Hey "Millennial," Give Yourself a Break, You Were Dealt a Tricky Hand

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The media does not generally portray millennials in a positive light. This holds true for perceptions of the savings habits of millennials. Millennials are still seen as the generation living in mom's basement. Whether they are doing so because they are, in fact, diligently saving, or because they are "failure to launch” kids is not usually specified. The other point that often goes unmentioned is that millennials will need to save more than previous generations, as well as work harder in order to save more. Interest rates are low and investment savings are not returning the high yields seen by previous generations. Between the major limitations of low interest rates and crippling student loan debt, most millennials are struggling to save. 

When it comes to accruing savings, millennials are swimming against the current, but they are swimming very, very hard. They are not getting into credit card debt at the rate of previous generations, which shows a wariness and sophistication with which millennials are not credited enough in mainstream media. The money they put away is not going to work as hard for them as the money put away by their parents and grandparents. As a result, millennials are being called on to put away more and more towards retirement than any previous generation. Not only are the low interest rates holding them back, but there is a very real threat that social security will run out long before full retirement age, leaving millennials to fund 100% of their own retirement.

Sadly, the main association with millennials these days is still the "participation award" generation. In truth, millennials are the generation that graduated from college in between one or two economic crises and rose to the occasion by working hard, staying out of credit card debt, and saving as much as possible for their children's education and their own retirement.

So, Millennial, next time you are feeling down on yourself for having an outrageous amount of student loan debt, and not enough savings, know that you are not alone, and the root of the problem is far from your fault.