My name is Victor Rose and I love stories and conversations; I created this blog with the intention of listening to different people of disparate ages tell me their timeless truths. I wanted to hear what someone from the upcoming generation, the Millennials, might have to say about retirement and the future. Born after 1981, they represent a youth that has experienced so much cultural, political, technological and economic change. They were born into interesting times.
Ellie Ridge is not your typical 16 year-old. I met her at a Philz Coffee in North Berkeley, CA. At 16, she was working 2 jobs, in addition to attending community college full-time. She also just came back from a self-funded European summer adventure.
Victor: So Ellie what is the first thing that comes to mind when I say the word “Retirement”?
Ellie: Not having to work. Living a comfortable life. I guess I would hope that when I retire, I would be able to live the same life that I lived when I was still working.
Victor: When do you think you’re going to retire?
Ellie: I want to retire when I’m 65 but I know that people have to retire a lot later now.
V: What types of behavior do you think could help you in that goal?
E: Putting money away and making investments, like buying a home. Not having to pay a mortgage when I’m older.
V: I’m very impressed that you know that!
E: I just want to have everything settled so that the only money I have to be spending is on maintenance.
Where did Ellie get all her wisdom? Who taught her about saving?
“Nobody taught me.”
Ellie described that she’d witnessed people around her make poor financial choices. Those choices created hard-felt consequences.
“I never want to be like that when I grow up. I don’t, on the one hand, want the value of my life placed on money. I don’t think your value is in your money or money will bring you happiness, but I know that money brings you ease and comfort.”
If Ellie represents the next generation, if the next generation can learn from others’ mistakes and misfortunes, if they can think ahead and plan and act now, then we have a bright future ahead of us.