Millennials: How are you doing?

I just read this article: Millennials: The New Poor.

It seems like every day there’s a news story bemoaning this generation’s lack of success. Since I am not in this demographic, nor do I socialize with people in this demographic, I have no way of assessing how exaggerated or accurate these claims are. But I guess they at least contain a grain of truth–at least if we’re talking about Millennials who are in their mid-20s. A few years ago, it seemed like every 20-something I bumped into with a college degree was working in retail or service industry. Since then, there has been a steady increase of more youthful faces in my workplace. But a lot of them are contract/part-time employees. Old-timers have been retiring, but no one ever gets hired to take their places. That must be quite worrisome to someone who is trying to get their foot in the door to a professional career.

I wonder if a lot Gen Xers and Boomers poo-poo the notion that Millennials are special in their downward mobility since most people struggle financially in their 20s. I know I did. But my struggle did not include $100K in student debt. Never once did I have to hit up my parents for money. I’ve never had to work a job that wasn’t related to my college degree.

So I’m curious how Doper Millennials are doing. I’m interested in how you perceive yourself. Do you feel like you’ve been handed a raw deal, or do you think you’re doing alright for yourself?

Hello I am a millennial or should I say current victim of the ruling regime. Yes I’m reffering to not just the current occupat but him and many others along side him past, present and future. Economically my life and my friends life is gone with no hope in sight of being brought back from the dead. Everyday I wake up my problems thude on me like thunder and lightening. J look day after day but can’t find relief. I truley regrett being born now. Life sucks

I’m 25 and I’m a virgin and I’m underemployed and I live with my mom
society has really fucked me over

I’m doing pretty good. I left a job last year to go to grad school. I’m not really digging the latter and an seriously contemplating bouncing. If I did it would only be if I get a good job lined up first. I’m not too worried about that. I have a pretty solid resume, military experience, personable, etc.

It is depressing as hell knowing there is just no way that we will be able to buy a decent house where we are. It is way too expensive. And it is only getting worse by the year. Maybe we will have to save up for ten years to move to a different area of the country. I hear Nashville is nice…

You’re not really a virgin then.

I’m 32, and married to a 27-year-old woman. I earn $37,000 as a computer programmer. My wife earns $39,000 as a pastor. Both of us have Masters degrees. We own a house and two cars. We have a combined total of roughly $65,000 in student loans, about $5,000 from me and the rest from her. We’re doing pretty well.

I don’t buy into the narrative that my generation is desperately poor and suffering. Overall we grew up surrounded by more wealth than any other group of people in history. Having to adjust to a slightly lower standard of living for a short time in one’s 20’s and 30’s is not suffering. It used to be normal.

Regarding the question of student loan debt, I’m not aware of anyone who was forced to take out a loan. Everyone with student loan debt chose to take it on. Do I believe that government student loan policy has been fairly stupid, giving too much money to too many people and not holding schools to higher standards? Absolutely. Nonetheless, if you take out a loan, paying it back is your responsibility.

My niece is almost 21. For her age, she is doing fantastic.

I don’t doubt that you may be overeducated. But I don’t understand why you think society is to blame for you being a virgin. Sorry, but no one is entitled to pussy and dick.

Times certainly have changed from my perspective. What you make now as programmer is about the lowest starting salary anyone straight out of college was making - with any bullshit major, when I graduated.

Unless there is some undetected sarcasm in your post I’m being whooshed by, It is good that you are happy with your lot - back then everyone was always pissed they weren’t making more. The expectations were very high.

I’m doing OK but I’m not expecting lots of money. But I could and should be doing better financially. The drawbacks is that the places/jobs that offer the most money in my field are precisely the areas/geographic places that I dislike the most. For sanity reasons I opted for the lower paying job.

I suppose it’s comforting that a couple can be on the hook for that much money (given your incomes) and still think they are doing pretty well. Probably better than the worrying and stressing out that I would be doing, if I were in that situation. But you do have the trappings of the “American Dream”. Do you think it is possible you wouldn’t feel so well if you were missing just one of the pieces you do have?

I’m curious if you are a “I did everything on my own!” type of conservative, or have you had family help you get to “pretty well” in the manner talked about in the article.

I have a coworker who still pays her daughter’s credit card bills. Even though the daughter graduated from college a couple of years ago and has a decent sales job. I always wonder if this girl lets her social circle know that she’s still getting help like this. I also wonder if maybe she’d be better off if my coworker would grow a spine and stop supporting her.

monstro, one thing is that this generation has had access to a lot more ways of paying back (federal) student loans than previous generations. It is possible to do a “pay as you earn” program, of which there are multiple.

Heck, my siblings are still paying their own student loans, and they’re gen x. Granted, they admit theirs was due to financial stupidity, while mine are strictly what I needed to survive four years of veterinary school.

Depending on how you count my wife and I barely in your grouping, 32 &31. Right now things are a little rough we’re in the process of down sizing our house with a baby on the way and both of us on unemployment for the last 6 months.

That being said I have a master’s and she has a PhD and we made nearly half a million last year and I own a small company that will hopefully start paying me next month now that it is making money. Over all my friends are doing amazing and the closest person iwho know who is struggling just lost his house due to breaking up with his girlfriend and still makes nearly 100k. Life is fairly good if you have skills.

I don’t know what your experience is or specialization, but the $37K seems WAY low to me for annual wages for a prog.

I’m sure there are many Americans in my age group who are worse off than me. Nonetheless, with the unemployment rate in our age group at just 7.8%, things obviously aren’t too terrible for us. I’d take the United States over Greece, Spain, or South Africa any day. Youth unemployment is over 50% in those countries.

Well, I actually do some quality assurance, some e-mail and phone support, and some programming. I also just started this job about a month ago. My hope is that I can prove myself useful on the programming portions of my job and work my way up to a higher salary.

Keep in mind the REAL unemployment rate in the USA is actually 23%

I don’t really think of myself as millennial (b. 1984); most definitions of the generation include me, but I think there’s a pretty big qualitative difference between “remembers a time before the internet, smartphones, etc” and people born a few years later. That said… my career earnings were likely permanently depressed by graduating college into a recession, and I’m really leery of the health care/retirement funding situation, and my voting life has been entirely post-9/11 super-partisan BS. So if I was going to get all philosophical I might put forward the argument that younger generations have a raw deal in a lot of ways.

That said, I’m personally doing very well and don’t have much to complain about, so I generally don’t complain. I certainly know enough people who have been impacted much more severely. Student loans is the biggest part of it for a lot of my friends, and both my wife and I dodged that particular bullet with a combination of scholarships, generous parents, and working for a bit before grad school. If we came out of undergrad $150K in the hole between us, we probably can’t buy a house, it’s a lot harder to stop working for a few years each for more school, and things don’t work out as well overall.

One thing that I think many older Millenials forget is that while, yes we remember a time before internet becoming popular… we were still kids during this time, we had no purchasing power (which is in a way why the categories exist), and we really had not much of a say. We saw it, but couldn’t participate in it (as a full consumer, as a full user, as a producer).

Also technology impacted our education in ways it didn’t impact older generations. For example, by the time we graduated high school, reports and assignments had to be handed in print, and we even had to do some small computer work (maybe a simple Excel graph, maybe put some figure). While older generations (and even earlier grades) were content with turning in a legible handwritten assignment. My siblings had a typewriter, for example, but I don’t think their schoolwork was expected to be typed and printed, while it was a requirement for me.

I got internet when I was 12, but I was playing my gameboy and consoles much earlier. But I didn’t buy or participate in that. My technology was given by the adults, my parents, and my Gen X siblings. It was my Gen X adult sister who brought internet to my house. My Gen X sister who at the time in her mid-20s had a higher paying job that I currently have. Granted, she suffered through the depression as well (plus her student loans caught up with her), but that is the truth.

Show your work.