The old have always complained about the young. But today there is a new aspect of being young that worries an old man like me. Many cannot leave home and grow up. This is new. Student loans are at the top of the list. Low earnings are the other side of the equation.
The reason for this permanent state of child living is debt. The reason for this is the end of the job world but not the end of the expectations that came with the job world. Here is the data for the UK.
"Research by the Co-operative Group has identified a 'lost generation' of 18 to 30-year-olds in the UK for whom debt is normality – a so-called debt-eration – and who are finding it hard to become independent in the UK's challenging economy.
More than eight out of 10 (84%) young adults in the UK admit to having received financial support from their parents since "coming of age".
Young adults in the 18-30 age range have asked their parents for financial help for a range of things from food shopping costs (43%) to holidays (36%) to debt payments (16%) and house purchases (8%).
Even beyond financial support from the 'Bank of Mum and Dad', a high proportion of young adults (80%) still rely heavily on their parents for help with basic tasks and decision-making. The most common areas for support including transport (40%), chores such as cleaning and ironing (34%) and help with finding a job (27%). The traditional pattern of youngsters leaving home when they go to university has made way for a new generation of those staying near or at home for their higher education and then staying put.
The research highlights that money is an issue for young adults, with nearly a third (31%) not feeling financially independent. The report has identified a "debt-eration", with nearly two thirds (60%) of 18 to 30-year-olds admitting to having debt. The findings reveal that for this generation debt is normal, with 77% not alarmed or worried by it.
Yet, despite parents and guardians helping their offspring repay debt, nearly a third of young adults are hiding their debt from their parents, amounting to an average burden of £3,579 of secret debt.
The main sources of debt for this age group are: student loans (63%), credit cards (31%), personal loans (23%), overdrafts (19%) and money borrowed from parents (18%).
In addition, the group's earning expectations do not live up to reality. Over two-fifths (41%) earn less than they thought they would in relation to their age and education level and, on average, people aged 18-30 take home £7,187 less than they thought they would. Also, according to the findings, more than a tenth (16%) of 18 to 30-year-olds do not feel they have a job that matches their qualifications."
And this group will soon be parents!
For me the starting point is to stop trying to make the old system work. Thousands of pounds/dollars of student debt is not a good start. Thinking that this will lead to a well paying job or a career is mistaken. The jobs are not there for the young and cannot be anymore. The world has changed. The yoing are going to have to think about how "To Make a Living".
The why's and hows are in my first book, "You Don't Need a Job".