Kids today, I tell you what - they will never have to go into a library, pull a stack of books and go through the index to find relevant information. If they need to write a research paper, all they have to do is ‘beep boop bip,’ type it into the Google and everything they need is right there in front of them in a matter of seconds.
No kidding! And forget about ever having to approach someone face to face. They just load their info on the Twitter or the Tinder or the Match.com, whatever you call it and ‘wha-bammo’ -they just start meeting people. Going through that humiliating, in-person rejection is something that is totally foreign to them. I tell you what, they’ve got no idea how lucky they are.
It is not uncommon to hear a conversation like this from members of the older generations, those who had to leave messages on answering machines, go to the store to buy CDs, and get up to change the channel on their TVs. Full disclosure - I am neither Millennial nor Baby Boomer. Instead I’m from the generation that remembers the first time bowl cuts and neon wetsuits were popular, back when MTV played music videos and you had to go to Blockbuster Video to get the latest VHS.
Leveling criticism at the younger generation is a favorite pastime in the good old U.S. of A. and that is nothing new (“In my day we had to walk seven miles through the snow just to get to school.”). The simple fact, however, is that all parents want their children to have better lives than they did. Working long hours and doing whatever it takes to provide your children with a higher standard of living is the American Way.
That’s what makes the news that Millennials are having a tougher time than their Baby Boomer parents so disconcerting. Despite having a higher level of education, Millennials earn 20 percent less than their parents did at the same age, according to a recent analysis of Federal Reserve data from an advocacy group known as the Young Invincibles.
The natural outcome of this unfortunate fact is that Millennials have a lower rate of home ownership and a much higher level of student loan debt. Part of this could be due to former President George W. Bush eliminating the cap on student loan interest rates back in the early 2000s. Another explanation could be that Millennials have a median household income level only slightly more than $40,500.
Millennials with a college education only make a little bit more than non-college-educated baby boomers did all the way back in 1990. According to the Brookings Institution, the number of people in their mid- to late-20s with a college education is up from just 23.2 percent in 1990 to more than 35 percent in 2015/
So what gives?
Clearly, people are buying into the idea that a college education equates to more earnings and a higher standard of living, but if the financial rewards aren’t there, will it continue making sense to pursue the goal of receiving a diploma?
A nation of well-educated people is stronger and better able to deal with challenges. As a parent and a patriotic, red-blooded American male, I know we can do better as a society but I’m not presumptuous enough to think I could offer a solution to a problem so complex.
What I can offer is a link to an article written by a billionaire extolling the virtues of increasing the minimum wage. It certainly changed my mind about how it could spur economic growth and bring about a variety of other benefits. I don’t think increasing minimum wages would fix everything, but it could be a small piece in the puzzle, a step in the right direction. I invite you to read the article, make up your own mind and share your thoughts with me about the subject.
What I can also offer is compassionate, knowledgeable advice about your ability to finance a home, with a blend of some conservative creativity and the kind of practical insights that can only be gained from being in business for 16 years. Please contact me at the number below for a consultation about your financial situation and the options that may be available to you.
Patrick Stoy (NMLS Numbers 39527 and 39166) has 16 years of mortgage lending experience. Patrick is CEO of Wilmington-based Market Consulting Mortgage, which he started in 2005 with a mission to build lifelong customer relationships by providing real value. To learn more about Marketing Consulting Mortgage, visit www.macmtg.com. Patrick can be reached at [email protected] or 910-509-7105.