Every human generation is susceptible to stereo-types and generalizations that characterize their lot ranging from food habits to their spending style. The discourse on traits/habits of Baby boomers and Gen X began with their generations’ ethics and values, only to end the talk on their spending/saving behaviour. In comparison, the millennials undergo dissection of their habits, attitudes to the last bit, constantly putting their behaviours under the scanner. Such analyses have led to the creation of certain misconceptions or myths about the millennials, some of which are listed below:
Myth 1: Millennials are Spendthrifts and don’t care to own a home
Most surveys claim that millennials are interested in blowing their money on frivolous things like shopping, dining out, overseas vacations, luxury goods etc. They care less about owning a home or saving some money.
The Reality: Young millennials aren’t adept at financial planning, but then again, so is every generation that would want to live life their own way. Millennials’ are touted to be great influencers of the world economy. Their choices and experiences shall urge the businesses to re-evaluate and re-draft their business strategies to remain relevant for the present and times to come. According to a Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research report, the peak home-buying years for most millennials range between the ages of 25 and 45, and as millennials enter peak home-buying years, their reluctance to enter the housing market could change. The study also reveals that millennials aren’t very keen to buy luxury goods like cars, and instead prefer to access these products in the form of a service facilitated by a ‘sharing economy’. This millennial desire to own a home in future coupled with their reluctance to buy luxury goods is a sign of saving that could give a strong impetus to the real estate sales, owing to their cohort’ size.
Myth 2: Millennials are happy being single and don’t subscribe to marriage
To millennials, marriage is an outdated, old-school and traditional institution, which is far from what they believe the ideal setting for courtship and family is. Millennials think that marriage is merely a society’s highest standard and ideal that is forced upon them for reasons of economy, proper division of labour and unified religious beliefs.
The Reality: The millennials don’t want to remain eternally single. On the whole, Millennials are starting families later than their counterparts in prior generations, according to a study done by the Pew Research Center.The median marriage age among millennials now stands at 30 years. The study also indicates that the millennials are waiting longer to have children. So, it might throw an impression that millennials are not keen on starting a family, but they surely want to have their own families one fine day
Myth 3: Millennials are frequent job-hoppers and disloyal
Millennials are considered to be job-hoppers for several reasons. One, they are termed as the ‘Me Generation’ that puts self interest or growth before anyone else’. At workplace too, they’re not interested in being team players, and only go deals that benefits them the most, even if it means switching jobs. Another contrary theory that’s perpetuated is that the employer has no intention of being loyal to them, so there’s no point in them being loyal to their employer.
The Reality: Interestingly, millennials are not job-hoppers at all. When millennials leave a job, it’s usually due to a lack of job advancement potential which is totally justified. If they felt there was the possibility of upward mobility in the company, the Pew Research Center study showed millennials would stay in their job for five years. It also demonstrated that overall, millennials are actually sticking with employers longer than Gen X workers did when they were the same age. They’re also optimistic about finding a stable career.
Myth 4: Millennials love wellness and they are healthy
Millennials are often credited with driving the global wellness industry. They hold a reputation for valuing health and wellness, and indulge in various kinds of fitness activities to stay fit and healthy.
The Reality: Millennials today are living rollercoaster lives, and their health is headed for a downslide, in comparison to their elders’ health in Gen X. Lifestyle and behavioural health issues are prevalent among millennials today. Symptoms like major depression, Type 2 diabetes and hormonal imbalances are much severe in female millennials as compared to their male counterparts.
Myth 5: Millennials are inert and don’t save for their retirement
This is the most commonly spread misconception about millennials that have a sense of entitlement that doesn’t make them ready for adulthood life. Also, millennials are known to live in the present, and care very little about tomorrow. So, they end up utilising their earnings towards experiencing the present, instead of saving for the future.
The Reality: Between paying bills, spiking rent prices and crushing student loan payments, it’s no surprise that millennials are finding it increasingly difficult to save for retirement. But, this doesn’t signify that they are not keen to save for their retirement. Millennials have high expectations of a secure financial future. When it comes to planning for their retirement, they surprisingly follow the footsteps of their preceding generations – the Baby Boomers and Gen X.
According to an annual study, millennials are the most responsible savers compared to Baby Boomers and Gen X. One in five millennials frequently discuss saving, investing, and retirement planning with friends and family. However, 3 out of 4 millennials indicate they are not fully aware of retirement investment and would like to receive more information and advice on how to achieve retirement goals.
This is where automation can incentivise millennials to plan for their retirement. While working in difficult conditions that need attention to details, young millennials will not have the time or patience to think about their finances. Trusted online platforms like the Finserv MARKETS provide several investment options like mutual funds that can help millennials automate their retirement savings without a hassle.
At Finserv MARKETS, one can open a free mutual fund account with no brokerage involved, and invest in mutual funds that suit one’s risk appetite and investment goals with zero commission. With Bajaj Finserv Mutual Fund account, one way to invest in mutual funds is to opt for systematic investment plans (SIPs) of top-rated mutual funds offered by players like DSP, Aditya Birla, HDFC, L&T, etc., and also receive detailed portfolio summaries and insights into the performance of your investments. Use an SIP calculator to get an estimate of the maturity sum for an investment amount paid at regular intervals via ECS at an expected rate of interest.
What the Future Holds
We live in a post-truth age that’s sceptical and makes truth relative. Despite this, it is not advisable to misjudge an entire generation based on questionable misconceptions. Instead of judging millennial actions, it is important to acknowledge the struggle that every generation goes through. Hand holding an entire generation has never been possible in human history, and thus, occasional failures are imminent. From this perspective, it seems clear that as a cohort, the millennials face an uphill battle.
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