If you're a millennial like myself, there seems to be no limit to the generational animosity you get from other groups. From the workplace to the news, we get treated like these desolate, poor, lazy, disruptive individuals who have no real world view. I could be biased but, screw that. I graduated from the University of Missouri in 2009 and baby let me tell you I was LUCKY that I had a job waiting for me when I crossed the stage. We entered the economy during a housing collapse, great recession and period of massive layoffs primarily driven by the economic policies voted for and supported by the baby boomer generation. So uh, thanks, guys.
Everywhere you look there's a new article about why millennials are economically disenfranchised, i.e., living at home with their parents, crushed by the weight of student loans -which we took out with the promise of being able to find a job within our fields, no savings accounts, or retirement plans. The criticism is just endless. Then this D-bag comes out of nowhere and tries to take avocados away from us. For me, that's the final straw. I say no sir, you leave my avocados out of this. I'm totally shaking my fist in the air by the way. Keep reading for the scoop on what was said.
Australian millionaire Tim Gurner stated on a 60 Minutes Australia special that people need to reel in their unrealistic expectations and start saving. “We're at a point now where the expectations of younger people are very, very high." He said, attempting to make the point that millennials are spending money on unnecessary things. That may be true, but it's no different that any other generation; my parents STILL have a house phone. Financial responsibility and literacy is not a character trait of any one generation. I know many other millennials who didn't grow up financially literate because their parents weren't either. Rather than continue the cycle, they broke it and took proactive steps to better their financial futures. Can they get a high-five? Mr. Gurner didn't stop there, although perhaps he should have.
This is the part where Mr. Gurner and his unsolicited advice really took a nose-dive. He advised that property buyers may need to purchase an investment property first with the help of friends and family. Gurner himself began his career as a property investor after he purchased a gym with $34,000 that his grandfather lent him.
Now, I'm going to pause and let you reread those three sentences. Is it millennials who have unrealistic expectations or is it Mr. Gurner? I don't know about in Australia, but in America 69% of Americans have less than $1,000 in savings and no not just the millennial generation, but ALL Americans. So where are all these grandparents ready and able to lend thirty grand?
My opinion on the 60 Minutes Australia special is that Mr. Gurner is out of touch, but the topic he attempted to approach is extremely important. Economic prosperity is a real discussion that needs to be had, but it cannot be approached on the basis of merely "you're not trying hard enough" without taking into account vast changes that have changed in our financial landscape. For example, housing in many areas is no longer affordable with average rent prices increasing at a faster rate than salaries, and the price of healthy whole foods continues to climb. I discussed a variant of this topic in my fitness is a privilege post where I broach the subject of the financial investment that fitness can require and how that can present a barrier for many people. Regardless, this dialogue is incredibly complex and there's no one answer, but a combination of many.
Side note: Where in the world do "smashed" avocados cost $19? Hopefully that's just hyperbole.