The trade war is dragging on. The yield curve is inverting. Investors are fleeing to safety. Global growth is slowing. The stock market is dipping. The student debt crisis has incapacitated a generation of young people financially. And yes, Millennials and Gen Z are screwed.
The financial challenges facing young people in America have been widely reported on, but before you click away from yet another doom and gloom of the future story, it’s worth considering the facts.
Millennials and Gen Z carry over $1 trillion in student loan debt—that’s the GDP of the entire European Union—and there’s no sign of relief coming any time soon. This debt has saddled a generation that entered adolescence and adulthood following on of the worst global economic recessions in recent history. These are the first generations that are projected to be worse off than their parents.
And this is reflected in the choices that Millennials and Gen Zers are forced to make. Many are resigned to renting long term, unable to afford the first rung of the properly ladder: saving up a sizeable deposit. According to a recent survey of 3,000 young people, over half of Gen Z (57 percent) do not believe they will ever own significant assets. And 76 percent doubt they will inherit assets of any significant value from their parents.
These odds are altering the way young people define success. It’s less about the money and assets acquired and more by the way they live. Some 65 percent of Gen Z said in the same survey that they would donate part of their estates to charity, many of which focused on leaving money to organizations that combat climate change.
USA Will Guru, who conducted the survey, created an interactive map where you can view these results broken down across the U.S.: