In a recent interview with NPR, Jason Dorsey, the founder of The Center for Generation Kinetics, debates the underlying reasons that keep millennials stationary. Dorsey calls this stage of life “delayed adulthood.” This is a stage of life foreign to many previous generations. It is a stage where a person craves the freedoms of adulthood, and yet is not equipped to handle the responsibilities that come with it.
While this is certainly a consideration when Millennials are choosing whether or not relocate, it is not the primary cause. According to Dorsey, it is college debt that is leaving many millennials frozen in their tracks.
The millennial generation is often defined by their globalized outlook. They travel more for business (4.7 times per year) and pleasure (4.2 times per year). They have grown up with the internet in at their fingertips: whether in the form of a desktop computer or later, a smart phone in their pocket. Yet, surprisingly, millennials are the least mobile generation when it comes to uprooting their lives. In fact, only 20 percent of millennials changed addresses in 2015. This is a 6 percent decline from their Generation X counterparts: 26 percent of Gen Xers changed addresses in 2000.
In 2008, Millennials witnessed the largest financial collapse in history. These factors alone are enough to deter anyone from taking on greater levels of responsibility that are equated with adulthood.
According to Dorsey, over half of Millennials “believe they will never be able to retire.” Between the financial pressures of college loans, and the idea that retirement is an unreachable state, it seems that the only commodity Millennials are flush with is time.
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