Why Financial Planning, Pensions and Investments are “Alri Alri Alright”!
As a follow up to my blog last week, the trend and over all consensuses held by the “twenty-something-year-old’s” has left me pondering; why is it that Today’s generation, my generation, don’t see the long game? Why have we such clouded vision on the importance of long term Financial Planning? In the space of a week, believe it or not, I have added a new term/word to my vocabulary – “Millennials”.
Millennial’s are those of us born from approx. 1980-2000 and are currently entering full time employment or are coming to the peak of their careers in their 30’s. This may not be the first time you’ve heard it: millennials aren’t saving enough for retirement. In fact, at the rate millennials are currently saving, some won’t be able to retire until well into their 70s. It is often claimed that this is due to the fact that millennials were supposedly raised differently, or are less motivated to save. That is, in my opinion, not at all true, though as a millennial I am clearly biased! There are experts who would agree, and who would also suggest that there are many other reasons that millennials aren’t saving for retirement.
The overall view among “those in the know” (or those who think they are!!), is that millennials are struggling to save for retirement because they are burdened with too many monthly payments to be able to put aside money for retirement. “Most millennials are strapped with debt, from student loans to credit cards and they are having a hard enough time covering their monthly repayment obligations and living expenses,”- Dave Alison, CFP and founding partner of Prosperity Capital Advisors in Ohio, United states.
The other reason, in Alison’s eyes, is that millennials are not getting the financial education they need, such that when they are faced with debt repayment and managing bills and credit cards, they aren’t sure what to do. “Our society has done a poor job at teaching people how to save,” Alison says.
I personally can’t see how this generation is any different to previous generations. There has always been expenses and burdens held by the young members of the workforce. Maybe it is because the “millennial” generation of workers is just flippant and not as prudent as our predecessors? To tie in with last week’s blog, I’ll try throwing my “ha‘penny worth” in the hat. Financial Planning is not on the list of modern day obsessions such as Instagram (which, let it be said, is on my priority list of things that Metis Ireland need to introduce!), Snapchat, Fashion, Food, Coffee etc. Why is this? Who knows. My view on the matter is that Financial Planning unlike the above trendy topics, is not seen as cool, important or most scandalously, “not as sexy” as the boom phrase goes, compared to the modern day fads.
This is an arguable case for my fellow “Millennials”, as they are now known, but if you scratch beneath the surface you can see that every perceived important issue, trend or phase today has both planning and structure at the fore front of how they position themselves as a necessity/need in the modern day world.
To tie in with my colleague, Cian Callaghan’s movie orientated blog a few weeks back, one of my personal favorite speeches of the “millennial” age, was Mathew McConaughey’s (and this isn’t my attempt at putting the sexy back in the financial advice industry!!) Oscar acceptance speech for Dallas Buyers Club in 2013. Not to take every point from the speech but he states his success was based on having “something to look up to, something to look forward to and something to chase”. Fair enough this is long sighted and possibly individualistic, but for me the main point to take from this speech is that success is based on having a fundamental and structured plan or template. You must have something that gets you out of bed in the morning, something you’re chasing, something that makes your heart skip that one beat faster when you think about it. While pensions and financial planning might not exactly make a persons heart skip a beat, personally the thought of not being under financial stress aged 65, on a beach in Florida or playing golf on some of the best links courses in Ireland most certainly does!
To summarise, Financial Planning for your retirement and your latter years may currently seem less important or as I said less sexy than the life and tales of Kylie Jenner et al on Instagram, but bear in mind, there is a lot to be said for a stress free retirement, and equally, stress free years in your 40’s & 50’s without the worry of how you’re not in position to retire until you’re 75 or later even. To paraphrase, and I suppose quote, Matthew McConaughey; Investments and Planning for your retirement in your 20s is “Alri Alri Alright!!
Trainee Financial Planner
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