Are Michigan Millennials at 40 Turning Out to be the New Baby Boomers?
OK, Generation Y!
Some of you will be 40 this year and you are no longer the youngest generation. Let’s face it, you are finally growing up. You get married, you have children, and panting, you buy your own house.
So much for “always young”. No, wait, that was the Gen X anthem.
Yet millennials have survived one challenge after another by adjusting, and the latest adaptation seems to be trying to settle in, take root, and act a little more like, dare we say, baby- boomers.
âWhat we’re seeing is millennials are approaching their age with that kind of determination to continue to adapt,â said Jason Dorsey, president and principal investigator at the Center for Generational Kinetics, a research firm. in Texas.
âThe older millennials – those who are now 40 – came of age in the workforce and crashed straight into the Great Recession,â Dorsey said. “So they ran into stagnant wages, high unemployment, rising costs of living and historically high student debt.”
Edwina King, who celebrates her 40th birthday in October, is a former student of the New Leaders Council-Detroit. For those who don’t know what this very grown-up group is, this is a training program for progressive millennials.
King has also been a political analyst for Detroit City Councilor James Tate since 2012.
Over the years, she has had to adapt many times, including virtual work.
King was in college on September 11, and by the time she was ready to graduate, the prospect of getting a job outside of school seemed unrealistic. So after King graduated from Howard University, she went to Detroit Mercy University Law School.
“A lot of people,” she recalls, “were forced to go back to school or work in positions that were not necessarily what they originally went to school for.”
After law school, she said, the economy got even worse.
âThat’s when we had the Great Recession and job prospects were less available,â she said. âTo me, it’s just, ‘OK, I’ve been through similar adversity before, and you are treating it holistically, mind, body, and spirit’ but you see this as a temporary situation.”
Now, she stressed, we are in a pandemic.
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Make their own way
During the COVID-19 pandemic, millennials continued to adapt.
Some feel guilty, Dorsey said, because they may have been “isolated from the economic impact of the pandemic” while others “have been caught in the crosshairs” of it.
And while many millennials have clung to their tech-savvy, achievement-driven reputation for not telling me what to do by balancing multiple jobs at once to create their own income, others are trying new things.
One author, writing for businessinsider.com, confessed, “The pandemic has finally helped some millennials grow up,” that the pandemic has encouraged her to make her bed every day.
âIt was too complicated in a world where getting ready and getting to work was still one thing,â she said. “But when my bedroom turned into my office and all of my meetings moved to Zoom, I couldn’t stand the sight of unprofessional disarray.”
It’s the adult, isn’t it?
Yet one of the reasons millennials haven’t ventured deeper into what might be considered adulthood is financial. When it comes to money, many never got much – and they’re trying to catch up.
Yes, millennials have much better access to personal finance through âmobile appsâ and âbanking solutionsâ to better track their credit scores, savings and money, but, Dorsey said, they don’t feel ready to meet their retirement goals. .
They are also less optimistic that Social Security will exist for them in a way that will help cover their bills, and they are overwhelmed trying to pay off college and graduate debt.
Christen Stott, a Detroit resident – professional life coach, author, certified paralegal and mortgage underwriter at Quicken Loans – said she combined her knowledge of real estate, foreclosure law and other experiences to make a living .
Still, she can’t wait to turn 40 next year.
Stott earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Michigan State University, but still felt like she didn’t know where she stood after graduation and went to law school. Then she decided that practicing law was not for her either.
âMy education was very expensive,â Stott said, adding that she was struggling to repay her loans. “It makes you feel like you can never get me out of this debt and that number” and it’s to your credit. “
Some millennials have left American businesses altogether, started less traditional jobs, and ventured out on their own as entrepreneurs. But it also added to their stress and financial instability.
Despite some setbacks, millennials try to take on more responsibility – and even pass what they know to subsequent generations as they age.
While Stott’s coaching activity isn’t quite enough to support her full-time, she said she works with younger people to help them ‘identify and find their niche’. If it’s not growing up – teaching others what you know – then what is it?
Start to settle down
Like many millennials, neither King nor Stott are married or have children – yet.
Perhaps this is why Millennials tend to be more mobile than any generation before them, and more likely to rent a home. Almost half, 49%, of all renters in 2019 were millennials.
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In general, the homeownership rate of 35 to 44 year olds has worsened over the past decade, from 66% to 60%, according to the 2019 U.S. Housing Confidence Survey.
But there’s also evidence millennials are finally investing in homes.
According to a Harris poll conducted on behalf of “CNBC Make It”,older millennials – 59% of them, anyway – buy homes, even if they have to borrow from their retirement accounts, credit cards, and parents to do so.
Compared to previous generations, the lives of millennials are less predictable. King’s father worked at the same company for over 30 years while his mother worked at the same location for over 40 years.
But many millennials also feel they have a better work-life balance, where they can travel and invest in their own hobbies, because they understand that their identity is unrelated to their work.
âA lot of us have kids and get married later,â King said. âBack then, if you weren’t married at 30, it was like, ‘Whoa, what’s going on here.’ But now everything is fine. “
Perhaps the real test, however, as millennials grow older, is that even the youngest who are now in their twenties are starting to be ridiculed by the next generation, Gen Z – also known as Zoomers.
And now the older ones with houses can tell these Zoomers to get off their lawns.
Contact Nour Rahal: [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @ nrahal1. To subscribe, go to freep.com/specialoffer.