Post # 1
This article has been floating around on Facebook lately…
Millennials Who Are Thriving Financially Have One Thing in Common: Rich Parents
The essence of the article claims that most 20 somethings that own homes, have nice cars and are saving for retirement have rich parents. Basically, their parents paid for college (thus avoiding student loans) and have helped them financially since, leading them to better financial stability.
Now, while I do agree that wealthy kids are set up better for life financially, my qualm with the article is how overly simplified it present everything. Maybe it is because my Darling Husband and I are probably one of the exceptions (definitely not the rule).
We both graduated from college and Darling Husband pursued his master’s degree. Both of our families were low income (his single mom was a housekeeper with 3 children making $18,000 a year and my family of five lived on $35,000/year) and consequently we got a lot of financial aid. While scholarships helped, we still graduated with $40,000 in student loans. We were fortunate to work our way into good paying jobs at the moment (it took about 5 years) and have saved, sacrificed and managed to buy a home, have good cars and save for retirement. We also live in a low-to-moderate cost of living area. We intentionally decided to stay in a less desirable area for young people (not much to do) because we knew we could save up and pay down debt. If we lived in a big city, we would not own anything.
I know many friends still struggling in this economy anda are drowning in student loans, so I am not saying it isn’t a reality for many. But I guess my beef with the article is to assume if you are doing ok or well in your 20’s, your parents must have helped you get there. This is definitely a #firstworldproblem, but I am just curious to see what other bees think.
Post # 2
Just because you are an exception, doesn’t mean that it’s not true. I think one of the problems with this country is that people think that since they “made it”, everyone else can too. Economic disadvantage is a huge factor in the trajectory of people’s lives.
Post # 3
Nooooooo way. I mean, obviously this is anecdotal … but my life was NOT like that.
My mom is a single mom and we grew up BROKE. Like, we got a Habitat for Humanity house broke. She is still paycheck to paycheck. My DH’s mother was a drug addict who died when he was fourteen, his dad is a deadbeat who has never given him a dime, and after his mom died, he was raised by elderly grandparents who couldn’t really afford to give him much. They did give him their old 1980s car to take to college. My dad gave me a car that he bought used and fixed up and he also gave me like a thousand bucks for spending money my first semester of college so I could wait to get a job. But after that first semester, I always had a job in school, sometimes two.
Like you, OP, we got some financial aid because of our family’s incomes, so that helped. But it’s more than that … We chose an affordable state university, worked our asses off for academic and merit scholarships, lived within our means and worked hard through college and had jobs lined up in our fields before we even graduated. We drive the cars given to us as teens. We took a Dave Ramsey financial planning class and got on the same page about how we handle our budgeting and finances. We also live in a smaller town which is cheaper than a major city.
With careful planning and responsible practices, we spent 25k on a wedding, had a killer honeymoon in Mexico, next week is our 10-day summer vacation to Banff, Alberta and we are going to Vegas for a four-day weekend in October. We just bought a truck, we treat our families to really generous gifts, we are saving 20% of our income for a downpayment on top of our general saving and our emergency fund saving and our retirement contributions. We have NO credit card or student loan debt. No debt, period.
It really does people like me and Darling Husband a disservice to attribute millennial success exclusively to parents, considering our parents have next to nothing and couldn’t really help us out.
I hate it when people brush off millennials. This article is just trying to further the “millennials are entitled and have no work ethic” rhetoric that circulates the internet. This same stereotype has come up with each new generation and it’s getting sooooo old.
Post # 4
Sashley: If you read what I wrote, I never said it wasn’t true, by any means. I work in a field that strictly serves low income individuals. I know economic disadvantage is a real barrrier to success. I even said we are the exception. What I was stating is it is an oversimplificaiton.
Post # 5
Me and Fiance are well off financially and have zero parental help. I think a lot of people feel too entitled to actually work hard for what they want way too easy to get it from mommy and daddy.
Post # 6
Oversimplified. I made more in scholarships than what tuition cost. I would have recieved more had I been able to claim financial need throughout undergrad, plus if I had student loans portions would have been forgiven.
Now due to illness, I have no income.
I think having a stable home life, with parents who can guide children towards good decisions is one of the major factors, although some don’t have that and overcome the challenges. I do think having righ parents is a bigger factor in the US than here though.
Post # 7
I agree with the article. I am not thriving financially, however I would be in a much worse place if I hadn’t had support from my parents. Getting a degree without debt was huge. I fell on some real hard times in my 20s (first inability to get a job despite applying everywhere, then major medical crisis) and if it weren’t for my parents, I’d have CC, student loan and massive medical debt. Hubs and I are basically starting over from scratch, but we are at least starting from zero, not from a negative number.
Post # 8
Mrs.Sugabee2003: I think this article is a huge over-simplication….and it doesn’t really define what they mean by “rich parents”. I would argue that what makes successful Millennials is financial responsibility. Either good financial guidance from parents or good financial management of student debt. I would by no means classify my parents as rich. They do not live in a mansion or drive luxury cars or go on endless European vacations or even live in the most expensive parts of town. They are, however, extremely financially responsible and careful with their money. They have no debt (Dave Ramsey plan) and raised me the same way. Because of how financially responsible they were, I was able to go to college and graduate with no student loans 1) because my entire tuition was covered by a merit scholarship, 2) they paid my on-campus living costs, 3) I am a huge saver and worked a couple jobs that allowed me to handle any of my personal extracurricular activities, and 4) I chose an in-state school that was MUCH less expensive than other options. On the other hand, my Darling Husband was able to graduate from college with no student loans as well because of 1) partial merit scholarships, 2) assistance from his parents and grandparents, and 3) going to an in-state school with lower costs. His parents are also by no means rich, but his grandparents were so stingy with money during their lifetime that they saved like crazy and are able to help their multiple children and grandchildren out a lot in both the $$ department and the financial responsibility arena. DH’s parents are not at all financially responsible and they passed that trait onto Darling Husband. It wasn’t until Darling Husband and I met that we made financial goals and rules together and changed that way of thinking for him. A few years ago, Darling Husband definitely operated under the same financial example that his parents were setting and it wouldn’t have put him in a good place if he continued. His sister continues to follow that poor financial example and is probably going to be struggling for the next decade or two.
Post # 9
It’s true. Of course there are exceptions. No need to get your panties in a bunch of you’re self made. But MOST of this generation that are well off had parents to help them get there. Class mobility is sadly still pretty low in the good ol USA. And unlike decades past, stagnating wages, the need top spend an ass load of cash on education to obtain a well-paying job, and ridiculous home prices make parental support an even stronger determinate than what has been the historical norm.
Post # 10
I’m not sure how I feel about this. I didn’t grow up dirt poor or in a family that was well off. So I’m going to say that I grew up middle class. Being an only child and having married parents who both had jobs I was denied for all financial aid. My parents were the people that didn’t make enough to pay for my school but they made too much for me to receive any help. So I took out a few loans, worked two jobs through school and was lucky enough that my parents paid for one semester of school. I did get into my dream school with a partial scholarship but couldn’t afford to go since I would have to pay room and board. Here I am 26, I have about 10K of student debt, I worked my way up the business latter you can say and I do drive a nice car. However my Fiance and I do not own a home, yet. I have some credit issues due to being 20 and giving an ex my info (wont get into that). We are in the process of paying off my school loans and will be buying a house in the next 12-18 months. I am actually in the process of opening my own business, and hope to be 30 and one of those successful people 😋 we will see.
I do agree with the PPs, it is all about how your parents raised you. What they instilled in you about financial responsibility. I will be honest, my parents werent the best role models when it came to saving but they did stop me from taking over 100K in student loans…so I am thankful for that. I also did learn from my other minor financial mistakes. I really can’t complain. I do however have an issue with the fungicidal aid system in the U.S. but that’s a while new thread haha
Post # 11
Mrs.Sugabee2003: Yes I think it’s generally true and always has been. It’s not just about financial help from family members or graduating without debt. It’s also about job contacts and parents who instill in their children the value of delaying gratification. Kids who aren’t taught (through values and consistency) that delaying gratification and planning for the future is important can rarely dig their way out of poverty.
Post # 12
Mrs.Sugabee2003: I think at the heart of the article, its talking about the difficulties of coming out of school with substantial debt and how that affects someone’s personal finance as well as the economy in general. If your parents were able to pay your bills and bring you out of school debt-free that’s more or less what the article considers having “rich parents” and what they attribute to being able to be financially successful. Let’s face facts: its waay easier to start squirreling away savings, buy a house, etc. when you aren’t paying back $40k in student loan debt.
Post # 13
While this article brought up some good points, I think it’s an over-simplification of what is happening to the millenial generation.
My parents were very well off, but they did not save up for my college tuition and were in the process of divorce at the time. I did receive some help from them, but it wasn’t enough to cover the full cost of tuition and room and board. I worked during my undergraduate degree (about 30 hours a week in addition to a full time schedule) to pay for rent and utilities, while I used government loans and scholarships to cover tuition. For my master’s degree, my employer at the time paid for one class a semester and I again used government loans to cover the remaining cost of my degree while my paycheck went to living expenses. Overall, I graduated with about $25,000 in student loans. My Fiance, on the other hand, started out with at least four times that amount. He grew up in a single parent household and is the first of his family to go to school, so he did not receive any fianancial assistance from his family. For what it’s worth, I am now 27 and he is 24.
That being said, I think we are quite successful. However, I think most of our current success is due to moving to a lower cost-of-living area of the US. We’re still making about the same amount of money we were in our old city, but our dollar is going a heck of a lot further. We have much higher hopes of buying a home and living a comfortable lifestyle now than we did two years ago.
As to the whole entitlement issue, I don’t think financial success is a marker of a person feeling/being entitled. Rather, it’s that particular person’s attitude or how they were raised. Sometimes even people who are not finacially successful can feel entitled because they see others making more money or getting nice things. We’re a complicated generation and it’ll be interesting to see how things change in the years to come.
Post # 14
I think the article doesn’t define a few things well enough. IMO, financial aid can be anywhere from giving a child money to do laundry to cosigning for loans, and to paying for some or all of college tuition. If I had been asked if I received financial assistance from my mom and whether or not I feel like it had an effect on my outcome I would have answered yes and yes… although, I walked away with 100k+ of student loans.
My husband and I both come from working class parents, both were single parents. Neither were in a position to finance our college. Our success, IMO, is attributed to the fact that both of our parents taught us to know the value of a dollar, to work hard, and to budget accordingly. We both have good, high paying jobs that have allowed us to pay off our debt, save for retirement, rack up investments, and treat ourselves to nice trips and toys.
My salary is public. His salary is public. Our salaries are the same as anybody else we work with plus or minus a few thousand dollars. We both work with people in our same pay band that are always broke and are living paycheck to paycheck. Those people are the ones who buy a new, high end car yearly. They have the newest phones and shoes and eat out every day. They would live better if they truly understood where their money was going.
So, you will get varying answers. You will get people who struggle and blame it on debt, but they fail to disclose whether it’s consumer debt or student loans (and having had 100k+ of student loans I can tell you the payments are not that bad). You will get people like me who have a 10 year old television and a four year old phone, but my personal net worth is astounding. Life is all about the decisions we make. Money is not everything people think it is.
Post # 15
Katie-Didnt: Absolutely, we just recently bought a home and we haven’t finished paying back our student loans. Out of $40k, we still owe about $20k. I agree that what the article is getting at (regarding student loans being a hindrance) is true, but I guess I think it still went a little to the extreme making the point that most stable millennials must have rich parents. But, that’s what gets attention, the extreme headlines and points of view.