The article is entitled “Will FOMO Ruin Retirement for Millennials?”
About halfway in, it contains the line: “Millennials… are actually doing a better job getting their financial house in order than previous generations.”
And yet, it urges that “boomer and Gen X parents”—in order to save these apparently ignorant youngsters from neglecting their financial futures—”offer these tips to help their grown kids” prepare for retirement.
I REPEAT: an article bemoaning Millennials’ inability to save reveals that Millennials are in fact BETTER at saving than previous generations AND YET still need to be offered financial tips by their forebearers.
As we Millennials are wont to say: classic.
[NOTE: I harbor no negative feelings towards any generation and love them all equally. I would write the same thing if the article were switched around and declared Boomers incapable of saving for retirement despite their history of effectively saving for retirement. Unfortunately, this is not the case.]
In fairness, the article—published on NextAvenue.org—was penned by an executive at a financial planning firm, Allianz. It’s use of attention-grabbing lingo (FOMO, Millennials, the obligatory mention of the cost of avocado toast) is less a sign of editorial incompetence than it is blatant salesmanship.
(i.e.: Want to stoke a parents’ anxiety about their children’s well-being? Mention that once they, the parent, are dead—and their children are retiring—the latter will be incapable of financially caring for themselves. Blame it on social media and BOOM, you’ve got Baby Boomers putting down their crosswords by the millions and dialing whoever promises to relieve this suddenly-incurred stress—in this case, Allianz.)
The author’s argument is essentially that social media puts pressure on Millennials to display their well-being, whether that be through expensive lunches, expensive cocktails, or expensive vacations. The pull of FOMO, he declares, “could derail” their retirement savings.
In response, Boomers and Gen X’ers—the responsible progenitors of these cold-brew-sipping mongrels—need to “pass on” their well-earned wisdom gained from having failed miserably at saving for retirement themselves.
Unfortunately, it seems that the only helpful “tips” this group has at their disposal—according to this one financial planner—are inane truisms and the typical poo-poo’ings of overpriced lunches (“Are these costs a true priority in their lives?”).
For example, apparently tracking your spending can help you understand how “expenses add up.” Furthermore, laying out your goals for the next 5, 10, 15 years will allegedly “help create short-term, intermediate-term and long-term goals they’ll want to attain”—I mean who knew?!?
Now that’s some sage wisdom.