Millennials and Baby Boomers – The widening gap

Summer and Autumn 2016 produced yet more evidence of the ongoing clash of beliefs and attitudes between Millennials and Baby Boomers.

Those born in the early 1980s through to the turn of the century, the Millennials as they have come to be known, followed on from Generation X, who in turn succeeded the Baby Boomers. The Millennials now make up a quarter of the UK population.

Following the Brexit vote, Millennials took to social media in their droves to express their anger at Baby Boomers who they blame for securing a Leave vote in the EU referendum.

According to a YouGov poll before the vote, 72% of 18 to 24-year olds were in favour of remaining in the EU. Amongst pensioners, 59% favoured Brexit.

Lifestyle choices
To add to the discord between the generations, according to research Millennials have been dubbed ‘Generation inflation’ because the increase in the cost of living is three times more for this generation than for Baby Boomers. This is due largely to rising rents which particularly impact this age bracket who are currently finding it hard to get onto the housing ladder.

However, much of the inflation they are experiencing comes from their lifestyle choices, such as regularly eating out, which can account for as much as 14% of their income. Baby Boomers by contrast aren’t hit as hard, as more of their cash is spent in buying groceries from supermarkets where inflation has risen more slowly.

Debt by degrees
In another sign of the discontent felt by Millennials, 37% of them according to a recent survey regret having entered higher education, believing they will be saddled with high levels of debt for years to come.

A reality check
Baby Boomers readily accept that they found it easier to buy a property (although they can recall the financial stress they experienced when interest rates reached 15% in October 1989). However, in their later years many of them find themselves financially stretched, caring not only for elderly parents, but also giving away hard-earned cash to help their children and grandchildren buy property, to such an extent that the Bank of Mum and Dad is now classed informally as a top ten UK Mortgage lender. So on that note perhaps it’s time we called an intergenerational truce.

If you have any investments, savings, pensions or financial planning questions please contact Adam direct on 01603 666132 or email him at

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