Youthful Optimism

Youth-home-ownershipWe tend to learn in life that things don’t always turn out the way we plan.

A good example of this is a statistic found in the National Report Card on Youth Financial Literacy put out by the British Columbia Securities Commission. It found that 73% of high school grads aged 17-20 expect to own a home within 10 years.

Unfortunately, it seems those 17 to 20 year-olds may be in for a little disappointment.

As it turns out, over half (51%) of 20 to 29 year-olds haven’t even left the nest yet, according to StatsCan. That’s double the number who were still living at home as of 25 years ago.

So, what can one take away from this divergence betwen expectations and reality?

Well, it seems students are either overly optimistic about their future finances or underachieving in trying to realize them. It’s probably a combination of both, and the current economic and employment situation isn’t helping.

On the bright side, with so many young people still living at home, it’s affording them a great opportunity to save up a down payment…at least we hope so for their parents’ sake.


Incidentally: The average 17 to 20 year-old respondent also expects to earn $90,735 in 10 years time – almost three times the actual average income of 25 to 29 year‐olds with post‐secondary degrees.


Steve Huebl, CMT

  1. If youth aren’t taking any steps toward their goals, it’s “delusion” not optimism. Sadly I think many people confuse the two. Likely having much to do with how parents raised their kids.

  2. Perhaps those kids look at what the baby-boomer generation was able to achieve with little to no education while still being able to afford their own home, pay their bills, and have a family all before the age of 30.
    I am the child (but older than the demographic listed here) of baby boomers, trying to raise my family, afford my home, pay my bills and I can assure you – it is different this time around.

  3. Reality is important too. I’m 25 years old and own a house because I worked my butt off. I am the only person from my graduating class (2004) who is a home-owner. Most people my age, when they move out, are under the impression that life should continue being as comfortable as it was when they lived with mommy and daddy; all the while ignoring the fact that mommy and daddy started off in a dingy one-bedroom apartment and sure as heck weren’t paying $100 a month for their iPhone and another $100 for their cable and $50 for their internet. The curse of my generation is that we are spoiled, entitled brats. The failure of yours is that you made us this way.

  4. Wow mike, could not have said that better myself.
    “The curse of my generation is that we are spoiled, entitled brats. The failure of yours is that you made us this way.”
    So how do we avoid this from happening oin the next generation? They might be moving in with the grandparents!

  5. Nice comments.
    Parents sometimes make mistakes. But kids when they grow up shouldn’t blame them. Kids should be able to differentiate what’s good and what not so much in life.
    It’s a question of priorities.
    Many factors can influence the formation of priorities in life.
    Environment, family, friends and himself.
    Success in life for me is when you are healthy, create a family, raise kids and are able to support them while enjoying life.
    And after all plans and goals you follow, it comes the outside factors you have no control over that may throw all your plans in another direction.
    So do what you believe is right, but don’t bet too much on what will actually happen.

  6. Seriously? 25-29yo with an education only make 30k on average?
    Where did this # come from? Does it match with the experiences brokers see in the field?

  7. Just checked census and adjusted for inflation.
    Median for 25-29yo both sexes is $39K.
    In a traditional couple (two earners, one of each sex) it is higher.

  8. Fair enough but don’t forget that roughly 10% of 25-29 year olds are unemployed, which brings down the average earnings for that entire age group.

  9. I think the curse is that anyone who has made an effort thinks that they’re unique, and assumes that everyone else hasn’t worked as hard as they have – the curse of specialness

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