- Like every generation, Millennials have collectively experienced events that have helped form who they are; 9/11, the advent of the internet, economic downturns and massive student debt have helped shape this generation.
- Some characteristics of Millennials that are often attributed to laziness or entitlement are due to a lack of built-up wealth from outside circumstances.
- We need to change the conversation in terms of working with the Millennial generation as they are the future workforce leaders and recipients of our assets and they do work hard; they just do so in a different way.
Are Millennials lazy, entitled, and unloyal? I want to start with some quotes:
“Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.” George Orwell
“The guys who won World War II and the whole generation have disappeared, and now we have a bunch of teenage twits.” Clint Eastwood
Taken from those perspectives, we recognize that we’ve got some biases when it comes to our own generation, where we feel we fit, and those younger generations, they just don’t quite have it. Is that true?
Well, first, let’s talk about who the Millennials are:
- Born between 1982 and 2000.
- Largest generation living in the US right now and the largest currently in the workforce.
- Many of them are going to be receiving lots of assets from estates; they are also taking over companies and will continue to do so over the next decade or two as they move through the workplace.
- Grew up in the advent of the internet, e-mail, instant messaging, and all forms of social media – this makes them socially designed a little different.
- Grew up during 9/11 and the decade and a half of war following that, which they served in – this has formed their idea about what it is to be safe (or not) in this country and in the world.
- They’ve experienced two big market downturns in 2001-2002 and again in 2008-2010 – this makes them wary of the ability of stocks to make money.
- Accumulated a massive amount of student debt – $1.3 trillion, more than any generation before.
- Living at home longer.
- Waiting longer to buy homes.
- Waiting longer to have children.
The last three points about Millennials are what many people in older generations scratch their heads at and point out as laziness or entitlement. However, Millennials don’t have the money for these things, and that’s not of their making.
It’s interesting that this generation, at least the successful ones that we’ve worked with over the years, pay down debt and save at a much higher rate than their parents do. They don’t want to end up like they’ve seen many of their parents, working for years beyond what they thought normal retirement would be.
Millennials are also intrinsically motivated, so they want to believe in the work they do. They tend to job hop because of this, but when comparing them to their parent’s generation, they do so at about the same rate.
They are not entitled. They want to earn what they place value on. They are not looking for hand-outs, and it’s very important to understand that because we need to change the conversation about how we work with this next generation. They are going to receive a lot of our assets. They are going to take over leadership in the workplace. It’s important to ensure they are successful for the future of generations coming down the line.
It’s important to understand the Millennials and their mindset, as they really are a great generation and they are making inroads right now. They work hard, just as much as their parents do; they just do it in a different way. And that’s the way it is from generation to generation, it’s ubiquitous over time!
Until next time, enjoy! Gary
A Multigenerational Approach to Wealth Management
TransformingWealth™ , our proprietary approach, designed to get your arms around the big picture so you can make informed financial decisions. As part of our process, we use mind mapping – one of the most powerful tools available for bridging the communication gap between different generations. Mind mapping is visual and helps all parties gain a clear picture of all aspects of the financial equation. Ask Gary about mind mapping and Coyle’s TransformingWealth Preview Meeting, and schedule a complimentary consultation and start living the Good Life Managed Well™.
Gary Klaben is in our Glenview, IL office and serves our clients who are now located all over the country. He has over 30 years of experience and is the author of Changing the Conversation, The Wealth Sanctuary and co-author of The Business Battlefield. Whether advising his clients, mentoring his team, or coaching entrepreneurs, he is always simplifying complexity and motivating others to take the next action that’s right for them.
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