Perspectives on Money (Learning From Each Other This Holiday Season)
The holiday season provides us all with unique moments for learning and introspection. No matter how and who you spend your holidays with, we are often presented with special ways to learn about perspectives, both within ourselves and with others. As we share the holiday season with family and friends from various lifestyles, backgrounds, and generations, we have the opportunity to learn more about their distinctive points of view. While all perspectives are valuable, they’re far more valuable when shared. As such, we allow ourselves the opportunity to delve deeper and tune into our own perspectives — how they change and grow, and how they shape us. In today’s financial climate especially, our perspectives also shape the way we think about money and plan for our futures. We hope you explore the opportunity to gain insight from different people and generations in your life, and we are happy to share our perspectives with you here within RoZel Financial.
The perspective of a tail end of Baby Boomer generation/beginning of Generation X on the future generations and money…. You better save now! Generally, I am an optimist by nature; however, I am concerned about the lack of pensions, the lack of savings, and the lack of social security availability. Pensions were born out of a paternal employer which no longer exists (or barely exists), Social Security out of a paternal Federal Government which cannot manage much of anything, and savings well…. with student debt out of control, the cost of housing, and the general cost of living outpacing most salaries, it is not an easy undertaking to save. Most boomers are living longer and spending down their assets. Or, the assets are quickly being liquidated if they have no long-term care from family or insurance in place – so inherited assets are lessening and should not be depended on regardless. Taxes are on the rise, inflation is looming and the debt ceiling rising. I wish it was a prettier picture – but hope springs eternal.
I think there may be an awakening underfoot. Perhaps changes in lifestyle, from a yearning for organic and local foods, to electric cars (sans battery contaminants in view), FINTECH, ESG investing, a refocus on trade schools, homeschooling, DIY, Etsy, and in short - the ingenuity of the mind is boundless.
The perspective of an early Millennial, child of baby boomers, on the outlook of the greater picture of finances…. I am reminded of the lessons taught by my parents. I believe our behaviors and attitudes on finances and other pertinent things can be generationally influenced as well as molded by our environment, and they evolve with the complexities that come from being born with free will. My perspective begins with the story of my parents, who immigrated from Peru, who worked long days to provide for us whilst keeping the family safe. I admire my parents’ strength and exuberance in life. I feel fortunate to have witnessed their perseverance. When I was in my late 20’s, I had expressed to my father that I felt overwhelmed with life decisions and my journey so far. “Dad, it is so hard to earn money, and even harder to retain it.” My father responded by sharing his wisdom, and a vision of a tree that I carry with me every day. He explained that both he and my mother were the seeds that they planted in this country. Roots grow from these seeds and begin a trunk (my siblings and I). And like all living things, the roots need water, protection, and nourishment to bring forth a strong and durable trunk. He boldly reminded me that a tree needs time to mature, it isn’t an overnight process. The tree eventually gives way to leaves, and our children will continue to grow green and beautiful with these ideals. “We are the roots and trunk of a tree, and it is a lot of hard work to stay strong, but we do it for our kids, your kids, and generations to come. This is our part; you must stay focused and try to find happiness in every moment. It is not you; it is a phase.”
Often, I find that my generation feels discontent about the financial environment that we are in, the constant feeling of having to “figure things out”, and paying the high price for a lot of things we had no hand in. There is a continuing belief that we were deceived and now we suffer economically. Navigating today’s financial climate is difficult and we can often blame others, but also it is very easy to blame ourselves. My generation is also hard-working, much like the generation that raised us. However, we are also hard on ourselves. That is why we need to continue to learn from past generations, as well as help the younger generations. For we are just a phase of the tree, enabling our children to stand tall in this world.
The perspective of the tail end Millennial on our generation and the financial climate. We are the most educated and yet most underpaid generation to date, which is historically the most expensive time to live. Our parents (baby boomer generation, and often immigrants) believed in the American dream and raised us to believe in it as well, but for us, it simply no longer exists to the same extent it once did. We were told to seek higher education to be successful, and now a college degree offers little to no distinction. MBAs are offered minimum wage, which is not to be confused with a living wage - for the millennial knows that these are two separate things. The salary increase of a Ph.D. does not counteract the student debt. Growing up as a first-generation American, I believed in the better life my parents wanted for me. I believed in education, hard work, and chasing my dreams. Now… I am confused and unsure of what’s left to believe. I see my generation scraping to get by while being called lazy by the same generations that raised us! Lest we deny the completely different circumstances of living. I do not personally believe in a worker shortage, I believe in shortages of a living wage. I support small businesses, and I support the many of us that feel small.
In my humble opinion, there needs to be an awakening. Perhaps the American dream isn’t gone, it’s changing. As such I do believe my generation and generations past me (please note the age difference between Millennials and Generation Z), will be the catalyst for positive change. Workers are standing up for themselves and their right to work/life balance. As a generation, we are educated yes, but we are also innovative. We will create new paths, new careers, new ways of doing things. We will recreate the American dream.
This holiday season, we hope that you partake in the wealth of value within each other’s points of view; the more we learn from each other, the more we grow ourselves. As the end of 2021 approaches and we look towards the new year let’s look with introspection at ourselves, while letting others’ perspectives add to your own. At RoZel Financial acknowledge the possible impact of someone's financial perspective on their plans. We are offering our listening ears and services to you; RoZel Financial is here to help.