The third in our series with Beth Pinsker, Reuters Money editor.
What does the game of life hold for Millennials and the generations that come after? Beth Pinsker, Reuters Money editor, foresees a generation playing by a changing set of rules and opportunities.
“People are going to learn to count on themselves a lot more,” Pinsker told Millionaire Corner. “Millennials in particular, will tell you they are not saving for retirement per se. They are saving for a future project that’s going to assure them financial security. They are thinking as entrepreneurs. They want to invest in a business or some sort of life path that counts on them doing something. Some of them may (invest) in a business or in additional education. Or their money may go toward a house, which may end up being a good investment. I don’t think they are saving for traditional retirement vehicles that would replace the pensions their grandparents have.”
In the years to come, she reflected, generations will question such traditional life paths as attending college. “We’ve been playing (the board game) Life a lot lately,” she said. “I don’t remember it being as complicated as all that when I was younger.”
Her eight-year-old daughter, she said, insists on not going to college (in the game),” Pinsker. “I always worry about that as a life choice. Is she trying to tell me something? Ten years from now is she going to fight me on going to college because she doesn’t think it’s worth it?”
College is just one of the key questions people will face in the next 20 years, she said. “College is so expensive and people don’t readily see the benefit of it, and yet everybody still goes if they have the resources. But people are more and more questioning whether they should take that money and do something different with it maybe invest it. If I invest the $250,000 (it would cost to attend college) and give it to them at some point, what could they do with it? What is the cost-benefit analysis of that decision?”
“We didn’t question the decision (to go to college) when I was growing up,” Pinsker continued. “There was no choice. I grew up in a factory town and if you didn’t go to college, you worked in the factory. My kids are growing up in a day and age where if they done n’t go to college maybe they design an app and become billionaires. Like they don’t see not going to college as this negative thing. They’re just trying to win the game of Life.”
With a financially secure retirement as the end game, how are the different generations faring? “Millennials in particular are not saving for retirement per se,” Pinsker said. “They are saving for a future project that’s going to assure them financial security. They are thinking as entrepreneurs. They want to invest in a business or some sort of life path that counts on them doing something. Some of them may (invest) in a business or in additional education. Or their money may go toward a house, which may end up being a good investment. I don’t think they are saving for traditional retirement vehicles that would replace the pensions their grandparents have.”
As for Baby Boomers, who have been playing this game longer, Pinsker also sees a trend towards non-traditional strategies. Boomers, she said, “are banding together a little bit. We are seeing retirement co op villages springing up for people with like-minded affinities creating these little communities for themselves.”
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.