Millennials are dreaming big.

Over half of millennials believe they'll become millionaires and they will retire by 56 with only 20 years of savings.

Whatever you believe about the millennial generations, one thing that they don’t lack is a confidence in their own abilities. According to a recent study:

Millennials expect to make it big some day, with more than half reporting that they believe they will eventually become millionaires.

While it is true that there have been several success stories of millennials making millions, such as Mark Zuckerburg and Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel, it seems foolishly optimistic of this group to believe that the millions of dollars they desire is a simple app or invention away.

There is something to be said for this generation to believe that success is right around the corner. This despite the fact that millennials hold a huge amount of student loan debt and 17 percent of them stated that they still receive financial assistance from parents.

Other details emerging from this study is the fact that millennials believe that they will be able to retire at age 56. A worthy goal to be sure but an additional problem was discovered: they don’t expect to start saving for that goal at age 36. It’s hard to wrap my head around saving for retirement in only twenty years and been financially secure through that time.

But hey, it doesn’t hurt to aspire to be successful.

No. 1-5

a) Why don’t you cite or give a link to the study? b) Mark Zuckerberg is not a Millennial. Check it out. c) By the time Millenials do retire a million dollars will buy what $100k buys today if historical trends hold true. They better have ten times that if they want to retire.


You may have read it but your memory is just plain wrong. You can call me illiterate - but I'll actually provide you the direct quote and a link (you don't even have to read far in your copy, it is the first chapter): "As a group, we are fairly well educated. Only about one in five are not college graduates. Many of us hold advanced degrees. Eighteen percent have master's degrees, 8 percent law degrees, 6 percent medical degrees, and 6 percent Ph.D.s."

Yes, student debt is a real problem and going to college, or getting an advanced degree, does not guarantee wealth. But it does make it more likely - the millionaires are more likely than the rest of the population to have graduated college, become a doctor, lawyer or PhD.

But the real funny thing about your 'retort' is the lack of reading comprehension you demonstrated. I didn't say 6% of doctors were millionaires, I said 6% of millionaires (per their survey data) had medical degrees - do you not understand the difference and how that is clear evidence that it is more likely for someone with a medical degree to become a millionaire than one without?

I don't know what sort of complex you have that drives you try to bring down education - but it is poor advice to give out and not reflective of reality.


Bill Gates didn't finish college. Neither did Steve Jobs. Richard Branson dropped out of high school. Yet these are some of the richest men in the world. The reason why the status careers--doctor, lawyer, professor--are the least likely to produce a net worth of $1 million is because they require years of expensive education for certification. Student loans are not dischargeable. You will pay that money back with interest. Not even bankruptcy can remove student loan debt. So, what happens to people who pursue these careers is that they have to spend their working years servicing debt and at the end of the day, their assets do not total over $1 million. They may be thousandaires, even hundred thousandaires, but they are not millionaires. I read the book. I also read the follow up, The Millionaire Mind. Stanley and Danko did indeed find that the vast majority of actual millionaires did not attend or did not finish college. I could quote the exact page where they admit as much, but since you're illiterate I won't bother. My mother never attended an hour of college in her life. She went from grocery store check out girl to housewife, became an apartment manager, then a secretary, then a realtor, then a broker. She is now the primary owner and principal broker of the most successful independently owned real estate corporation in South Texas, and her net worth exceeds $10 million. You talk about 6% and 8% and 6% of doctors, lawyers and professors. I personally know mechanics, electricians and plumbers who have more net worth than they do. And I certainly know my mother, who has more net worth than any of them. You also fail to mention the 94% and 92% and 94% of doctors, lawyers and professors who are not millionaires.


There is so much wrong here I was actually compelled to sign up just to correct your mistakes. I'll note that there are a lot of weaknesses in Stanley and Danko's book and even they wouldn't claim it is some sort of scientific survey of the country's millionaires - but the least you could have done is cited it accurately.

Let's start at the top with definitional and finance mistakes, net worth is defined as assets-liabilities, income and expense are not part of it (from the book "Net worth is defined as the current value of one's assets less liabilities"). Incomes and expenses are distinct concepts. Net worth = balance sheet=assets and liabilities where as Net income = income statement = incomes and expenses.

Of course assets are relevant to expenses (and liabilities to income) - assets can generate expenses just as they generate income, ask any homeowner. Liabilities likewise can be instrumental in generating income (like your cell phone contract which is a liability but maybe your most important tool if you are a phone-based salesman).

Now onto the errors you made about there findings. They did not find that the "that the overwhelming majority... of real millionaires were small business owner" - they found about half were self-employed entrepreneurs.

Most of them absolutely did complete college, about 80%, and almost 40% had advanced degrees.

The average house value was $320,000 (and that value house in 1996 is not the same as that value today - something that is also true for $1,000,000).

And I have no idea where you got the idea that "the three careers least likely to produce a net worth of $1 million were the status careers: doctor, lawyer, professor" - that is patently silly. A healthy percent of millionaires come from each of those professions and if you can't come up with dozens of careers off the top of your head that are less likely to get you there then you aren't even trying. As far as the book goes, it does note that 6% have medical degrees, 6% PhDs and 8% have law degrees - all three significantly higher than their share of the general population.


Yeah, well, they can dream all they want, but when they wake up, they'll soon find out that a dream is not reality. They would do well to read The Millionaire Next Door, by Stanley and Danko. These two PhDs set out to study actual millionaires, that is people who have a net worth of over $1 million, and what they found shocked them. Net worth is defined by a simple equation: (Income + Assets) - (Expenses + Liabilities) =/> $1,000,000. That is what a millionaire is, someone whose net worth exceeds a million. Assets generate income; liabilities generate expenses. So income and assets are largely irrelevant to expenses and liabilities, if the latter exceeds the former. Lots of people earn high salaries and ow n multiple assets, but are not millionaires because their expenses and liabilities eat up all of their money. Calling yourself a millionaire while burdened with debt is delusional. What Stanley and Danko found was that the overwhelming majority, more than 80%, of real millionaires were small business owners. Most of them never went to or didn't complete a college degree. They live in houses that cost around $200,000, drive used or paid for cars, and wear clothes and jewelry that don't distinguish them from any other person on the street. You would never know by looking at them that they have a net worth of $1 million, but they do. They minimize expenses, maximize savings, and invest in themselves or their business to accumulate wealth--that takes time and discipline, but it pays off. Celebrities, actors, rock stars, athletes, lottery winners more often than not have less money after their moment in the sun than before. They made millions and in the end have nothing but debt. The reason why is because they didn't build something, anything of value. They just lucked into it all and wasted it. I'm rich! I'm broke! That's the story that plays itself out over and over again. So if these millennials dream of becoming millionaires, they need to wake up and understand what being a millionaire really means. It does not mean prestige, status, a high salary, or any of that pretentious crap, being a look-at-me celebrity. It means going to work every day and building something of value. A self-made millionaire is a millionaire because he or she is self-made. In the end, nothing matters but net worth. At the close of day, it's either $1 million or more, or it's not. Usually, it's not, because most people do not understand money. It's made, not earned. Expenses and liabilities will consume income and assets, and leave you with nothing. Interestingly, what Stanley and Danko discovered what that the three careers least likely to produce a net worth of $1 million were the status careers: doctor, lawyer, professor.