Millennials are the first generation that will earn less than their parents. And to be clear, as a whole, this has yet to have happened in the history of the United States.
Millennial doctors and lawyers graduate to live in 1 or 2 bedroom apartments, while by and large many others are living with their parents or roommates to make ends meet. It’s probably hard for many in these situations to even feel the degradation of their standard of living because it’s all they have ever known. Similar to watching a child grow, these slow changes have gone unnoticed.
The clearest sign is to compare apples-to-apples 25 year olds of today vs. 25 year old of past generations, and believe me, there’s a stark contrast. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released new data showing that the birthrate has dropped to an all-time low in the United States. Millennials can’t afford to pay their own bills, much less having to add another mouth to the picture.
Conventionally, education should be a solution to this problem, but what we have is a system that makes the problem even worse by financially damning many who enter the lure of college campuses.
Arriving at college campuses always seems like a good idea at the time looking up at these buildings that look like massive castles for orientations, being sold on how great of a decision you are making for your life to commit to a 4 or 8 year degree only to be buried under mountains of debt.
It’s an illusion…
As a percentage of our economy, student-loan debt is rapidly increasing and everyone who is missing this is in for a massive upset as a breaking point in the system is inevitably coming.
By the way, the free market would not support a college tuition increase the way we’re seeing it happen in the US. While the internet is educating the world largely for free, competition in education is here but the failures of government will expand the inefficiencies and double down on antiquated practices.
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Google, Apple and IBM Speaking Volumes
Sign of the times that didn’t get covered as much as it should have, but something you must know, mega-companies I’m talking trend-setters, are not requiring college degrees for high-earning positions. I’m talking companies like Google, Apple, and IBM. This is huge and really, the free market acknowledging that the failing college system that is crushing graduates, is not to be depended on for the workforce of the future.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in education. I fully expect alternative forms of education to surface, whether it is private organizations arising, teachers building followings on free platforms, or companies themselves paying to train their employees in the form of apprentices and other entry level positions that will more effectively attract and incentivize productivity.
Start thinking differently, because the model of the 20th century that may have worked out for prior generations, is not working today…
Being Successful in the 21st Century
You need to be hungry. Put your back against the wall (maybe it already is due to your circumstances) and make it a priority to get ahead.
Just like a mother who loses her child at an amusement park frantic to find her baby, go after your goals with the same sort of intensity.
And for those of you who might have “achieved” your goals and consider yourself successful, keep in mind that success can breed complacency, and complacency breeds failure.
My wife and I have a 4 year old, a 2 year old and a third one on the way that we are considering naming Oops, that’s neither here or there. But what I can tell you, thinking about them is my “back against the wall” to make sure a path for them is paved. It’s my driving force for my health and financial security. My time with my family is my most precious resource, and if I poison my health or my finances, I risk losing out on my time with my family and for me, that is unacceptable.
In your pursuit of success, don’t seek out conventional wisdom to pave the way for your future. The current environment is no reason to back down, but rather an incentive to be resourceful and claim resilience over your future.
Chief Editor, CrushTheStreet.com
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