If you entered the world between 1980 and 1996, you’re part of the “millennial generation”. You’ve grown up in an age of unprecedented abundance and incredible technical innovation, and as a group, enjoy a greater wealth of opportunity – professionally, socially and recreationally – than any previous generation. Many goods and services have never been cheaper in real terms, allowing you to live more for today than adopting your parents’ and grandparents’ single-minded focus on buying a home and saving for retirement.
Career or a combo?
That’s not to say you don’t face challenges. Increased employment casualisation, short-term contracting, and the threat of automation, can potentially threaten your job security. Or you might actually embrace a ‘come and go’ career, interweaving periods of work with stints of travel, child-raising or volunteering. Indeed, many millennials are discovering that the whole concept of work versus recreation is becoming blurred. With a computer, the primary tool of trade in many professions, you may be able to work just as easily from a spare bedroom in Berlin or Barcelona as in Parramatta or Perth.
Medical advances promise a long and healthy life, meaning you may not even intend to ‘retire’, choosing to work for as long as health allows.
Is home ownership that important?
Some millennials find it liberating not to be tied down to one place by a mortgage and a heap of stuff, however the likelihood is that if you haven’t bought a house already, you still aspire to the great Australian dream of home ownership. This is a real challenge, particularly for younger millennials and may involve unacceptable compromises such as living a long distance from work. But attitudes to long-term renting are changing. While Australia has yet to develop both the culture and cooperative ownership structures that make life-long home rental the norm in some countries, it’s a sure bet that enterprising millennials are working to change that. In any case, renting can be an economically viable alternative to buying.
There’s an app for that
Whether it’s finding a meaningful job, financing a new venture through crowd funding, borrowing through P2P platforms, finding a house or just a room, or even looking for love, you know where to find the apps. Still, with the mass of opportunities that have arisen from greater connection and changing social attitudes, life is in many ways more complicated than it was for your forebears.
Let’s talk about money
Managing money is no exception. For a start, there’s the challenge of working out what the right balance is between funding a desirable lifestyle now and saving for medium and long term goals. Once that’s decided there are the questions of how to save and where to invest. The Internet is awash with information and advice, with much of it of a high standard. Unfortunately, this is balanced by a vast amount of misinformation and an abundance of shonky investment offers, making it difficult to distinguish the good from the bad.
There is more to life than saving for retirement and maximising entitlement to the age pension. If you would like some advice on how to manage your unique financial needs to get as much out of life as possible, contact your financial adviser.
General Advice Disclaimer
This article contains general advice only, which has been prepared without taking into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any person. You should, therefore, consider the appropriateness of the information in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs and read all relevant Product Disclosure Statements before acting on the information. Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the material, Paradigm Strategic Planning or WealthSure Financial Services Pty Ltd will not bear responsibility or liability for any action taken by any person, persons or organisation on the purported basis of information contained herein. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, no person, persons or organisation should invest monies or take action on reliance of the material contained herein but instead should satisfy themselves independently of the appropriateness of such action.