Millennials set back by bad times, but persevere

By By Dave Helling

The Kansas City Star (MCT)

Published: Tuesday, Oct. 8 2013 9:00 a.m. MDT

Medicare and Social Security remain expensive entitlement programs paid for, in large part, by working Americans, including millennials. Yet few younger workers have confidence that old-age programs will be there for them.

The unmistakable trend of all the changing millennial choices will affect policy decisions for everyone.

Fewer cars, homes and children mean fewer highways and schools — and more mass transit and coffee shops. Changing jobs frequently will make portable health insurance more important.

For all of this, millennials remain unbowed by the distorting effects of the Great Recession.

“I’m doing a job I never in a million years thought I would do or I was suited for,” Gillespie said. “It turns out I’m suited perfectly for it. And I enjoy it.”

Experts say that adaptability is common among millennials, and crucial.

Williams, the retail worker and yoga instructor, believes things will get better soon.

“I still have time,” she said. “Yoga has taught me that I can do something I enjoy and make money from it.”

Best said the Great Recession has taught her important lessons about priorities — some things matter, like family and friends. Possessions? Less significant.

And ultimately, that may be the biggest impact of the Great Recession — for all its challenges, the kids are all right.

“I feel like ‘recession’ is code for ‘we had to start actually spending (only) the money we have,’ ” Best said. “In what world is four TVs middle class?

“We’re all rich beyond our wildest dreams.”


©2013 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

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GRAPHIC (from MCT Graphics, 202-383-6064): 20131007 GEN Y