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Why I was wrong about millennials

Soldiers Salute

As a financial advisor, retirement planning conversations are common. I recently attended a different type of retirement event, and it was eye-opening to me. It was a ceremony to retire American Flags that were worn, faded, torn or soiled. I was invited by the local American Legion to attend, and to play “To The Colors” on my trumpet.

A different kind of retirement event

Many in attendance had served in the United States military, and I was truly struck at how proud these folks were to have served their country. The flags being retired were made of simple cloth, but what they represented was of an incredible fabric. This group of folks were from all walks of life, that at some point in time were forever bonded by their selfless acts in serving others.

I thought to myself at the time: Today’s youth will never understand this type of commitment or bond.

It turns out I was wrong.

Care About Helping People

Millennials care about helping people

Perception is reality, some say — and I realized that my reality may have been based more on media sound bites and social media stereotyping than facts. In my research I read several articles, including one by Ryan Scott for Forbes.

I learned that millennials and our younger generation are truly devoted to helping people, a cause I can closely relate to as an advisor. They support causes rather than organizations — and prefer to work for companies that support their communities.

We are not all so differentWork Together

It then dawned on me that so many of the people I encountered at the American Legion were once deemed “hippies” themselves, and that much of society at the time thought they were out of touch. Sound familiar?

The causes of these two generations have differences, certainly. But the older of the two should see the similarities of their history when they look in the faces of our younger generation.


On a side note, some of the folks I met at the American Legion are still hippies, and they are still pretty cool!

March 2018

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