Millennials often receive advice from Baby Boomers. While some of this advice can be helpful, others can be downright terrible. We scoured the internet to find some of the worst advice Millennials have received from Boomers.
1. “Buy a House, No Matter What.”
One of the most common advice Millennials receive from Boomers is to buy a house as soon as possible. Buying a home doesn’t always make sense in the current economy. As one user pointed out, “I was told that if I didn’t buy a house, I was throwing money away on rent. But the housing market crashed, and many people lost their homes.”
Many Millennials are saddled with student loan debt, making saving up for a down payment on a house difficult.
2. “You Should Stick With a Job, Even If You Hate It.”
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Another standard piece of advice Millennials receive from Boomers is to stick with a job, even if they hate it. However, as another pointed out, “I was told to stay in a job I hated because ‘a job is a job’ and ‘you’re lucky to have one.'” Millennials are more likely to job-hop than previous generations.
A Bureau of Labor Statistics study found that Millennials are twice as likely to leave their job as Baby Boomers.
3. “You Should Get Married and Have Children as Soon as Possible.”
Many Boomers believe that getting married and having children should be a priority for Millennials. This doesn’t consider why many Millennials delay marriage and children for financial and personal reasons. One person pointed out, “I was told that if I didn’t have children by 30, I would never have them. I’m now in my mid-30s, and I’m still childless by choice.”
4. “You Should Only Study Something Practical in College.”
Boomers often believe that Millennials should only study something practical in college, such as business or engineering. Many Millennials are passionate about pursuing arts, humanities, and social sciences careers.
As someone else pointed out, “I was told that if I studied English in college, I would never get a job. But I’m now a successful writer and editor.”
5. “You Should Pull Yourself Up by Your Bootstraps.”
One of the harshest pieces of advice that Millennials received from Boomers is to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. This advice implies that success is solely based on individual effort and doesn’t consider systemic inequalities and barriers to success. Another individual pointed out, “I was told that if I worked hard enough, I could achieve anything.
But the reality is that some people have more advantages and opportunities than others.”
Note: This phrase originates from the 1800s and may not be easily attributable to boomers.
6. “You Should Work Hard and Save for Retirement.”
While retirement savings is essential, this advice doesn’t consider the reality of the job market and the cost of living for Millennials. As one commenter on the thread stated, “I was told to save for retirement, but with rising rent, student loans, and low-paying jobs, I barely have enough to cover my bills. Saving for retirement is a luxury that I can’t afford.”
Boomers must understand that Millennials may need more than hard work and saving to secure their financial future.
7. “You Should Be Grateful for Any Job You Can Get.”
Many Boomers grew up during a time when job security was more prevalent. The job market has changed significantly, and Millennials are often forced to take low-paying, unstable jobs to make ends meet. One commenter shared, “I was told to be grateful for a job that paid minimum wage with no benefits. But that job didn’t cover my rent, let alone any other bills.”
This also perpetuates the idea that Millennials should settle for less rather than advocating for fair compensation and benefits.
8. “You Should Prioritize Work Over Everything Else.”
Boomers often emphasize the importance of hard work and career success. There is value in a work-life balance and personal fulfillment. One commenter stated, “I was told to prioritize work over my mental health, relationships, and hobbies. But sacrificing my happiness for a job isn’t worth it.” It’s important for Boomers to understand that Millennials value a more holistic approach to life and may prioritize personal fulfillment over traditional career success.
9. “You Should Ignore Social Media and Focus On Face-To-Face Communication.”
While face-to-face communication is essential, social media has become integral to Millennial culture and professional development. As one commenter shared, “I was told that social media was a waste of time and that I should focus on face-to-face communication. But social media has helped me network, find job opportunities, and connect with people who share my interests.” Ignoring social media can limit Millennials’ opportunities for growth and connection in the digital age.
10. “You Should Follow the Traditional Path to Success.”
Boomers often emphasize the importance of following a traditional path to success, such as going to college and pursuing a career in a stable industry. However, this advice doesn’t consider the changing landscape of education and work. One commenter stated, “I was told that I needed to go to college and get a stable job to succeed. But I’ve seen friends who pursued alternative paths, such as starting their own businesses or pursuing trades, find success and fulfillment.” Boomers must recognize there are many paths to success and encourage Millennials to explore their options.
This article was produced and syndicated by The Cents of Money.
With a passion for investing and personal finance, I began The Cents of Money to help and teach others. My experience as an equity analyst, professor, and mom provide me with unique insights about money and wealth creation and a desire to share with you.