Are millennials really the first generation to do worse than their parents?

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Author's Note: Are millennials really the first generation to do worse than their parents?

In my research for this article, I came across an interesting quote from an economist responding to a mother's horror at finding out that her son wasn't interested in pursuing the same "wealth-building path" as his parents. The mother feared for her son's future, but the economist said, "Maybe this generation won't have a worse life, but just a different life." Millennials have grown up in a time of tremendous change and flux. They have seen how disruptive technologies like the Internet and mobile devices can change the way we live, work, communicate and connect. As the Pew study showed, Millennials are very open to change. Maybe it's time to change the assumption that every generation should be wealthier than its parents. (We also used to assume that home prices should perpetually climb, and look where that got us.) Maybe millennials know a secret that can't be calculated or graphed: In the modern reality, things change, sometimes dramatically and often blindingly fast. When the unexpected opportunity arrives for this highly educated generation to get to work, I think we'll be amazed by the outcome.

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