MILLENNIALS’ FINANCIAL DITCH

#millennials #StudentLoans #CollegeDebt #FinancialSecurity
Some millennials find themselves in not just a financial hole, but a ditch, just as they start their adult lives.
They come out of college deep in debt, and wind up with a low-paying job, making it difficult, or impossible to keep up with their loan payments.
Tom Allison of the Young Invincibles, an advocacy group, discussed this in an article that was published May 1, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Allison talked about Siara Sellers, 28, who owes almost $13,000 in student loans. She’s working part time at a UPS warehouse near her Detroit home, making $11 an hour. She had to leave school in 2013 after her grades plummeted. Her older, now-retired husband became sick at that time, the article says.
“Young adults with college degrees and student debt, for example, find themselves looking at a median, negative net wealth of $1,900, based on research by the Young Invincibles. Simply put, they owe more than they own,” Allison writes.
“There’s no question it used to be much easier to build financial security 25 years ago with a college degree,” Allison says.
So what is a young person to do?
First, don’t let circumstances get you down. Learn to make the most of what you have, and appreciate what is good in your life.
Second, the employment picture is improving greatly. It was reported recently that there are about as many jobs as there are unemployed people, which is just about the best of both worlds. That could send wages and salaries higher.
If you have a marketable skill, find different ways to use that skill and, if you have enough ambition, a clean record etc., you should be able to find something suitable.
Once you get a job that suits you, pay down your debt at whatever speed is comfortable. Obviously, paying it down sooner rather than later is preferable. Then, once it is paid, use that payment, plus any income increases you may get, to put toward your retirement.
Easier said than done, you say? Well, there are many other ways out there to make money working part time in your off hours, without taking a second, W-2 job. If you are motivated and want to help others prosper, you can learn about one of the best such vehicles by messaging me.
Those who are older may want to be young again, but others who are older do not. What the young folks are going through is tough to watch. In fact, some older workers are “being retired” sooner than they want to.
In short, if you are young and considering college, think about what it will cost you, and what you will do with your education on the other side before deciding to go to college. Though all education is valuable, it may not be worth taking on what would seem like a lifetime of debt for a degree that won’t make it easy to pay off.
Just as you need, as a young person, to have the right attitude, you also need to make decisions that will be best for you in the long run. That may require opening your mind to things that may lurk outside your comfort zone.
Times are tough. But tough people get through them – even to the point of seeing prosperity.
Peter

THE DREAM OF BEING YOUR OWN BOSS

#BeingYourOwnBoss #entrepreneurs #BusinessOwners #freelancers
The trend is growing.
Americans say they intend to become their own boss, with all the flexibility that may entail.
According to MetLife study on employee benefits trends, 57 percent of workers say they are interested in becoming a freelancer, according to an article by Charisse Jones for USA Today. It was also published April 22, 2018, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The 57 percent, the article says, is up from 51 percent just last year.
Millennials were the most interested in such work, with 74 percent of those in that age group saying they were curious about becoming a freelancer. That compares to 57 percent of those in Generation X and 43 percent of Baby Boomers, the article quotes the study.
Certainly, the lack of job security working for someone else has contributed to this feeling. Younger folks can look forward to a work life of not knowing whether they will still have a job when the walk into work on a given day.
Younger folks, it seems, want more out of life than just working, working, working. But they may not realize that becoming a freelancer has many pitfalls.
First, until the U.S. can figure out how to make health insurance affordable, buying such insurance on the individual market is incredibly expensive.
Second, it’s been said that one doesn’t own a business. A business owns him or her. If you want to be successful as an entrepreneur, you can’t really tell yourself that you are only going to work X number of hours, with certain days off etc. You have to work when work finds you, and, you have to keep hustling to make sure you have enough work to make a living.
Third, there are duties that you have to do – or pay someone else to do – to keep your enterprise afloat. There is bookkeeping, keeping records for taxes etc. – the kind of work you may not like to do, or find boring.
In short, the flexibility you sought by not working for someone else may not be there for you.
Certainly, there are advantages.
There is something to be said for starting a business from the ground up, and making it successful.
Perhaps, eventually, it can be successful enough that you can pay others to do much of the work, so you can be more flexible.
Usually, though, that takes many years to achieve, and many, many hours of being chief cook and bottle washer.
Perhaps there is a happy medium – having a regular W-2 job that pays the bills, while using some of your own time – say, a few hours a week — building a business for yourself – one that potentially could allow you to eventually ditch the W-2 job and be on your own.
There are many vehicles out there that would allow you to do that. To check out one of the best, message me.
No matter how you decide to earn a living, there is good and bad about each. Independence is a lofty goal, but it’s not for everyone, or every situation.
Here’s a rule of thumb, as you contemplate how you construct your life: if it is to be, it’s up to me. Working for someone else has some benefits, but those benefits can be taken away at any time. Working for yourself has many benefits, but you have to know whether your skill has a market and, if you believe it does, be willing to go out to find it.
Write out your dreams for your life, then put together a game plan that will get you to those dreams.
Peter

ECONOMY AFFECTS MILLENNIALS’ HOMEOWNERSHIP

#HomeBuying #homeownership #millennials #RealEstate
Contrary to what one might think, millennials actually want to buy houses.
But, the economy is stopping them from doing so, in significant numbers.
As with previous generations, they believe owning is better than renting.
“We’re wasting money where we are right now,” said Chris Eidam, 27, who lives with his girlfriend near Bridgeport, Conn. “We just take our rent and we throw it away. That money doesn’t go to anything,” said Eidam, who was quoted in an article on the subject buy Agnel Philip for Bloomberg News. It was also published in the Jan. 1, 2018, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The article points out that stagnating wages, rising housing costs and lack of supply are hindering first-time home buyers.
Still, the article says, for two straight quarters, homeownership rate among those 35 and younger has increased.
But, these are not their parents’ times. Decades ago, a lender would look at a young person that had a steady job, figure out what payments they could afford and determine whether they could buy a certain house. The lenders actually bet on a person’s good name and reputation and loaned them the money.
Today, lending restrictions are stricter. Buyers, sellers and real estate agents, too, have to hope that the agreed upon price meets the lender’s appraisal. Often, the appraisal comes in less than the agreed-upon price, prompting sellers to back out of the deal. Lenders have encouraged appraisers to be strict, to come in less than the fair market value.
Secondly, today’s young folks don’t have the job security that their parents often did. If their parents worked at, say, the local phone company, and had a decent wage, the lender could look at that as an income unlikely to go away. Today, no job is “secure,” and paychecks could dry up just like that. Lenders don’t really want to own real estate and, during the recession, that real estate often came back to lenders worth less than the money owed. Some of that can be blamed on homeowners playing fast and loose with home equity, but that’s another story.
In the overall scheme of life, stricter lending standards may be a good thing. But to those wanting to buy their first home, they are a detriment.
Lending standards have relaxed some in recent times, the article says, but younger folks are carrying record levels of student debt and can struggle to qualify, according to the article.
Home building today is also geared more toward high-end homes, and away from so-called starter homes, the article says.
Still, the experts, according to the article, believe the home-buying market among millennials will equal, or come close to, that of their parents decades ago, the article quotes Ralph McLaughlin, chief economist at Trulia.
So what is a young person, or young couple, that wants to buy a home, to do? First, figure out what you can afford. Don’t expect your first house to be perfect, especially, as the article points out, if you expect to change jobs, or move away from your location. You can always trade up, or remodel, later.
If your income, debt load etc. is making home buying difficult, look for a vehicle that can augment your income by devoting a few, part-time, off-work hours a week. There are many, non W-2 vehicles out there to do that. To check out one of the best, message me.
Finally, if you see a house you can afford, and you are reasonably happy with the location, overlook any cosmetic deficiencies. You can fix those eventually with time, patience and elbow grease. Remember, too, that perfect houses, like perfect people, don’t exist. Every house will have something about it you don’t like. Don’t dismiss good deals out of hand over something you can ultimately fix.
Remember, too, that homeownership is not for everyone. It may have been part of the American Dream, but it’s no sin not to own. Owning your own home comes with great responsibility. If you don’t want or need that, rent, and invest in other things. In short, do the math, figure out the kind of life you want and proceed accordingly.
Peter

MILLENNIALS: MORE SAVERS AND SPENDERS THAN INVESTORS

#millennials #investors #savers #spenders
Millennials don’t see themselves as investors.
According to the 2016 Fidelity Investments Millennial Money Study, 46 percent of the millennials surveyed considered themselves as savers, 44 percent considered themselves spenders and only 9 percent considered themselves investors.
This study was quoted in an Adam Shell article for USA Today, which was published April 27, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Despite Wall Street’s attempts to woo the nation’s largest generation into the stock market, millennials have yet to embrace investing, Shell’s article says. Only one in three say they invest in stocks, the article quotes a Bankrate.com survey.
A Black Rock study says nearly half of the millennials surveys found the market “too risky,” the article says.
And, four in 10 say they don’t have enough spare income to put away for the future, the article quotes a financial literacy survey from Stash, a financial app.
Let’s break down the facts. If you are a saver, and are putting money away, where are you stashing it? In a bank? Under your mattress?
In this market, the rates of return on that money between those alternatives are not far apart.
Secondly, there is wild and crazy – “risky” – investing, and there is careful investing. Each requires consultation with someone you trust , but here’s a good rule of thumb: as you start investing, look for more conservative vehicles, i.e. relatively safe mutual funds. As your wealth grows, you can diversify and take a few, well-thought-out risks. If you really do well, and want to play, take a very small amount of money and invest aggressively.
Here’s another rule: it’s difficult to have a nice nest egg for retirement just keeping your money in a bank. There are very few, if any, traditional, regulated banking products that are paying decent returns. Banks are wonderful institutions for your checking account, and perhaps a small savings account to cover unexpected expenses.
But to really be a saver for retirement, you have to take SOME risk. And, make no mistake, EVERYONE has to save for retirement. As stock-market-loving baby boomers can attest, you never know when your job is going to go away.
For those of you in the category of not having enough spare money to save for the future, there are ways to solve that problem. First and foremost, you have to make saving for the future a priority in your life. Even if you see yourself as a spender rather than a saver, you have make SOME saving a priority, or the fun you are having today will turn into poverty when you retire, or when that good job goes away.
A suggestion might be to look at the many ways out there to use your spare time to earn a secondary income. To check out one of the best such vehicles, message me.
In short, saving is not just prudent, but necessary. The more you save when you are young, the more you will have, and the better your life will be, when you are older. If you are a millennial, talk to your parents about what to do. However their lives have turned out, there are lessons in their lives that will apply to you. Don’t underestimate their story, or their advice.
As you save, some risk will become necessary. Though the stock market looks scary, over time it has proved to provide the best returns. Find a trustworthy, knowledgeable adviser to help you get started, and who will continue to work with you. Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions about fees, returns etc., so that you will have a clear picture of how to proceed.
Finally, watch what you spend. Don’t deprive yourself, necessarily, but look for things you can eliminate to allow you to save more money. Remember that a dollar in your pocket generally is better for you than a dollar you put into someone else’s pocket.
Your future could well depend on decisions you make in your youth. You don’t have to depend on things “going right,” if you make good choices now.
Peter

TAKING THE LONG VIEW OF FINANCES

#millennials #BabyBoomers #economy
Home prices in Seattle are soaring.
So, Kathryn Jacoby, 30, and Jeff Whitehill, 32 came to a sobering conclusion: buy now, before prices went up further, or they may never afford to own a home. They bought a 72-year-old house for $550,000. It may be more than they can afford on their combined $110,000 annual income, but they felt time was not on their side.
George Erb wrote of the couple’s plight, and that of other millennials, in the Seattle Times.
Meanwhile, Rodney Brooks writes of how baby boomers are bridging the Generation Gap. His article for The Washington Post was based on Lori Bitter’s book, “The Grandparent Economy: How Baby Boomers Are Bridging the Generation Gap.” The book focuses how baby boomers may be taking care of several generations of their family, be they their parents or their children who may not have recovered financially from the Great Recession of 2008.
“The real story is they (boomers) may have two or three generation of people living in their homes that they were working their butts off to support,” Brooks quotes Bitter. That puts their retirement plans in some peril.
Both Erb’s and Brooks’ articles were published in the March 6, 2017, issue of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Meanwhile, Ron Lieber wrote in the New York Times of financial trade-offs people make, whether they know it or not. Some take two or three jobs just so they can raise their kids in a certain neighborhood. Others experience life now, perhaps after the sudden death of a relative, lest they not get to do it again, etc.
Lieber’s article was published April 24, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Let’s break this down a bit further. If you are young, you need to be actively engaged in financial planning, including not only what you earn, but what you spend and what you save. The young couple in Erb’s article believed that housing appreciation was going to continue for the foreseeable future, so they extended themselves a bit to buy a house.
If that holds true, they’ll appreciate that decision later. However, there is much peril in the meantime. They borrowed $30,000 from Jacoby’s parents, and Whitehill has a $60,000 student loan to pay off.
Hopefully, they can pay down those debts and they will earn more income over time. The latter is far from guaranteed, making the former more difficult.
Rather than borrow money from parents to help buy a house, some young people are still living with their parents, as Brooks’ article discusses.
The point here is that all generations alive today face financial challenges. The trick is doing what you need to do to overcome them.
With technology and globalization throwing a monkey wrench into job security, people in all generations might want to think about ways to earn extra income, preferably without taking a pound of flesh from themselves, or having no time to really live.
There are many options available to accomplish this. To hear about one of the best, message me.
With job security far from assured, no matter in what field one is employed, financial risks become that much riskier. Still, taking no risk at all generally doesn’t get one very far. As long as the risks are calculated, and one plans accommodations to alleviate some of the peril, there’s no telling what the payoff can be.
Here’s wishing the millennials great financial planning skill, and baby boomers great coping skills as they deal with their issues.
Peter

BOOMERS VS. MILLENNIALS IN THE WORK FORCE

#BabyBoomers #millennials #GenerationsInTheWorkForce
“Managing multigenerational workforces is an art in itself,” says a quote from Harvard Business School.
“Young workers want to make a quick impact, the middle generation needs to believe in the mission and the older employees don’t like ambivalence. Your move,” the quote continues.
Eric Harvey and Silvana Clark have compiled a book titled “Boomers vs. Millennials: Listen, Learn and Succeed Together.” Half the book is written from the viewpoint of the millennials. The second half is written from the viewpoint of the boomers.
There is no right or wrong on either side, the authors argue. It’s just a matter of how different age groups see the world.
Millennials are tech whizzes. Boomers? Not so much. Millennials want things to happen quickly. They want to get immediately recognized for everything they do. They need constant feedback, the book says.
Boomers are a little more patient. They can be left alone without much feedback to get their jobs done.
Millennials look for a good work-life balance. Boomers can, and have, put their jobs first in many cases.
Regardless of your age group, we all want work to be rewarding. We all want to be paid fairly for what we do. We all want the time to have a full life and we all want to have enough in our elder years to feel comfortable about retirement.
Too often, jobs lack some of those provisions. Chances are, if you are paid well, you are working long hours. You are putting the rest of your life on hold to keep those paychecks flowing.
If you are not paid well, unless you have a certain degree of personal satisfaction from your work, chances are you are not happy.
It’s always good to find something good in any job, lest you do something rash and quit.
Boomers, and workers who are even older, have grown up with some degree of job security. Generally, if one worked hard and stayed out of trouble, he or she advanced at work. Millennials probably will not have that. They will go from job to job — sometimes by their own choosing, sometimes not — looking for the ideal situation.
Employers have to understand this phenomenon if they want to keep good people. The Harvey and Silvana book provides some insight to employers, as well as employees, to understand those from different generations.
If you are a millennial, and you bounce from job to job looking for the ideal, wouldn’t it be nice to have an income that is not dependent on a traditional, W-2 job? If you are a boomer, and approaching retirement age, wouldn’t it be nice to have an income that will augment what you will get when you retire? Wouldn’t each generation like to leave a legacy of helping others? In any case, you may find an answer at www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
We all have different needs. We may not always understand the folks from our children’s or our parents’ generation. But we all must work and live in the same world. It’s best if we try to empathize with each other, rather than criticize each other.
No one is right or wrong, the authors contend. So let’s accept each other for who we are, and try to understand where each is coming from. All will be more productive in that case.
Peter

ARE YOU 20-SOMETHING AND STILL LIVING WITH MOM AND DAD?

#millennials #StillLivingAtHome #adults
OK, you’re 20-something, with no job, perhaps a college degree.
Let’s presume you don’t want to be living at home, but you don’t believe you can afford not to.
If you PREFER to live with your parents, that may be a discussion for another time.
Peter Dunn, an author, speaker, radio host and personal finance expert, tells young people to “knock it off,” as the headline reads, and stop laying their financial problems on their parents. He discussed this in a March 29, 2016, column in USA Today.
Dunn says that every late-night pizza, every beer and every other good-time splurge in college contributed to the young person’s financial dilemma.
“Your parents (speaking directly to the young folks) want to cut you off, but are afraid to,” Dunn writes. “It’s not good enough to stop asking for money. You must tell them you don’t need their money anymore.”
Admittedly, the problem is not as simple as it appears. Kids go to college expecting to come out with some kind of job. But, as the last few years have taught us, not only is that not guaranteed, it’s becoming more unlikely in certain fields.
On top of not having a job, the kids may have mountains of college debt lurking in their lives.
Certainly, if you are in college now, you need to be aware that you might not have a job when you get out. The earlier you plan for it, by, say, watching your spending while in school or getting work experience in some area that might employ you when you get out, the better off you will be.
It’s great to love your parents. It’s great for your parents to love you. The greatest love you can show your parents, perhaps, is not to burden their lives. They are trying to save for retirement. Every dollar they give you is one they cannot put to that cause.
As a young person, you can lament that your parents probably had it better than you as far as the job market goes. Or, you can buck up and find ways to support yourself in the current climate.
Believe it or not, there are many ways out there to do that that don’t necessarily involve manual labor. For one of the best, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You may have to look outside your comfort zone for a solution, but the possibilities are out there.
Let’s look at this from a social perspective. Do you really want to bring a date back to your place with your mom and dad there? Do you really want to confine your personal space to one room? Do you really just want to hang out at home the rest of your life?
A life is certainly worth working for, even if that work may not be exactly what you want to do. You can also find a solution (job) that is temporary, while you think about how you are going to use all those skills and all that knowledge you paid so dearly for. Chances are, you WILL find a use for it, but it may or may not make you a living.
“I’ve come to the conclusion that asking 18-year-olds to commit to tens of thousands of dollars of debt, without a job, income or assets, is among the stupidest things modern society does,” Dunn writes.
We hear that you can only get a good job with a good education. But some of those “good” jobs don’t pay much. If you are going to commit to a college education, have a plan. Know what you are going to do with it as you proceed. Also, beforehand, do the math. Decide whether the education is worth the debt. There’ no shame in deciding that college is NOT for you, or just not worth the financial sacrifice.
Whatever you do, give mom and dad a break. Come home to visit, even frequently. But make your home somewhere out of theirs.
Peter

MILLENNIALS ARE QUITTING THEIR JOBS OFTEN

“God, today we pray for all those who are looking for a job. Guide them to the company you have for them. Grant them favor with employers and fill them with patience and wisdom as they search. Provide every need as they wait on you! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Prayer for Employment www.facebook.com/circleofprayer

#millennials #jobs #QuittingYourJob

A few years ago, if you were fortunate enough to have a job, you did what you could to hold on to it.
If you were out of a job, you pounded the pavement. Perhaps you prayed.
Today, according to a Bloomberg News article by Natalie Kitroeff, quitting is in.
More than 3 million Americans quit their job in December 2015, Kitroeff writes. That’s the highest number since 2006, Kitroeff quotes the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The quits rate, which measures how many people ended their employment out of everyone who worked in a given month, reached its highest level in seven years, Kitroeff writes.
Millennials, those between 18 and 34 years old, became the largest segment of the U.S. labor market, and that work force is expected to increase even more. They seem to be averse to spending their work lives at one desk, Kitroeff writes.
This shows that the economy is definitely improving. Workers, particularly young workers, don’t generally quit their jobs unless they have another one, or are confident they will get one fairly quickly.
Kitroeff quotes a survey by accounting giant Deloitte of 7,500 working, college-educated professionals born after 1982 in 29 countries. Sixty-six percent hoped to have a different job in five years from now, or sooner. Forty-four percent said they would quit within two years and 25 percent said they would quit this year, to either start a new job or “do something different.”
The millennials’ parents and grandparents, for the most part, craved the security of a job. They craved the benefits – health insurance, pension, vacation time etc. – as well as the steady paycheck.
Millennials seem to have a different outlook on work, the future etc. Much of the benefits their forebears craved have been significantly reduced, or have gone away entirely.
For previous generations, the benefits a job provided were both a blessing and a curse. They blessed those employees with something extra that was worth real money. They cursed them, because they kept them tied to a job, when they might have wanted to go to work elsewhere. Some have even used the term, “golden handcuffs,” to describe a benefit-laden job that a person just can’t afford to give up.
One of the benefits of the Affordable Care Act is that it allows workers to have health insurance that is not tied to a job. This could embolden them to want to leave one employment situation for another.
Are you now in a job that you hate, that doesn’t use the many skills and talents you have, or doesn’t provide you with the future you believe you deserve? If you need the steady paycheck, one solution might be to work on a Plan B outside of work. A Plan B might provide you with an income cushion so you can look for a position more to your liking. For one of the best Plan Bs, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau.
Traditional employment is changing. Perhaps you seek the independence that a traditional job does not provide. Perhaps you want to be an entrepreneur and work for yourself. Perhaps your boss doesn’t see how valuable you really are.
Allow yourself to dream. Get a Plan B. Independence awaits those who want it, and are willing to look for it.
Peter