Guest story by Frances J. Trelease
The word is out. Parents nearing retirement should NOT sacrifice their financial stability by absorbing their adult children’s debt. Yet that advice – as sound as it is – bumps up against a starting reality. Today’s millennials – those born between the early 1980s and the late 1990s – are saddled with more debt than the generations before them. And many are turning to their parents and grandparents for help.
The societal cost of that mounting debt goes beyond the steep monthly payments.
To cuts costs, many millennials are moving back in with their parents, which slows the real estate market. They put off marriage and families, which slows independence. And they feel less financially secure than their Boomer and Gen X parents; a trend that goes against the very fiber of the American dream.
LendEDU.com, a marketplace for student loan consolidation, says “More than 45 million student borrowers lug around a combined $1.45 trillion they haven’t paid back yet…”
Parents step in to help, but at a cost. According to a 2017 TD Ameritrade study, “Boomers are losing on average $11,011 yearly to their millennial kids.” This comes in the form of cash support and unpaid labor, such as babysitting and housework.
If you’re the parent of a job-seeking millennial, here are a few suggestions to turn the tide – that won’t hurt your pocketbook. Guide them to:
- Search for cities where the cost of living is lower.
- Consolidate debt and keep their credit rating high
- Learn some basic DIY skills. Cut household costs by learning the basics of home repair, such as carpentry and painting.
- Prioritize smallest debts first. Find and share stories of people who’ve successfully climbed out of steep debt, one step at a time.
- Avoid comparison with friends and neighbors. Get them off social media, which gives a fake image of prosperity.
- Prepare them for the professional job search, so they can:
- Learn to better research their industry and companies that are hiring.
- Assess the competition.
- Brush up on “soft skills” that will set them apart.
A well-paying, professional job can be step one toward tackling student debt head on. And the right job comes from preparation. Make sure your millennial knows how to separate themselves from the competition. The marketplace is flooded with skilled job candidates. Guide them toward the tools that will help them stand apart.
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Millennial Den, LLC provides job readiness and career readiness training to new and recent college grads, providing tools they need to present themselves to employers and launch their careers. The company utilizes an e-commerce platform to provide instruction and guided assignments, manage a subscriber community, and oversee member online chat.
For more information, contact the Den Mothers at (475) 999-4314 or visit www.millennialden.com.