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Tannery & Company: The Cupcake GenerationUnless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely heard of the famous “You are Not Special” speech delivered by Wellesley High School English Teacher, David McCullough in May of 2012. I thought this would be a good topic to revisit and get our WE:Connect readers feedback on how you feel about the “Cupcake Generation”.

The Cupcake Generation, also known as Millenials? now represent “the highest percentage of Americans lacking enough money to meet their basic needs,” outdistancing Gen X-ers and Baby Boomers in that dubious regard, according to the survey released last month by WSL/Strategic Retail

Yes, “The Cupcake Generation” the latest generation following the Baby Boomers. They all grew up with the idea that “everyone gets a cupcake”. Adversity and challenge breeds character and attributes like fortitude but when you get a medal for showing up and generous compliment and encouragement, it is not unimaginable to see how that leads to self-entitlement. We have gone from generations that broadly lacked self-esteem to ones that operate with an over-supply of self-esteem.

A 2010 Pew Research Center study, focused on 50 million Americans between the ages of 18 and 29, bolsters the picture of a young-adult generation forced to make tough financial choices.

Sixty percent said they do not earn enough to make ends meet. Thirty-six percent said they rely on their families for financial support. And, compared with 25 years ago, households headed by under-35s have 68 percent less wealth than their parents’ generation had, Pew’s research also showed. Downward mobility is the new norm, or so it seems.

The trends that we see are:

1. Adult children rely on their parents for more financial support than ever before; potentially causing the parents to sacrifice their own retirement.

2. Beneficiaries are spending inheritances at ever uncontrolled rate. The average inheritance last less than 18 months.

3. Many parents are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on education, only to find their children moving home, possessing little ambition and being highly selective prior to taking a first job.

The question that I pose to you is this – Is the lack of Cupcake Generation a result of their feeling of self entitlement or the result of a generation of Helicopter Parents?

Tell us what you think and what steps you would take with your children.

Michael

Michael@tannerywealth.com

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