Gen Z is learning from my millennial mistakes

You already know millennials are miserable. The story goes like this: after a decade-long rampage of killing industries and taking endless selfies, millennials are all grown up and we realized life sucks.

But does it have to be the same for Gen Z? It doesn’t look like it.

Bank of America just put out some data it collected on people who want to buy homes, and they surveyed a bunch of Gen Z-ers* on their thoughts on owning a home. Turns out, the kids are better at thinking ahead than my generation was. (No wonder they’re protesting for a response to climate change).

BofA’s survey says 52% of Gen Z-ers aged 18-23 who want to buy a home are already saving for a down payment. The bank has only done this survey for a few years, but I would love to see the same stat for millennials in, say, 2011 or 2012, when 26-year-olds like me were turning 18. I’m going to guess they would fall far short of that.

Why? This is just me philosophizing, but millennials are children of the booming 90’s. We were raised in a time when the message from society was “go to college, get a good job, and you’ll be set.” As kids and teens, were taught that we basically wouldn’t have to look forward much further than a few years.

But that wasn’t the case at all. When the economy blew up in 2008, it also dashed all the notions we millennials had of what our futures would be like. All of a sudden, the future that was laid out for us looked pretty bleak.

It looks like Gen Z is taking notes on hard lessons we millennials learned the past few years. It’s not going to work out just because you did everything your parents told you to. That’s why Gen Z is thinking ahead and planning for their long-term dreams: that BoA report also said that Gen Z wants to own a home so they can start families.

More power to them—they deserve to be happy and successful. Just watch out for the student loans, kids!


Homebuyer Insights Report (Bank of America)

* BofA classified Gen Z as anyone born after 1995, but The Basis Point uses the age range 4-24.

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