic, any more than "the North" or "the Midwest". There are great schools and awful schools in every state. But for us, this is just a place to get rich so we can FIRE near my family soon, instead of rushing there and struggling to make ends meet for decades. We'll foster or adopt once we're in the right situation for it.
no, damnit - the "south" is same across all 12-15 states. The climate's the same ( all 750k square miles of it), the people are the same (all 100M+ of them - except they can be divided into "black" and "white") and the schools are universally terrible (all ~40,000 of them).

Stop confusin' people sayin' there be differences!
(sarcasm ... in case you can't tell).

zephyr911

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #61 on: June 29, 2015, 02:40:59 PM »
no, damnit - the "south" is same across all 12-15 states. The climate's the same ( all 750k square miles of it), the people are the same (all 100M+ of them - except they can be divided into "black" and "white") and the schools are universally terrible (all ~40,000 of them).

Stop confusin' people sayin' there be differences!
(sarcasm ... in case you can't tell).
I reckon' yer itchin fer a whuppin' there, feller! That there black-n-white talk's rite own but the rest dun make no lick-a-sense! Ahyuk! Hurf nurfff *drools*

MoneyCat

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #62 on: June 29, 2015, 03:11:54 PM »
Well, I honestly can't think of a single state of the old Confederacy that has a public education system that even comes close to New Jersey or Massachusetts.  I'm sure there are some good individual schools, but the combination of very low investment in public education and unorganized, low-paid teachers is deadly.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #63 on: June 29, 2015, 03:33:19 PM »
Well, I honestly can't think of a single state of the old Confederacy that has a public education system that even comes close to New Jersey or Massachusetts.  I'm sure there are some good individual schools, but the combination of very low investment in public education and unorganized, low-paid teachers is deadly.

Why did you choose to call it the Old Confederacy rather than the South?

zephyr911

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #64 on: June 29, 2015, 03:35:26 PM »
Like I said, as pertains to the OP, the situation could be exploited for financial gain without ever exposing the tots to these icky redneck schools ;)

For someone who actually wanted to try it, I could lay out a pretty easy step-by-step plan to prosper here, live almost for free straight out of college, and leave a few years later with a six-figure stash and meaningful passive income. I showed up later and fumbled around a lot, and I'll still be riding a stiff tailwind by my late 30s. Everything we do thereafter will be easier because of it.

MoneyCat

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #65 on: June 29, 2015, 03:35:36 PM »
Well, I honestly can't think of a single state of the old Confederacy that has a public education system that even comes close to New Jersey or Massachusetts.  I'm sure there are some good individual schools, but the combination of very low investment in public education and unorganized, low-paid teachers is deadly.

Why did you choose to call it the Old Confederacy rather than the South?

Because not every state of the South was in the Confederacy and the lack of interest in education tends to be pronounced in the states that were.

zephyr911

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #66 on: June 29, 2015, 03:36:46 PM »
Because not every state of the South was in the Confederacy and the lack of interest in education tends to be pronounced in the states that were.
http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Jan05/Bageant0126.htm

expectopatronum

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #67 on: June 29, 2015, 04:10:11 PM »
But what if you want to do something silly like send your kid to school?  I get that the South has a pretty reasonable COL, but they also have demonstrably terrible services like education.

Well, I honestly can't think of a single state of the old Confederacy that has a public education system that even comes close to New Jersey or Massachusetts.  I'm sure there are some good individual schools, but the combination of very low investment in public education and unorganized, low-paid teachers is deadly.

I'm confused. All you need is ONE school (per kid, per unit time...). Your kid cannot attend every school in the system simultaneously. You can definitely have the LCOL and a decent (even excellent) public school in the South, particularly if you're in a major metro area, even if you find that the system on the state level is terrible. In some cases, you don't even have to be zoned there because you can send your kid to a magnet school ranked in the Top 25 public high schools in the nation. You don't have to like the whole system; your part of the system just has to be acceptable.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #68 on: June 29, 2015, 04:23:57 PM »
no, damnit - the "south" is same across all 12-15 states. The climate's the same ( all 750k square miles of it), the people are the same (all 100M+ of them - except they can be divided into "black" and "white") and the schools are universally terrible (all ~40,000 of them).

Stop confusin' people sayin' there be differences!
(sarcasm ... in case you can't tell).
I reckon' yer itchin fer a whuppin' there, feller! That there black-n-white talk's rite own but the rest dun make no lick-a-sense! Ahyuk! Hurf nurfff *drools*

Oh, bless your hearts, both of you.

Chris22

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #69 on: June 29, 2015, 06:11:48 PM »
But what if you want to do something silly like send your kid to school?  I get that the South has a pretty reasonable COL, but they also have demonstrably terrible services like education.

Well, I honestly can't think of a single state of the old Confederacy that has a public education system that even comes close to New Jersey or Massachusetts.  I'm sure there are some good individual schools, but the combination of very low investment in public education and unorganized, low-paid teachers is deadly.

I'm confused. All you need is ONE school (per kid, per unit time...). Your kid cannot attend every school in the system simultaneously. You can definitely have the LCOL and a decent (even excellent) public school in the South, particularly if you're in a major metro area, even if you find that the system on the state level is terrible. In some cases, you don't even have to be zoned there because you can send your kid to a magnet school ranked in the Top 25 public high schools in the nation. You don't have to like the whole system; your part of the system just has to be acceptable.

But in terms of living in an area with an educated populace and a culture that values education....


Listen, I lived in semi-rural GA for a while, I've been there.  I know how it is.  It's not an environment in which I want to raise my kid.

clifp

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #70 on: June 29, 2015, 06:13:58 PM »
Sounds like she watched too much TV like sex and the city where the woman CAN go out and spend money... Problem is that every women on the show are in their mid 40s with a professional career...

If they found TV shows their own age, they get sex on the shores; or young, pregnant and broke

My problem with millenials are that too many want what someone else has without the work. None of then want the homeless life so they ignore the homeless... ask how their 20s turned out? No they just emulate old businessmen who already have a career and think that is the norm for life

Also, spending on TV shows is a fairy tale anyway. You can't make enough money with the jobs characters have to support the lavish lifestyles they lead. Carrie couldn't support cosmos and shoes and whatever by writing a stupid column once a week. Ross couldn't afford his own apartment and alimony by being a paleontology lecturer. Rachel could afford the lifestyle working as a barista.

I would love to see someone do a detailed study on how much money many of these TV characters would need to afford their lifestyles.  The sheer size and niceness of the apartments in Friends and HIMYM; the Cosmos, shoes and fashion of Carrie; Lorelai's victorian home and need to eat out for every single meal despite being a struggling, independent single mom.  I'm guessing most were spending in excess of $100k/year if this were RL.

About the only recent scripted show I can think of which follows the lives of 20/30 somethings with any financial accuracy is probably Big Bang Theory; they all hold down university jobs but  they do little more than buy comics, play games and go to ComiCon.  Only one of them even seems to own a car, and their apartment is a walk-up (thanks to Leonard).

I have seen several articles over the years on the subject, generally in money type publications.  I don't have any links but generally they conclusion that their spending (especially rent and clothes) was 2 -3 x more than their income. Friends was a particularly good example of the huge mismatch between income and expenditures.

One notable exception with the Cosby Show, which predates the millennial, but hopefully people have seen some of it reruns.  Bill Cosby played a doctor, and his wife was an attorney.  There house was nice but not huge Brownstone in Brooklyn (which I think is one of the cheaper bouroughs of NYC?). They drove nice but not brand new cars,and their kids went to historically black colleges rather than expensive Ivy Leagues.  Bill Cosby was always lecturing the kids about money, truly one of the few TV shows where they were LYBM.


nereo

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #71 on: June 29, 2015, 06:17:54 PM »
Well, I honestly can't think of a single state of the old Confederacy that has a public education system that even comes close to New Jersey or Massachusetts.  I'm sure there are some good individual schools, but the combination of very low investment in public education and unorganized, low-paid teachers is deadly.
At the risk of everyone piling on to say Virginia's not the "true south" (whatever the hell that means) - Fairfax County has one of the best school systems in the entire country.  Yes, it's just outside DC, but it was a confederate state.  Just sayin'.

ender

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #72 on: June 29, 2015, 06:19:49 PM »
I think a lot of people just choose to be bitter because they can't find the perfect combination of work and housing right where they want it. But with a little strategic change, almost anything is possible.

You mean I can't have my perfect life at 22 and might have to sacrifice something and not get everything I want right away?

That's not fair!



I will say I think "millenials" had a harder time "starting out" than previous generations because many of them had really really nice childhoods. They move from their McMansion and don't realize it wasn't their parents starter home. So they want to start in one of their own.  I HAVE seen that issue with some of my friends.  So one element that I contribute to my success is we realized that you start poor and move up.  You don't get to start rich.


I think this is a big issue with younger people, in general.

We grow up with parents who are in their 40s, 50s, or 60s by the time we leave. They have had decades to accumulate wealth/career status/income. But then we expect to live at the same standard when we turn 22.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #73 on: June 29, 2015, 06:33:11 PM »
Sounds like she watched too much TV like sex and the city where the woman CAN go out and spend money... Problem is that every women on the show are in their mid 40s with a professional career...

If they found TV shows their own age, they get sex on the shores; or young, pregnant and broke

My problem with millenials are that too many want what someone else has without the work. None of then want the homeless life so they ignore the homeless... ask how their 20s turned out? No they just emulate old businessmen who already have a career and think that is the norm for life

Also, spending on TV shows is a fairy tale anyway. You can't make enough money with the jobs characters have to support the lavish lifestyles they lead. Carrie couldn't support cosmos and shoes and whatever by writing a stupid column once a week. Ross couldn't afford his own apartment and alimony by being a paleontology lecturer. Rachel could afford the lifestyle working as a barista.

I would love to see someone do a detailed study on how much money many of these TV characters would need to afford their lifestyles.  The sheer size and niceness of the apartments in Friends and HIMYM; the Cosmos, shoes and fashion of Carrie; Lorelai's victorian home and need to eat out for every single meal despite being a struggling, independent single mom.  I'm guessing most were spending in excess of $100k/year if this were RL.

About the only recent scripted show I can think of which follows the lives of 20/30 somethings with any financial accuracy is probably Big Bang Theory; they all hold down university jobs but  they do little more than buy comics, play games and go to ComiCon.  Only one of them even seems to own a car, and their apartment is a walk-up (thanks to Leonard).

I have seen several articles over the years on the subject, generally in money type publications.  I don't have any links but generally they conclusion that their spending (especially rent and clothes) was 2 -3 x more than their income. Friends was a particularly good example of the huge mismatch between income and expenditures.

One notable exception with the Cosby Show, which predates the millennial, but hopefully people have seen some of it reruns.  Bill Cosby played a doctor, and his wife was an attorney.  There house was nice but not huge Brownstone in Brooklyn (which I think is one of the cheaper bouroughs of NYC?). They drove nice but not brand new cars,and their kids went to historically black colleges rather than expensive Ivy Leagues.  Bill Cosby was always lecturing the kids about money, truly one of the few TV shows where they were LYBM.

Here is a good example:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8ivDpnyQ1Zs
(Actual discussion starts 2 minutes in)
Of course he over slightly over counts taxes and passes on the belief of earlier generations college is a guarantee of a high income, not realizing how tuition would skyrocket.  Though Theo is young enough for it still to be true.

RFAAOATB

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #74 on: June 29, 2015, 06:45:51 PM »
We grow up with parents who are in their 40s, 50s, or 60s by the time we leave. They have had decades to accumulate wealth/career status/income. But then we expect to live at the same standard when we turn 22.

Which makes staying with the parents much more appealing than living in a ghetto apartment for more than a year when a starter home is unaffordable.  I hope not throwing away money on rent helps the inter-generational transfer of wealth, but there are cases where it does not inspire confidence.  How do we get get young adults, middle aged parents, and retired grandparents to talk about the long term family money plan?

expectopatronum

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #75 on: June 29, 2015, 07:03:18 PM »
Then sure, but that's not what the original question asked, which was "what if we want to do something silly, like send our kids to school", implying this couldn't be done. Excuse my misunderstanding.

Semi-rural GA certainly does not sound like the place. But Houston, Dallas, and Ft. Worth may be other options...unless you don't feel the population is educated enough or doesn't value education.

All I'm trying to avoid is a blanket statement that the South is bad for the kids.


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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #76 on: June 29, 2015, 07:13:06 PM »
But what if you want to do something silly like send your kid to school?  I get that the South has a pretty reasonable COL, but they also have demonstrably terrible services like education.

Well, I honestly can't think of a single state of the old Confederacy that has a public education system that even comes close to New Jersey or Massachusetts.  I'm sure there are some good individual schools, but the combination of very low investment in public education and unorganized, low-paid teachers is deadly.

I'm confused. All you need is ONE school (per kid, per unit time...). Your kid cannot attend every school in the system simultaneously. You can definitely have the LCOL and a decent (even excellent) public school in the South, particularly if you're in a major metro area, even if you find that the system on the state level is terrible. In some cases, you don't even have to be zoned there because you can send your kid to a magnet school ranked in the Top 25 public high schools in the nation. You don't have to like the whole system; your part of the system just has to be acceptable.

Well, I don't know about you, but I find the idea of searching for that needle in the haystack to be really unappealing and tedious.  Honestly, though, when it comes time to retire, I'll probably consider moving to a Southern state due to the fact that they don't care about education, because that would reduce my tax burden when I'm on a more fixed income than I am now.  Going from New Jersey to somewhere like Mississippi would be like taking the weights off the bat when stepping out of the on-deck circle, financially speaking.

EricP

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #77 on: June 30, 2015, 10:55:26 AM »
Sounds like she watched too much TV like sex and the city where the woman CAN go out and spend money... Problem is that every women on the show are in their mid 40s with a professional career...

If they found TV shows their own age, they get sex on the shores; or young, pregnant and broke

My problem with millenials are that too many want what someone else has without the work. None of then want the homeless life so they ignore the homeless... ask how their 20s turned out? No they just emulate old businessmen who already have a career and think that is the norm for life

Also, spending on TV shows is a fairy tale anyway. You can't make enough money with the jobs characters have to support the lavish lifestyles they lead. Carrie couldn't support cosmos and shoes and whatever by writing a stupid column once a week. Ross couldn't afford his own apartment and alimony by being a paleontology lecturer. Rachel could afford the lifestyle working as a barista.

I would love to see someone do a detailed study on how much money many of these TV characters would need to afford their lifestyles.  The sheer size and niceness of the apartments in Friends and HIMYM; the Cosmos, shoes and fashion of Carrie; Lorelai's victorian home and need to eat out for every single meal despite being a struggling, independent single mom.  I'm guessing most were spending in excess of $100k/year if this were RL.

About the only recent scripted show I can think of which follows the lives of 20/30 somethings with any financial accuracy is probably Big Bang Theory; they all hold down university jobs but  they do little more than buy comics, play games and go to ComiCon.  Only one of them even seems to own a car, and their apartment is a walk-up (thanks to Leonard).

Well, except for Penny who worked at a Cheesecake Factory (early on) and was still able to afford the same apartment as Sheldon and Leonard.  I guess one could attribute the differences to Sheldon and Leonard saving for retirement and being responsible and Penny going into debt.  There may be an episode where they discuss her money problems, I can't remember for sure, though.

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #78 on: June 30, 2015, 11:08:06 AM »
Sounds like she watched too much TV like sex and the city where the woman CAN go out and spend money... Problem is that every women on the show are in their mid 40s with a professional career...

If they found TV shows their own age, they get sex on the shores; or young, pregnant and broke

My problem with millenials are that too many want what someone else has without the work. None of then want the homeless life so they ignore the homeless... ask how their 20s turned out? No they just emulate old businessmen who already have a career and think that is the norm for life

Also, spending on TV shows is a fairy tale anyway. You can't make enough money with the jobs characters have to support the lavish lifestyles they lead. Carrie couldn't support cosmos and shoes and whatever by writing a stupid column once a week. Ross couldn't afford his own apartment and alimony by being a paleontology lecturer. Rachel could afford the lifestyle working as a barista.

I would love to see someone do a detailed study on how much money many of these TV characters would need to afford their lifestyles.  The sheer size and niceness of the apartments in Friends and HIMYM; the Cosmos, shoes and fashion of Carrie; Lorelai's victorian home and need to eat out for every single meal despite being a struggling, independent single mom.  I'm guessing most were spending in excess of $100k/year if this were RL.

About the only recent scripted show I can think of which follows the lives of 20/30 somethings with any financial accuracy is probably Big Bang Theory; they all hold down university jobs but  they do little more than buy comics, play games and go to ComiCon.  Only one of them even seems to own a car, and their apartment is a walk-up (thanks to Leonard).

Well, except for Penny who worked at a Cheesecake Factory (early on) and was still able to afford the same apartment as Sheldon and Leonard.  I guess one could attribute the differences to Sheldon and Leonard saving for retirement and being responsible and Penny going into debt.  There may be an episode where they discuss her money problems, I can't remember for sure, though.

Penny's money problems are a recurring theme through the whole show.


I've also seen several "articles" (usually on Buzzfeed and the like) about whether a given character could afford their apartment in real life (answer is usually no).

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #79 on: June 30, 2015, 11:09:13 AM »
There are good school and awful schools in nearly every state. I'm sure none of us would want to send our kids to high school in the Newark NJ district, nor would any of us be sad to send them to some of the outstanding districts in Texas. (And yes, they teach evolution.) Schools are very local.

tarheeldan

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #80 on: June 30, 2015, 11:10:29 AM »
Sounds like she watched too much TV like sex and the city where the woman CAN go out and spend money... Problem is that every women on the show are in their mid 40s with a professional career...

If they found TV shows their own age, they get sex on the shores; or young, pregnant and broke

My problem with millenials are that too many want what someone else has without the work. None of then want the homeless life so they ignore the homeless... ask how their 20s turned out? No they just emulate old businessmen who already have a career and think that is the norm for life

Also, spending on TV shows is a fairy tale anyway. You can't make enough money with the jobs characters have to support the lavish lifestyles they lead. Carrie couldn't support cosmos and shoes and whatever by writing a stupid column once a week. Ross couldn't afford his own apartment and alimony by being a paleontology lecturer. Rachel could afford the lifestyle working as a barista.

I would love to see someone do a detailed study on how much money many of these TV characters would need to afford their lifestyles.  The sheer size and niceness of the apartments in Friends and HIMYM; the Cosmos, shoes and fashion of Carrie; Lorelai's victorian home and need to eat out for every single meal despite being a struggling, independent single mom.  I'm guessing most were spending in excess of $100k/year if this were RL.

About the only recent scripted show I can think of which follows the lives of 20/30 somethings with any financial accuracy is probably Big Bang Theory; they all hold down university jobs but  they do little more than buy comics, play games and go to ComiCon.  Only one of them even seems to own a car, and their apartment is a walk-up (thanks to Leonard).

Well, except for Penny who worked at a Cheesecake Factory (early on) and was still able to afford the same apartment as Sheldon and Leonard.  I guess one could attribute the differences to Sheldon and Leonard saving for retirement and being responsible and Penny going into debt.  There may be an episode where they discuss her money problems, I can't remember for sure, though.
Penny's money problems are a recurring theme through the whole show.

Yep and apparently in one episode, Penny borrows money from Sheldon highlighting those problems - and we also learn that Sheldon saves 53.1% of his after-tax income:
http://bigbangtheory.wikia.com/wiki/The_Financial_Permeability

ETA: the vehicles he keeps his savings in are not so awesome though.

expectopatronum

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #81 on: June 30, 2015, 11:16:36 AM »
There are good school and awful schools in nearly every state. I'm sure none of us would want to send our kids to high school in the Newark NJ district, nor would any of us be sad to send them to some of the outstanding districts in Texas. (And yes, they teach evolution.) Schools are very local.


This. There are tons of good schools in the metro areas that I just named in Texas. No need to put the kids through trial-and-error, and no need to say it's like finding a needle in a haystack. Finding a good school isn't just random chance. Just because something is in the minority (on the state level) doesn't mean it's necessarily difficult to find. Conversely, just because a state has a good system does not mean that your local school is good. There's a wealth of resources out there to make an educated decision about, well, education.

EricP

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #82 on: June 30, 2015, 11:30:33 AM »
This is 2015, finding a good school is incredibly easy with the massive amounts of resources available on the internet.

Not to mention, "good school district" really just means lots of rich people around, preferably white.  I say this at risk of derailing the whole conversation, but given intelligent parents (which most of you are) you can easily overcome the deficiencies of a school district.  When I start looking for schools, all the traditional measures of success are going to be irrelevant to me, the only thing that will matter is how many AP classes they offer in math and science.  I can supplement the school up to that level, but if they aren't offering Calc BC then it doesn't matter at all to me that their average SAT scores are 60 points higher than the national average, or that they have a 99% graduation rate.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #83 on: June 30, 2015, 11:33:53 AM »
I chose based on school safety and the AP classes available. If the high school arrests 60 kids a year, I don't care what its SAT scores are, that's messed up.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #84 on: June 30, 2015, 11:39:00 AM »
I chose based on school safety and the AP classes available. If the high school arrests 60 kids a year, I don't care what its SAT scores are, that's messed up.

60 out of how many?

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #85 on: June 30, 2015, 11:43:21 AM »
Let me pull up the spreadsheet I made...The one I was thinking of as good on its face but very arrest-y had 18 arrests from 577 students in 2013.

nereo

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #86 on: June 30, 2015, 11:43:47 AM »
I chose based on school safety and the AP classes available. If the high school arrests 60 kids a year, I don't care what its SAT scores are, that's messed up.

60 out of how many?
My thoughts exactly.  I had went to school with almost 5k students (and it was ranked among the top in the nation) - 60 kids a year wouldn't be that big of a deal, especially given that most of the for us, especially since most of the arrests were for stupid teenager stuff like drinking under-age, using pot and petty theft.  That would be just 1.7% of the student body getting into some kind of trouble each year.

Now, if 60 kids were arrested on various charges of rape, grand-theft, drug dealing etc. I definitely would care.

Chris22

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #87 on: June 30, 2015, 11:50:49 AM »
There are good school and awful schools in nearly every state. I'm sure none of us would want to send our kids to high school in the Newark NJ district, nor would any of us be sad to send them to some of the outstanding districts in Texas. (And yes, they teach evolution.) Schools are very local.


This. There are tons of good schools in the metro areas that I just named in Texas. No need to put the kids through trial-and-error, and no need to say it's like finding a needle in a haystack. Finding a good school isn't just random chance. Just because something is in the minority (on the state level) doesn't mean it's necessarily difficult to find. Conversely, just because a state has a good system does not mean that your local school is good. There's a wealth of resources out there to make an educated decision about, well, education.

Texas isn't the deep south, and it certainly isn't "Northern Alabama".  And it's got a COL that is more analogous to its increased educational opportunities.  Fairfax County isn't even in the scope of this discussion, as it's one of the most expensive places in the country to live.

We were talking about pure low-cost living areas in the deep south, and let's face it, cherry picking Fairfax or some suburb of Houston is not in the spirit of that discussion.  We drive IL --> Destin, FL every year, and part of that route is Hwy 316 (I think that's the #) through backwoods Alabama.  Pure Deliverance country.  THAT'S what we were talking about.

expectopatronum

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #88 on: June 30, 2015, 12:02:17 PM »
Well, I honestly can't think of a single state of the old Confederacy that has a public education system that even comes close to New Jersey or Massachusetts.  I'm sure there are some good individual schools, but the combination of very low investment in public education and unorganized, low-paid teachers is deadly.

Texas was part of the Old Confederacy.

My second point was that the system as a whole doesn't necessarily matter, only the school your kid goes to.

No, I would not choose to raise my children in the same town in Alabama that my husband went to high school in (he went to private school) or a old friend in Baton Rouge (also went to private school). I'm not trying to "cherry pick"; I'm simply providing a concrete counterargument that places that value education, have access to good schools, and have a relatively LCOL exist. Again - I would like for people to avoid blanket statements, which is why providing one specific example will suffice. I don't think anyone's arguing that, on the whole, education in the South / Old Confederacy is better than California/Northeastern schools.

nereo

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #89 on: June 30, 2015, 12:06:00 PM »

Texas isn't the deep south, and it certainly isn't "Northern Alabama".  And it's got a COL that is more analogous to its increased educational opportunities.  Fairfax County isn't even in the scope of this discussion, as it's one of the most expensive places in the country to live.

We were talking about pure low-cost living areas in the deep south, and let's face it, cherry picking Fairfax or some suburb of Houston is not in the spirit of that discussion.  We drive IL --> Destin, FL every year, and part of that route is Hwy 316 (I think that's the #) through backwoods Alabama.  Pure Deliverance country.  THAT'S what we were talking about.

No we aren't.  Allow me to refresh your memory on how we got onto this discussion, namely by quoting you:
But what if you want to do something silly like send your kid to school?  I get that the South has a pretty reasonable COL, but they also have demonstrably terrible services like education.

There you go - you typecast the entire South as having "a pretty reasonable COL but ... [with] terrible services like education."
You did not say the backwoods of Alabama.
Sure, Fairfax Co has a high cost of living and Texas might not be the 'deep south' (even though that wasn't part of the original comment) - butI stand by this point:  there are good school districts and bad school districts throughout the South.  Raleigh NC is excellent, as are many of the school districts around in and around Athens, Georgia (see Bogart).  Both are low COL areas with school systems far above the national average.

We could go on listing good school districts in low COL areas, but implying that all places in the south (or deep south or true south or whatever) have terrible education services is bogus and stereotypes a region with over 100M people in it and about 40k schools.

Might as well say "(insert ethnicity of your choice) people are demonstrably awful at (insert life-skill)"

deborah

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #90 on: June 30, 2015, 12:12:54 PM »
What I want to know is HOW a discussion about millennials turned into a discussion about how bad all the schools are in the southern USA.

For what it's worth, Australia has a population of 23million people, in an area the size of the whole contiguous USA. Saying that one state ONLY has 100million people and that ALL schools in that state are bad sounds to me like a gross generalization when my entire country (complete with good and bad schools) is about 20% of the population being talked about!

Also, we have sites to tell you which schools are good and indifferent. There are lots of stories about schools changing radically in these assessments only in a couple of years, when they get a fantastic principal. Given that you choose a school district when you choose a house and that your children are probably not school age at this time, it can be a big lucky dip.

nereo

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #91 on: June 30, 2015, 12:18:19 PM »
What I want to know is HOW a discussion about millennials turned into a discussion about how bad all the schools are in the southern USA.

For what it's worth, Australia has a population of 23million people, in an area the size of the whole contiguous USA. Saying that one state ONLY has 100million people and that ALL schools in that state are bad sounds to me like a gross generalization when my entire country (complete with good and bad schools) is about 20% of the population being talked about!

Also, we have sites to tell you which schools are good and indifferent. There are lots of stories about schools changing radically in these assessments only in a couple of years, when they get a fantastic principal. Given that you choose a school district when you choose a house and that your children are probably not school age at this time, it can be a big lucky dip.
well that's because you're a nation entirely composed of criminals, right ;-)

see what I did there?  I took all of Australia.... oh nevermind.  Agree it's absurd how we got on the subject and how it varies from the OP

mm1970

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #92 on: June 30, 2015, 12:24:51 PM »
But what if you want to do something silly like send your kid to school?  I get that the South has a pretty reasonable COL, but they also have demonstrably terrible services like education.

Well, I honestly can't think of a single state of the old Confederacy that has a public education system that even comes close to New Jersey or Massachusetts.  I'm sure there are some good individual schools, but the combination of very low investment in public education and unorganized, low-paid teachers is deadly.

I'm confused. All you need is ONE school (per kid, per unit time...). Your kid cannot attend every school in the system simultaneously. You can definitely have the LCOL and a decent (even excellent) public school in the South, particularly if you're in a major metro area, even if you find that the system on the state level is terrible. In some cases, you don't even have to be zoned there because you can send your kid to a magnet school ranked in the Top 25 public high schools in the nation. You don't have to like the whole system; your part of the system just has to be acceptable.

But in terms of living in an area with an educated populace and a culture that values education....


Listen, I lived in semi-rural GA for a while, I've been there.  I know how it is.  It's not an environment in which I want to raise my kid.
Eh, I grew up in rural PA, and I turned out fine, crappy school system and all

zephyr911

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #93 on: June 30, 2015, 12:28:38 PM »
Northern Alabama is less southerly than most of Texas... just sayin'.

And like I said, where I live is about as non-backwoods as it gets. We have the highest per-capita PhD ratio of any city in the US, and high population turnover due to military and professional activities, as well as tourism.

Back to the point: struggling young people have options. If high COL is viewed as crippling, think about relocating to build financial strength, even if the place with great professional opportunities isn't a Garden of Eden on a personal and cultural level for you.

Here's an even more Badass example:
My sister and her husband moved from WA to IA and drove buses for a year after their undergrad degrees were complete, so they could each get their masters in education at in-state rates. Then they found out the masters wasn't enough to waltz into a job in a choice location, so they moved to an Indian reservation about four hours down a winding canyon road from Phoenix, and spent two school years there. They left before their first kid started walking, because they didn't want him growing up there with all the drugs and depression kids face, but something magical happened in the meantime... their wallets got fatter and their resumes got a lot punchier. Everything changed in only 21 months. ATE: They've never had trouble finding work since then, and they just bought a house near Seattle.

That's what I'm talking about with strategic moves. You don't have to be in your forever home right now to make major progress toward it.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 12:30:42 PM by zephyr911 »

mm1970

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #94 on: June 30, 2015, 12:32:27 PM »
But what if you want to do something silly like send your kid to school?  I get that the South has a pretty reasonable COL, but they also have demonstrably terrible services like education.

Well, I honestly can't think of a single state of the old Confederacy that has a public education system that even comes close to New Jersey or Massachusetts.  I'm sure there are some good individual schools, but the combination of very low investment in public education and unorganized, low-paid teachers is deadly.

I'm confused. All you need is ONE school (per kid, per unit time...). Your kid cannot attend every school in the system simultaneously. You can definitely have the LCOL and a decent (even excellent) public school in the South, particularly if you're in a major metro area, even if you find that the system on the state level is terrible. In some cases, you don't even have to be zoned there because you can send your kid to a magnet school ranked in the Top 25 public high schools in the nation. You don't have to like the whole system; your part of the system just has to be acceptable.

Well, I don't know about you, but I find the idea of searching for that needle in the haystack to be really unappealing and tedious.  Honestly, though, when it comes time to retire, I'll probably consider moving to a Southern state due to the fact that they don't care about education, because that would reduce my tax burden when I'm on a more fixed income than I am now.  Going from New Jersey to somewhere like Mississippi would be like taking the weights off the bat when stepping out of the on-deck circle, financially speaking.
You get a little bit of this everywhere, though.

I live in So Cal, and at least half of our locals schools really suck.  And we transferred our son from a really bad school to an only "sorta" bad school.

I have to admit, I searched the job boards yesterday afternoon for northern Alabama (lots of Chemical processing jobs, which would be great if I were 20 years younger and could remember my college Chem E/ distillation).  I am even remembering a conversation with an old guy here who mentioned Huntsville as the "next place to be".

In any event, it's all hard.  Where I live, rents are through the ROOF and people who live here are totally pissed.  I mean, someone was advertising a BR/BA in a house for $1400 a month, utilities included and all the comments were horrible.  "You're crazy, you're greedy, something needs to be DONE!"  I'm kind of over pointing out that it's supply and demand, and in fact if you bought a 2BR 1BA home in that neighborhood, the mortgage alone would be $2800, so $1400 is actually cheaper than buying a home.  (And $1200 is the going rate for a room these days).

The locals especially talk about how unfair it is that they cannot afford to stay - they can't afford the rents, they can't afford to buy.  And many of them think they have a *right* to be here because they were born here.  News flash, this place is nicer than 95% of the country, so other people want to live here.  You don't have a "right" to live here unless you have the money to live here.

It makes it challenging for everyone.  High rents, high housing prices, low inventory, and a lot of people doing AirBNB or VRBO because they can make more money.  The people who have owned for a long time get mad because it ruins the neighborhood, the people who bought later are just trying to keep above water.

zephyr911

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #95 on: June 30, 2015, 01:54:35 PM »
Imagine my chagrin throughout adulthood as my dreams of moving back to my childhood home - HAWAII - continually seem to fall behind skyrocketing real estate prices that don't even have the got-dam common courtesy to crash when the rest of the country does.

I'm pretty sure that DW and I together can outrun that market, though... the current entry price in my hometown is $250-280K, but it would have to rise 25% annually to beat our savings rate. We'll get there. And if not, we can always adjust our aim to one of the lower-demand areas.

nobodyspecial

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #96 on: June 30, 2015, 01:59:11 PM »
Quote
News flash, this place is nicer than 95% of the country, so other people want to live here.  You don't have a "right" to live here unless you have the money to live here.
Same for Vancouver. It's one of only two cities in Canada where you don't need to shovel snow or fight bugs - and it's the only on with any jobs
Of course the blame goes to the Chinese


AZDude

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #97 on: June 30, 2015, 02:19:52 PM »

You get a little bit of this everywhere, though.

I live in So Cal, and at least half of our locals schools really suck.  And we transferred our son from a really bad school to an only "sorta" bad school.

I have to admit, I searched the job boards yesterday afternoon for northern Alabama (lots of Chemical processing jobs, which would be great if I were 20 years younger and could remember my college Chem E/ distillation).  I am even remembering a conversation with an old guy here who mentioned Huntsville as the "next place to be".

In any event, it's all hard.  Where I live, rents are through the ROOF and people who live here are totally pissed.  I mean, someone was advertising a BR/BA in a house for $1400 a month, utilities included and all the comments were horrible.  "You're crazy, you're greedy, something needs to be DONE!"  I'm kind of over pointing out that it's supply and demand, and in fact if you bought a 2BR 1BA home in that neighborhood, the mortgage alone would be $2800, so $1400 is actually cheaper than buying a home.  (And $1200 is the going rate for a room these days).

The locals especially talk about how unfair it is that they cannot afford to stay - they can't afford the rents, they can't afford to buy.  And many of them think they have a *right* to be here because they were born here.  News flash, this place is nicer than 95% of the country, so other people want to live here.  You don't have a "right" to live here unless you have the money to live here.

It makes it challenging for everyone.  High rents, high housing prices, low inventory, and a lot of people doing AirBNB or VRBO because they can make more money.  The people who have owned for a long time get mad because it ruins the neighborhood, the people who bought later are just trying to keep above water.

LOL... yeah, I lived in LaJolla for a little while and wow, it was nice. But damn... $2200 for a 900 square foot apartment? Still, if I did not have any kids I would have stayed. Childcare costs made it unfeasible, even with two incomes.

mm1970

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #98 on: June 30, 2015, 02:47:31 PM »
Imagine my chagrin throughout adulthood as my dreams of moving back to my childhood home - HAWAII - continually seem to fall behind skyrocketing real estate prices that don't even have the got-dam common courtesy to crash when the rest of the country does.

I'm pretty sure that DW and I together can outrun that market, though... the current entry price in my hometown is $250-280K, but it would have to rise 25% annually to beat our savings rate. We'll get there. And if not, we can always adjust our aim to one of the lower-demand areas.
Yeah, I mean, my kids - my kids were born in Santa Barbara.  They are growing up here.  But you know what?  There are two of them, and we own 1 2BR house.  If we live to 90, they will be in their 40's and 50's before we die - so I hope they don't expect us to provide them with a home. IF they can't afford it, they will have to go somewhere else.

Jack

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Re: Why can't millennials get ahead?
« Reply #99 on: June 30, 2015, 03:08:57 PM »
Well, I honestly can't think of a single state of the old Confederacy that has a public education system that even comes close to New Jersey or Massachusetts.  I'm sure there are some good individual schools, but the combination of very low investment in public education and unorganized, low-paid teachers is deadly.

Huntsville is not like dumbass Northerners' stereotype of "The South." Atlanta isn't like that either, and neither are Raleigh-Durham (a.k.a. the "Research Triangle," in North Carolina), Austin, Miami, and probably a bunch of other places I don't even know about.

We were talking about pure low-cost living areas in the deep south, and let's face it, cherry picking Fairfax or some suburb of Houston is not in the spirit of that discussion.  We drive IL --> Destin, FL every year, and part of that route is Hwy 316 (I think that's the #) through backwoods Alabama.  Pure Deliverance country.  THAT'S what we were talking about.

Sorry, but you don't get to redefine what you were saying when somebody calls you out for being offensively wrong. There are lots of low-cost areas in the deep south, including urban, liberal ones, and including ones with objectively good schools.

The sad thing is that not only are you people bigots, but you either don't have the self-awareness to realize it or think that Southerners are "acceptable targets!"