A lot of us now 20 somethings thought that when we were younger, when we reached our 20s, we’d be married, with children living in a nice big house with that white picket fence – but was this just a dream? Are we in fact going to be ‘poor’ forever?
Image curtsey: NY Times – they have an article about 20 somethings too!
Thanks to the well timed economic downturn and then the inevitable recessions that followed, 20 somethings are struggling (well maybe not all but a majority of us must be!). No one wants to lend money, so there goes any 100% mortgages.. oh and house prices are starting to rise. Interest rates are low so saving accounts and ISAs are close to being redundant. The cost of living including petrol (at least in the UK) has increased quite dramatically and our wages haven’t budged and half of us cannot even obtain work at all! A pretty bleak picture, particularly for us 20s who left university during this time. On top of that, university fees went up meaning we will spend 10 to 15 years if not more paying it back before we take home our entire pay that we are entitled to. We really have started lower than the ‘bottom’ of the food chain.
A lot of us live at home with our parents unable to get our own places – for us there is no such thing as a bachelor/bachelorette pad because none of us can afford to live on our own! Our options are to live with the parents or rent – even renting is difficult to do on your own. Just like those uni days, we would need to find a place to rent with 3 – 5 of our friends. We just don’t have that disposable income to play around with like our predecessors had.
I am not sure it will get any easier for those younger than us either. The affects of the last 5/6 years will still be felt on those who are currently 16/17. We may not be in a recession any longer, but the time it will take to build us back up to where we were before 2008 (if we can ever really get back there) will take at least another 5 – 10 years. So what do we have to do in the mean time? That’s right rely on the bank of mum and dad to help us out into the world. If they won’t help, we are left with very little options.
Even as the affects of the recession wear off, we are faced with a more permanent ‘burden’. All of those baby boomers who are getting older and living longer will start looking to the government and society directly and who will need to sustain them? That’s right, us 20 somethings who will be 30 & 40 somethings by then. The time when we are meant to be earning a load more thanks to the endless years of experience and climbing up the career ladder, will see our precious earnings depreciate in government taxes so they can sustain the growing older population. We will be the generation squeezed for money right until we are of retirement age (which won’t be until we are in our 80s/90s at this rate). Even then we will still struggle as the value of the money we have being putting away for the whole of our lives in the form of pensions, may just become worthless. Will the government be there to fund us and will the next generation then suffer?
I really feel that we will be forever giving our money away to look after the needs of society. We seemed to have paid for the mistake of banks so why not keep taking the money from us? It looks like a future we may just have to get use to…