When I came upon the latest game of Monopoly when on holiday with my family I couldn’t believe my eyes. I really had to do a double take. Monopoly now has a board game for Millennials – with the catchphrase “forget real estate, you can’t afford it anyway”.
While at first I had to have a laugh, I then started thinking about it. While Monopoly has always been about collecting the most properties and having the most money, the game has now changed. In fact, the game specifically said it’s not about who collects the most money – it’s who collects the most experiences, first.
For the current financial situation of millennials to be common enough to put on a board game, it’s probably a big red flag for the financial services industry. While nobody can deny that life experiences and travel are amazing, it’s also very dangerous to focus solely on that at the expense of the future.
During our show, we have had three millennials who went through the process of financial planning. They both learned a lot from the experience, and have changed the way they think about money and preparing for the future because of it. I have no doubt that both of them will reach each of their financial milestones - simply because they set some after seeing their planner.
Without the help of good financial planning, most millennials will not reach their goals - or set major financial milestones. After all, as Monopoly points out, why bother? Much better to live for today.
We had a very interesting discussion on one of our panels with social demographer Mark McCrindle who explained that the majority of millennials believe that they will be less happy and financially worse off than their parents. This is a damning statistic.
In a world where our technology is better, and we truly have a global economy, it’s terrible to think the next generation believe they don't have the chances that older generations did. While I have focused a lot on the plight of Generation X – yes, that’s me! – I have to feel concerned about the future of millennials unless we intervene and create financial planning tools that they can afford.
The upheaval of the past few years in the financial planning space has taken the focus off building robo and online tools to help those with lower balances get good advice. I can only hope as the dust settles that the urgency with which this is solved is accelerated again.
Because when the financial futures of a whole generation are made a joke of, we know we have big, systemic issues. Ones that won’t be solved without the minds in the financial services industry.
Food for thought indeed. I hope you have been enjoying our show. I believe people need easy to understand education more than ever before.
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