MarketWatch recently published an article called “Money Milestones: This is how your finances should look in your 30s,” in which it claims that everyone should have saved a year’s worth of salary by the age of 30. And by age 35, those savings should have doubled.
By 35, you should have twice your salary saved, according to retirement experts: https://t.co/QoVA6EFpHJ
— MarketWatch (@MarketWatch) May 12, 2018
I’m sorry, what? HOW?
I have been living paycheck to paycheck for most of my adult life. At what point are we going to acknowledge that between stagnant wages, crippling student debt, and inflation on things like food and rent, this is not a realistic standard for most people? And it’s even more unrealistic for women, who are still paid substantially less than their male counterparts.
In fact, 6 in 10 Americans don’t even have $500 in savings. So this article makes a lot of assumptions that aren’t even remotely realistic for most of us.
MarketWatch then shared their article on Twitter, where the hilariously honest responses reflected what financial life is actually like for millennials.
Let’s start with the obvious:
do any of you know real people? just curious.
— Christopher Sebela (@xtop) May 14, 2018
Maybe this was all just a miscommunication:
I think you meant to say,— Emanzi (@emanzi) May 14, 2018
By 35 you should have debt twice your salary.
Because the math just doesn’t add up:
Here’s a more realistic expectation to hold yourself to:
by the time you're 35 you should have saved at least half your sandwich for lunchtime instead of noming it at 10am.— space force* & olympic hopeful (*pending) (@poniesandsodies) May 16, 2018
By 35, you should have at least one save file in every Zelda game, according to retirement experts.— Brian Altano (@agentbizzle) May 15, 2018
Because this is what it’s actually like:
My student loan payment, on an income-based repayment plan, is more than my mortgage payment. Until we address the outrageous student loan system in this country saving 200% of your salary isn’t going to happen for most young people.— A. K. (@TXSyphilology) May 15, 2018
Unless I’m doing the wrong math:
Account balances be like:
My bank accounts pic.twitter.com/Avse2Sbphw— JhenMD (@Dr_6ft5) May 14, 2018
The article even sites reasons that this isn’t attainable:
"Millennials, the generation 20s to mid-30-year-olds fit into, have delayed marriage and home ownership from happening in their 20s (as was the norm decades ago)."— Mark Whiley (@markwhiley) May 15, 2018
Yeah, it was totally a personal decision not mandated by any other external factors *cries into the ground*.
By 2018, your economy should produce a minimum wage of about $22/hr to equal the min wage of previous generations. https://t.co/oBYE7YtBkR— 💀 Brian Clevinger (@bclevinger) May 14, 2018
Again, this is even truer for women:
Too bad about that whole 75 cents on the dollar thing.— Absolute Unit (@ChurchCarlton) May 14, 2018
Fine I’ll bite what’s a salary https://t.co/rywScaKfxn— Ali Segel (@OnlineAlison) May 15, 2018
And now my perception of the world and everything in it has changed:
After reading this article, that images they used went from “2 happily married millennials who got their life together at 35” to “2 roommates eating ramen 🍜 saving up for a stove.” pic.twitter.com/bydigauIKj— MarGoLuv 🌷🌸💞🐦 (@MargoGiron) May 16, 2018
Maybe this is what they meant:
By the time you're 35 you should be a governess living in an old hilltop mansion with too many corridors and too many secrets— academiquette (@academiquette) May 17, 2018
By age 35 you should have a huge box of cables but you can't throw them out because you're pretty sure you still need a couple of them but you're not sure which ones— Lori G 🌸 (@LoriG) May 19, 2018
BY THIRTY FIVE YOU SHOULD HAVE SAVED HALF OF YOUR RETIREMENT WHICH IS EASY IF YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN IS TO WADE INTO THE SEA— NOT A WOLF (@SICKOFWOLVES) May 15, 2018
This is why this whole concept is ridiculous:
This is such an irresponsible sentiment that entirely decontextualizes the sociopolitical forces that make this impossible for *most* people and instead makes them internalize the myth that somehow they’re not working hard enough— Lareesa (@blackflaghag) May 15, 2018
They should at least let the people who pay us know:
Have you guys told US companies about this yet?— This Is Not Normal (@JonathanPerrine) May 14, 2018
In the meantime, the rest of this garbage world finally makes sense:
name a more iconic duo pic.twitter.com/5EQRyfIELp— meltzdown august (@mechapoetic) May 16, 2018
Millennials aren’t lazy and entitled as much as we have been backed into an economical stalemate where the cost of living has dramatically increased, but wages haven’t. So unless you were lucky enough to be born into wealth, it’s safe to say this statistic isn’t a realistic one for most of us.