Millennials are a controversial generation: people older than us think we’re spoiled and entitled. People younger than us are sick of hearing about our existence. And for people living in the millennial age bracket, life sure seems like an uphill battle. We can’t afford cars, homes, or anything but avocado toast. But the biggest problem for millennials might be how easily they’re riled up.
CNBC knows that one way to get engagement on a story is by reporting on something that will get millennials all angry, and the thing that always gets us angriest is money. Many millennials were hit by the 2009 recession shortly after or just after graduating. That’s a huge income gap and time of struggle early in life that many bank accounts haven’t recovered from.
So when CNBC tweeted, “1 in 6 millennials have $100,000 saved — here’s how much you should have at every age,” people absolutely freaked out:
1 in 6 millennials have $100,000 saved — here's how much you should have at every age. https://t.co/p7cxOM7Rv3— CNBC (@CNBC) October 21, 2019
In their story, they reference a survey from Bank of America, which claims 16 percent of millennials, or people between the ages of 23 and 37, have $100,000 or more in savings. They added insult to injury by reminding readers that by age 30, you should have the equivalent of your annual salary saved.
Ha. Ha ha. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
If anyone manages to do that, they’re on schedule, but even being on schedule feels out of reach for people trying to live in a capitalist, freelancer culture. And folks responded with all the incredulity and contempt they could muster:
I’m sorry, maybe I’m old and out of touch but there’s no fucking way this is true. Did they only ask the kids on Modern Family? https://t.co/ixVQII5jJH— Matt Braunger (@Braunger) October 21, 2019
WHOMST? https://t.co/rllGYVaRiH— D.J. Kirkland (@OhHeyDJ) October 21, 2019
like in sims money? https://t.co/bXHWFAPtKt— David Mack (@davidmackau) October 21, 2019
ONE in SIX?!!?!??!!!! smfh I thought we were all in this together y’all are fake https://t.co/kXOj8Yjff4— G (@GinaShkeda) October 21, 2019
Who? Where? I want names because I know none of these people. https://t.co/3w8jf1F3Ga— janashortal (@janashortal) October 21, 2019
Did they mean to write '1 in 6 millennials have $100,000 in debt'? https://t.co/5u5KTRulj1— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) October 21, 2019
5 in 6 millennials have $10 left after every paycheck https://t.co/5SJT50mYdj— Kari Steele (@KariVanHorn) October 21, 2019
The other 5 owe colleges $100,000. https://t.co/IuE3Oh42Ka— Ian Miles Cheong (@stillgray) October 21, 2019
But a few people argue that lots of millennials are pushing 40, so having significant savings isn’t unreasonable:
So this tweet has gone viral from what appears to be thousands of people screaming "WHAT MILLENNIAL HAS $100K IN SAVINGS???" and it seems to come entirely down to people not realizing that 38 year-olds are "millennials." It's a weird stereotype... https://t.co/ZkN2y9tWfV— Jason "David Wong" Pargin (@JohnDiesattheEn) October 21, 2019
"America is 50 billionaires and 300 million people working the gig economy" is just a running Twitter joke, there's still a whole middle and upper-middle class out there. And plenty of millennials own homes. Hell, some of them are grandparents now.— Jason "David Wong" Pargin (@JohnDiesattheEn) October 21, 2019
But a more pertinent point is that the survey data is pretty exclusively coming from Bank of America, not millennials at large, and as such is not conclusive. A wider survey might show very different results for who has what saved.
It’s not impossible to save a significant chunk of change by 37, but it’s pretty challenging. Even if you make good money, you have likely started a family, tried to get into real estate or have student loans, which can bankrupt people. To anyone who has managed to get that $100,000 in the bank, kudos to you. Can you spot me a twenty?
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