Work-Life Balance is a concept that you’re going to start to see a lot in major news outlets. It’s a question that the youngest working, the Millennials, is asking themselves: “How much should I work, and how much should I enjoy life?” As a consumer culture that has elevated work as an inherent virtue, we have also had some of our biggest cultural archetypes (Don Draper, anyone?) show us how a lifestyle bent on nothing but achievement and resource accumulation is an empty one. This is a concept that Millennials seem to know intuitively, one that has near religious resonance. It is a concept that is giving birth to a hugely entrepreneurial spirit among these 20- and 30-somethings, and it’s making them an odd fit without traditional corporate settings.
So let’s say you want an emotionally satisfying life, one that is supplemented by, not defined by, your career. How do you achieve this?
- Live (and Be Happy) Beneath Your Means. Financial independence, for the Millennial generation, may not mean the same thing that it does to Warren Buffet. Millennials seem to know how to enjoy their lives. This has labeled them as hedonists and frivolities among certain news outlets. But at the same time, it is this generation that is finding the ways to feed and power the world with much, much less. This is a spiritual admonition as much as it is a practical one. Millennials want to be happy, but they want the same for everyone else. It’s a spiritual socialism that may make big changes in the way we think about money in the coming decades.
- Make Different Financial Decisions That Someone Desiring Maximum Wealth. If you are a young person who doesn’t feel like they need maximum wealth, you’ll make different decisions in life than someone who does. A structured settlement buyer like JG Wentworth will offer you a big paycheck to take away day-to-day security. Security like this isn’t glamorous; it won’t get you rich. But it may be something that is worth keeping for its own sake. This is a message that seems to resonate with young people, those who have found that the expensive educations they pursued haven’t paid off, or aren’t worth forcing to pay off. People who feel this way will also invest differently. Rather than sinking all spare income into a plan that will give them an opulent lifestyle in their old age, they will try to live in the now, traveling, education themselves, enjoying people and new experiences.
There is no right or wrong way to do money. Conservative approaches to finance and investment have been sold hard on a generation that, to the outside world, seems ignorant of financial realities. But it just may be that this approach to money may be selling a lifestyle that Millennials do not want. If that’s the case, then their decisions start to make a lot more sense. If life, as it is, is satisfactory, why slave away to chase after a reality that is outside of our own experience?
Photo Credit: Sohel Parvez Haque