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Defying Stereotype, Millennials More Concerned About National, Rather than Personal, Issues

Did Time magazine get it wrong about Millennials in its snarky cover story, “The Me Me Me Generation?”

| BY Donald Liebenson

Did Time magazine get it wrong about Millennials in it snarky cover story, “The Me Me Me Generation?” A new study of High Net Worth Millennials conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner finds this supposedly self-absorbed generation generally more concerned about national issues than their own personal affairs. And at that, they are less concerned about national issues than their older counterparts, a reflection perhaps of their more optimistic outlook.

The highest percentage of high net worth Millennials (with a net worth greater than $1 million) surveyed is most concerned about the economy. More than two-thirds (68 percent) said they are worried about the prolonged economic downturn, compared to three-fourths of Gen Xers and more than eight-in-ten of baby boomers and seniors.

More than half of the wealthiest Millennials (53 percent) expressed concern about inflation, the partisan political environment and the national debt. Again, this is a significantly lower percentage than older investors surveyed. The one issue that wealthy Millennials are more concerned about than their older counterparts is an increase in interest rates (53 percent).

Not surprisingly, concern over national issues is slightly heightened among Millennials with a net worth of less than $1 million. Fifty-seven percent, for example, expressed concern about the national debt as opposed to the 53 percent of Millennial millionaires.

On the personal front, the highest percentage of the wealthiest Millennials are most concerned about financing the education of their children (58 percent) and the financial situations of their children (56 percent) more than being able to retire when they want to (51 percent), maintaining their current financial position (49 percent), or even losing their job (46 percent), though the latter is of greater concern to them than older investors surveyed.

The wealthiest Millennials, too, expressed the most concern than their older counterparts with using their wealth to help others (45 percent vs. just over three-in-ten of Gen Xers, boomers, and seniors).

Ongoing Millionaire Corner research finds that Millennials, despite the challenging job market, have an optimistic outlook. In a first quarter wealth level study of Main Street investors with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million, Millennial-aged investors were significantly more likely to say that their financial situation is better today than it was one year ago (57 percent vs. 48 percent of respondents overall) and that they expect to be better off financially a year from now (67 percent vs. 46 percent).

About the Author

Donald Liebenson

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.