As the US economy comes slowly but surely crawling back, there has recently been some concern for the country’s future outlook, based on some interesting demographic data. Specifically, it’s the concern that millennials, that 16-34 year old age group, might not behave like their parent’s generation.
As an educator and a guy who works with college students on a daily basis, not only am I not ready to be concerned about the impact this generation will have on the US and world economy. The concern expressed through recent research and articles such as this one is that millennials are less anxious to purchase cars, homes and other so-called “big ticket” items. Well, I think that’s awesome!
Now, it’s true that failure to buy those things as early in life as possible may not the best way to create growth in our economy, so I can see why some express concern. But I would argue that many of those decisions to postpone major purchases are both prudent and may still have a positive economic impact.
Buying a home and taking on even more debt on top of student loans and other consumer debt may very well not be the best decision for a recent college graduate, young married couple just starting out, and so on. In fact, a relatively inexpensive apartment, “beater” car and limiting expenses to focus on addressing current debt is, I believe, laudable and not worthy of second-guessing. Reducing student loan default rates and hopefully allowing for savings and investment are all positive byproducts of the millennials’ lack of preoccupation with loading up on assets they neither need nor want.
So don’t let ‘em get to you, my young friends. You might be on a better track than we were at your age.