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Money lessons from Millennials

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October 24th, 2016
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If you have grandchildren, you undoubtedly have many important lessons about money to impart to them—the importance of saving it, how much it really costs to retire, and what it’s been like living through different types of economic ups and downs, just to name a few. 

But you might be surprised that you can also pick up a few tricks about making and managing money from your young adult grandchildren. The so-called Millennial generation, born in the 1980s, 1990s, and early 2000s, are known for being tech-savvy and civic-minded. They tend to think globally and seek out work they’re passionate about. So next time you’re spending time with your grandchildren, steer the conversation to the topics below, and you just might learn something new.

Managing money on a smartphone. Millennials are “digital natives,” meaning they have never lived in a world without Internet, personal computers, and cell phones, so they are more inclined to integrate technology into all aspects of their lives. Norman Ling, a Millennial who runs a personal finance and career development blog (spreadsheetproductions.com), says people his age are adept at online banking and using technology to deposit checks, pay bills, track expenses, check their portfolios, look for employment, and transfer money. 

Finding an encore career you love. It used to be common to work at one company for your entire career. Ling says Millennials approach work differently. “They value freedom and flexibility more than a secure retirement,” he says. “Millennials are more likely to work from home (remotely) and change employers every few years. They are more likely to search for something they are passionate about that they can do for money.” So, if you want to pursue a part-time job related to one of your hobbies or passions during retirement, your grandchildren can probably give you some pointers. 

Shopping around for the best prices. Evan Harris, founder and owner of SD Equity Partners (sdequitypartners.com), says one big difference between Millennials and older generations is that younger folks are great at shopping around for the best deals on everything from vacation packages to investment opportunities. “In this period of fast-moving data and consistently changing digital landscapes, there are options at your fingertips for literally every purchase you could make,” Harris says. “Spending 20-30 minutes to look for different options, read reviews from other consumers, and then making a purchase can save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on some purchases.” 

Investing for the greater good. Young investors aren’t satisfied with a good return on their money. They also want to know their investments are helping to make the world a better place. So-called “impact investing” means investing in companies that contribute to positive social and environmental changes, and according to a survey by U.S. Trust (ustrust.com), 93% of wealthy Millennials say they want to invest in socially responsible companies. 

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