In ” Leave a Financial Legacy? Boomers and Millennials Slug It Out,” a Boomer writing for Money magazine examined statistics that seem to show that Millennials are not as selfish as news reports would have you believe:
“Baby Boomers like to point out that our famously self-absorbed generation advocated for many good causes as youngsters and turned the corner to greater giving in retirement. Much of it is true. But younger generations are way ahead of us, new research suggests Boomers are the least likely generation to say it is important to leave a financial legacy—even though they have benefited from an enormous wealth transfer from their own parents, according to a new U.S. Trust survey of high net worth individuals.”
While Millennials were scared into saving more because they started adulthood during a recession, many Boomers “…suffered the worst of the crisis from a savings point of view. A financial legacy seems less important when you are downsizing your retirement dreams.”
The generational war between Baby Boomers and Millennials rages on…but it doesn’t have to. The phrase “ Millennials have ruined…” pops up often online to discuss consumer standards or items Millennials do not favor; examples include warehouse stores, homeownership, cruises, and napkins. But rather than deride young adults for not supporting certain industries, older adults could learn from their example and reconsider their own buying habits.
Comic book super heroes have an origin story—a set of life circumstances that shapes who they eventually become. Part of the origin story for Millennials include the Great Recession. Since Millennials were launched into adulthood during a time of financial crisis, many of them tend to be financially cautious. The rhetoric that they are “ruining” things looks past the fact that many of them are just trying to make sure that they do not get into financial hot water.
Millennials have time to invest and weather the ups and downs of the stock market. Many of them tend to invest in socially conscious ways—so they will leave a legacy of thoughtful financial decision making.