We’re in the midst of an unprecedented transfer of wealth, with trillions of dollars being moved from one generation to the next. This transfer challenges many commonly held notions as new values and interests become more prominent.
The younger generations, including millennials, Gen Z, zoomers, etc., have a different perspective on wealth than their forebears. As these generations reach middle age, an interesting trend has emerged in emphasizing YOLO (You Only Live Once).
Now that these generations have the steering wheel, they seem to be stepping on the gas and running full force into exciting, once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
At this point, it bears looking at the “why” of the YOLO economy. In other words, why do these forty-somethings spend as if there is no tomorrow?
1) Less money: Your average 40-year-old earns about $49,000 a year. While this is more than the 40-year-olds of the previous generation, the rising cost of living has taken a significant bite out of that difference.1
2) Less control: This generation also holds a smaller piece of the pie. While the post-WWII cohort controlled 22% of wealth in the United States once it reached middle age, millennials only controlled 7%.2
3) Less marriage: Middle-aged millennials are less likely to be married or start families than prior generations. Only 44% of millennials have walked down the aisle by age 40, compared to 61% for Generation X and 53% for baby boomers. Only 30% of millennials live with a spouse and at least one child, far lower than prior generations. This means that the expenses that come with a family are also off the table. If you aren’t married, the costs of a possible divorce are simply gone. Without children, you don’t have to pay for school clothes each fall, braces, and everything else that comes with helping a child grow up.3
The result is a very different economic picture for today’s middle-aged individuals, which shapes distinct values.
Among millennials, 78% favor experiences over material possessions, diverging from past generations focused on home ownership, cars, and investments. Priorities now center on travel, exclusive events, and entertainment.4
Of course, many boomers today find themselves in similar situations as the middle-aged millennials. Most of the boomer generation is in their retirement, perhaps finding themselves looking for inspiration in their golden years. While many keep working part-time, start businesses, or help their families with childcare, there may be a pang of that YOLO spirit in them as well, and a similar yearning for adventure.
And for good reason. While their middle-age experiences may have been very different, maybe now is the time to seize the moment – splurge on those concert tickets or take that big trip.
After all, wealth isn't just for security; it's for savoring life too. Balancing present joy and future security is key, and we’re here to talk it through with you.
It’s also possible that the younger people in your family have done too much YOLO and not enough saving and investing. If so, we’re happy to have a conversation with them on how to balance living for today and preparing for tomorrow. Give us a call — we’ll do our best to help.
Until next week,
Your Eagle Wealth Team
Banana Oatmeal Cookie
This recipe is a great way to use overripe bananas. It's also a moist cookie that travels well either in the mail or car.
• 1 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
• ½ teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ¾ cup shortening
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 cup mashed bananas
• 1 ¾ cups quick cooking oats
• ½ cup chopped nuts
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon.
3. Cream together the shortening and sugar; beat until light and fluffy. Add egg, banana, oatmeal and nuts. Mix well.
4. Add dry ingredients, mix well and drop by the teaspoon on ungreased cookie sheet.
5. Bake at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) for 15 minutes or until edges turn lightly brown. Cool on wire rack. Store in a closed container.
Recipe by blairbunny
The Week on Wall Street
Stocks retreated in the first trading week of 2024, struggling a bit after a celebratory end to last year as investors second-guessed Fed signals and fretted over lingering inflation concerns.
New Year Blues
Stocks got off to a rough first week of the new year, with tech names leading the week’s decline. Several market observers called it the “reverse Goldilocks” effect, where the market decided investors were getting a little too excited over the prospect of a Fed rate cut.
Stocks bounced up and down each of the four trading days but ended each one down—except Friday, when the Dow Industrials, Nasdaq Composite, and S&P 500 all ended the day in the green when jobs data helped soften the week’s slide.5,6
All About The Fed
On Wednesday, manufacturing news came in better than expected, lifting markets until the December Federal Open Market Committee meeting minutes were released, revealing that the Fed members had discussed rate cuts for 2024 but in no specific terms.
Jobs and services sector news painted a better picture of the economy on Thursday, but as the 10-year Treasury hit 4%, stock prices responded negatively.
Jobs Data In Focus
Finally, employment data helped buffer the week on Friday, as employers added 216,000 new jobs in December, besting estimates from economists and surpassing the 173,000 jobs added in November. News of unemployment remaining steady at 3.7% also helped sentiment.7,8
Any companies mentioned are for informational purposes only, and this should not be considered a solicitation for the purchase or sale of their securities. Any investment should be consistent with your objectives, time frame, and risk tolerance
1. Businessinsider.com, February 22, 2023
2. Fortune.com, March 22, 2023
3. Pewresearch.org, October 19, 2023
4. Harris Interactive, October 19, 2023
5. The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2024
6. The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2024
7. The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2024
8. The Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2024
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