Millennials 'aren't having midlife crises' – so what's going on?

We hate to break it to you, but if you’re a millennial, you’re careering head first towards middle age.

The oldest of the generation are now around 42-years-old (oh-so-kindly referred to as geriatric millennials), which also happens to be the prime time for a midlife crisis.

While there’s some debate over whether a midlife crisis is actually a thing, it’s generally defined as a when you start to experience feelings of age-related anxiety and depression, and start to reflect on your life so far.

But if you look among your peers, you’ll notice that no one has blown all of their savings on a little red sportscar, and marriages aren’t being ruined by workplace affairs.

So what’s going on?

Well, according to a recent opinion piece in the New York Times, the mid-life millennial crisis doesn’t exist. One interviewee cited that due to multiple financial crashes, political polarisation, and the global pandemic, ‘my whole adult life has been one big crisis.’

It seems that millennials are already in a constant state of crisis – midlife or not.

Journalist, Jessica Grose, added: ‘Rather than longing for adventure and release, [millennials] craved a sense of safety and calmness, which they felt they had never known.’

In fact, Jessica goes onto point out that when millennials do finally achieve all the trappings that come with middle age (a mortgage, partner and kids) ‘you’re in a brand-new life stage that hasn’t yet had time to grow stale.’

And even if millennials – aka generation rent – did want to have a crises, they couldn’t afford to anyway.

The article has certainly struck a chord, and it seems TikTok was in agreement with Jessica’s assessment.

In a video which currently have over 700k views, TikToker Jordan said: ‘Ask a millennial when’s the last time they were able to sit down, relax and not stress about anything. I promise you they’ll have to think about it.’

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And commenters were quick to agree. ‘Millennials are out here surviving’, said one. While another added: ‘This explains why so many of us have mental health issues.’

While the article focused on our millennial cousins across the pond, the state of affairs in the UK isn’t much different.

Is enough being done to support people through the cost of living crisis? Have your say now

Money expert Jasmine Birtles told ‘Young people need help at the moment. We’re skirting around another recession, inflation is through the roof, and the cost of living continues to soar. That’s not to mention the aftermath of the Covid-19 lockdowns.’

The average single buyer now needs a £74,402 deposit to buy a home and given the median full-time salary is £31,285, it’s not hard to see there’s a problem.

Millennials are also less likely to have less savings. Jasmine said: ‘If the cost of rent, food and energy is going up, people are spending all of their income on simply living day to day – they simply don’t have anything extra to save.

‘Even if you manage to get the top savings rate, which currently stands at 4.6%, if you factor in inflation at 10.4%, you’re basically losing money.’

All this hasn’t just had an impact on millennial bank balances, but on mental health too.

Psychologist Emma Kenny says: ‘There is so much going on in our world, and so much for people to worry about.

‘People who have mid-life crises are analytical, intelligent individuals, and they get to the stage where they think, “Is this it?” And then they want to make shifts and changes to their paradigms of living.

‘But a lot of people these days don’t have the time or the opportunity to take that pause because there’s so much else going on.’

Social media is also, inevitably, playing a role.

‘People don’t lose themselves quite as easily anymore,’ says Emma.

‘Due to what we see online, we’re constantly comparing ourselves to the younger generation. Millennials make great efforts around the way that they look, so they’re in a situation where they almost pause time. They look younger, and tend to be fitter.

‘When you couple that with with millennials not owning homes until later in life, and waiting to get married and have children, it’s more likely that mid-life crises will be delayed.

‘It’s more likely to happen when millennials are collecting their pensions.’

So will the mid-life crisis be replaced by a silver-life crisis?

What this space.

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