What Financial Lessons Can Baby Boomers Learn from Millennials?

June 22, 2017

Do you have young family members graduating from high school or college this graduation season? If you’re a baby boomer who is retired or approaching retirement, you probably see stark differences between your generation and today’s graduates. Members of the current generation of graduates are known as millennials, a group loosely defined as those born between the mid-1980s and early 2000s.1

Millennials’ relationship with technology has given them a unique worldview. They grew up with cellphones, internet access and other technology that previous generations couldn’t even imagine. Millennials recognize how to use technology to their advantage, and they may see opportunities that older generations don’t recognize.

Technology isn’t the only factor that’s had an impact on the thinking of millennials. They’re influenced by major world events such as 9/11 and the economic collapse of 2008. They also struggle with student loans, which may influence their view on money and debt.

As a baby boomer, you may feel it’s your responsibility to impart wisdom to millennials. However, there could also be important financial lessons you can learn from them, especially as you approach retirement. Below are three ways you can think like a millennial as you enter retirement:

Be creative in looking for supplemental income.

Technology has completely revolutionized the economy and the way people earn income. Millennials are shunning the traditional approach of building a long career with one employer. Rather, they have embraced alternative paths, such as entrepreneurship and nontraditional income opportunities.

You may want to consider a similar approach in retirement. Just because you’re retired doesn’t mean you can’t earn income. For example, you could drive for a ride-hailing company. You could use travel websites to rent out empty bedrooms in your home. You could teach lessons or offer online coaching and consulting. Adopt a millennial mindset, and look for ways to create income without threatening your lifestyle.

Spend money on experiences instead of stuff.

Many millennials prefer to spend their money on experiences rather than on materials. They value activities like travel, concerts, parties and other social events. To finance those experiences, they often take a minimalist approach to the accumulation of “stuff,” such as clothing, furniture and more.

If experiences are important to you, consider how you can finance them by downsizing your material purchases. You could move into a smaller home to save on housing costs. You could reduce your spending on clothes and other items. Prioritize your retirement objectives, and then allocate your spending appropriately.

Use technology to better manage your finances.

There’s no doubt that many millennials are much more tech-savvy than their baby boomer counterparts. You may even turn to your children or grandchildren for help with your tablet, cellphone or other devices.

However, now could be the time to embrace technology and learn how to use it to your advantage. For example, a number of apps can help you budget and track your spending in real time. That could keep you on the right path so you don’t deplete your assets. Also, your financial professional could help you take advantage of planning tools that can forecast your retirement and monitor your investments. Look for technology that can help you keep your retirement on track.

Ready to implement these tips into your retirement? Let’s talk about it. Contact us today at Grand Canyon Planning Associates. We can help you analyze your needs and develop a strategy. Let’s connect soon and start the conversation.