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Dvorkin On Debt: My Millennial Skepticism

While it’s been fashionable to beat up on the Millennial generation for everything from being egocentric to tech-toy-addicted, I’ve been an avid defender of their future.

I’ve documented research that shows Millennials may have better financial habits than their parents, and they may be more keen about saving for retirement than previous generations.

Some readers are skeptical. They’ve emailed me, for example: “Your confidence in Millennials might be misplaced. This is the generation of selfie-sticks and short attention spans.”

Allow me to agree, but just a little.

I’ve been in the personal financial field for too long to believe America can solve its poor spending habits in a single generation. While I don’t believe Millennials will crash and burn like many think, I do have some concerns based on the latest research…

Millennials don’t read

Millennials obviously learn how to read in school, and they learn math. However, they apparently don’t read their bills before paying them.

“Nearly one-third of millennials don’t look at bills before paying them,” says a new survey of 18- to 24-year-olds conducted by a tech company called Inlet.

The problem is the solution to another problem: Millennials have embraced online bill pay. That’s great for convenience and assuring you’re never late on a payment, but you still need to read the bill to make sure it’s accurate.


Millennials hop around too much

It’s not only the older generations who know that job-hopping might earn you a few dollars more in the short term, but can cost you career success in the long term. Millennials know this, too. Yet they still want to do it.

A new survey from an employment software firm called RecrutiFi notes…

Although 83 percent of millennials acknowledge that job hopping on their resume has the potential to be negatively perceived by prospective employers, 86 percent say that it would not prevent them from pursuing their professional or personal passions.

Not surprisingly, this job-hopping isn’t caused just by chasing a buck or losing patience — 37 percent decide to change careers after their first or second jobs in the field.

Millennials don’t care about college debt

Student loan debt is such a huge problem in this country — well over $1 trillion — so it’s somewhat surprising that so many Millennials still think college is such a great deal. A new study by CreditSesame concludes…

Millennials (individuals born between 1981 and 2004) may be spending more for college than Gen X (those born between 1964 and 1980) and racking up record debt, but they have a more positive opinion of higher education.

Even worse, “Over 25 percent of Millennials went to a university where the tuition was $25k or more, compared to only 6 percent of Gen X.” I wonder if Millennials realize how long it will take to pay off those debts.

I still have high hopes for the upcoming (and up-and-coming) generation. However, every generation faces financial challenges, and will be there for them. Regardless of your generation, you can call one of our certified credit counselors at 1-800-810-0989 for a free debt analysis.

Howard Dvorkin is a CPA and chairman of, an educational resource for those who want to conquer all forms of debt in their lives.

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