There's no financial Utopia for millennials

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This article is dedicated to all millennials, the young people of this country, considering that June, which just ended was Youth Month.

Millennials are mostly driven by the desire for tangible and intangible goodies with disregard for the future. A picture perfect Utopia.

Therefore, Utopia and millennials go hand in hand.

Utopia refers to an imagined community or society that possesses all desirables, at nearly perfect quality, for its citizens.

I would like to suggest that millennials should break down their long-term Utopias into simple desires, because simple desires produce simple and practical Utopias.

A practical and factual journey for millennials will involve desires as follows:

Desire: Your first pay cheque;

Reality: Your money isn't your money as the net income is often overlooked;

Practical Action: Pay yourself first by putting away into a savings account a reasonable amount for emergencies.


Desire: You start budgeting;

Reality: Millennials often spend money that they don't have and end up in debt;

Practical Action: From the moment you start earning a salary, you have to start adding up income and expenses in a simple and traceable method.


Desire: You buy your first car;

Reality: This becomes your first major debt with initial deposit and regular monthly repayments;

Practical Action: You need to do your homework, extensively compare various options and make allowance for maintenance and insurance costs.


Desire: You buy a house.

Reality: This is another major step that requires diligence and sound mind,

Practical Action: You need to consider all the options and related costs. It may be feasible to accumulate a sizeable deposit to reduce the bond repayments. At times renting is a better option than buying a house.


Desire: You are offered credit;

Reality: This comes in many forms, from retailers to bogus schemes,

Practical Action: Examine extensively the credit offered and make a distinct view of whether it is good or bad credit.


Desire: You get into debt;

Reality: This often occurs due to overspending and having less control of your income and expenses,

Practical Action: Depending on the level of debt that you are exposed to, you need to take the necessary steps to get out of it as soon as practically possible. The first step begins with acceptance that you are in debt.


Desire: You retire;

Reality: Most millennials overlook this aspect only to be disappointed later in life,

Practical Action: The retirement funding landscape has recently been favourably improved.

You can take advantage of up to 27.5% of income that can be tax deductible. Tax free investments were also introduced to encourage the culture of saving.

Millennials have vast opportunities and challenges to reach their ultimate Utopias. They may be regarded as innovative, entitled, overly confident and obsessed with social media. Perhaps they are not to blame for their demeanor.

*Sekese, the 2016 Financial Planning Institute (FPI) media award winner, is a registered financial planner and a member of the FPI. He serves on the FPI investments competency committee.

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