26 must be the new 17

We are always hearing that older ages like 50, 60, 70 are really the NEW 35 or 40 or 50. I think not, but recently something came my way that made me wonder if the ages ARE going backwards as to when and where we accomplish certain life-markers.

An acquaintance sent out invitations to a party to celebrate their 26th birthday. For the sake of this blog post, I am going to call this young person YP, for young person. YP suggested that instead of the usual birthday gifts, they would like to receive certificates of deposit at a certain financial institution. The desire for this gift suggestion came from the fact that at age 26, YP felt they should be considered an adult and begin saving money for the future. I wouldn’t argue that, but I would think one would do that saving with one’s own money.

At 26 I was working at a job that paid into a retirement plan for me. The company also paid my health and life insurance. Although I wasn’t making a big salary, I was making enough to buy a home. That was my savings plan.

At 26 I had completed college, gotten married, had that before mentioned job, bought a home and had a child. I can only guess that times were different and today’s 26 year old does not have the same opportunities. It seems that they are living more like a 17 year old.

We know several young people in this age group who have not finished college. They are working for minimum wage in a service or retail job. Some are living at home, some with roommates. A few don’t have a car. And that retirement plan? Their employers are certainly not offering them anything like mine did. Forget about sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance.

At 37 I changed careers, using that previously mentioned retirement plan to bankroll the change. I then went on to a new career that paid better, provided a pension plan, health insurance, and my summers off. I was able to retire at 58 with a house and cars paid for and enough saved to live in San Francisco for 15 months.

I wonder what today’s 26 year old will be doing in 32 years at age 58. Will they be able to retire? Will they have a house and car paid for? How about children? Will 58 be the new 38 at that time?



9 responses to “26 must be the new 17

  1. I certainly agree, Delaine. It’s a different world today for those YPs. We were fortunate to have been working when we actually got all those benefits. They are now a think of the past. Very sad. 😦

  2. I’m seeing this more and more lately and it’s rather disturbing. And some of those YPs don’t seem to have the motivation to leave home. I don’t understand it.

  3. very valid concerns Delaine.

  4. Having one of them in my house, I can attest that it’s hard for YP these . Despite having a full-time job at a company that paid benefits, Youngest Son came home because he couldn’t afford to live on his own. (However, as long as he’s doing things to improve his lot in life I don’t mind having him here.)

  5. Both of my kids live away from home, so I don’t have a problem with them. But I hear you loud and clear.

    • Jen, at 36, is doing well. However she lives in a very expensive place and can only afford to rent a home. She is fortunate that the owner is very generous and the rent is not as high as it could be.

  6. I have a 26-year old granddaughter. The ‘millennial’ generation has fallen behind economically owing to the harsh economy. I don’t know if they will ever catch up. Wise to set aside funds for future retirement, however. I got started late myself.

  7. Our only lives in NYC unless her last name is Trump or she is a movie star or a landowner she is not to own a home, she rents, she travels a lot..but she lives below her means always has..Many come to her they have tiny wee ones, they live it up in Seattle and NYC never saving a dime, they get jammed up a lot. She doesn’t understand this at all, their husbands don’t want to work hard and they don’t want to help with the wee ones..Really..she is a sage to those gals who hubs just don’t get it when the baby arrives, she never gives advice but helps out with the wee ones who adore her..She says Mom I don’t get the hubs at all, I gave up a nice job to take care of my only baby doll, we sold our big home, left Colorado and went without so she could have her Mom and Dad something neither my hubs and I had the opportunity to ever have, we had a tiny home, still do, we helped our only to be adored, loved and nutured, we lived on one income my hubs was fortunate to have a pension and I worked and had a pension I now can get we get social security and still live frugally..We see our only she flies out this way and we see her, she is so lovely and we adore her..we don’t get today’s kids living at home until late 30’s sponging off their parents, lavish weddings and with college degrees not using them for anything other to brag about they have this degree and that degree…I think to spoil your kids and never discipline and make them work and have manners and live a frugal life just sets them up to expect everything to be given to them NOT..how does that help them to grow up and mature, sure the jobs that once were in our country esp. the union jobs are gone but many toil at jobs day in and day out to support families, men and women and never complain are many and they don’t complain they just keep working and trying..just a thought or two!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. I see this all the time too. It really does make we wonder what these “kids” will do when they hit middle age and beyond.

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