BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Millennials are the most educated generation of the US and beyond, but they’re also tops on finding themselves in mountains of debt, mostly from student loans. And while there are plenty of young people who fit that bill, there are a growing number bucking that trend.
“I don’t see myself that way at all,” said Andrew Russo, 27.
Russo, a sports performance specialist with CoachMePlus, was born in 1989. He finds himself right in the middle of the millennial generation, with which he identifies by age alone.
“Being in a place like this, where you’re given an opportunity at an early age, I mean there’s tons of 22- and 23-year-olds in this building who are doing some really cool things at a lot of different companies,” he said.
He’s one of dozens of millennials working at 43North, where innovation is king — perfect for working lifestyle of men and women in their 20s and 30s.
Millennials make up a quarter of the country’s workers, and will account for half of the world’s workforce in less than five years, according to a recent study by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the George Washington University Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center.
The study showed 80 percent of millennial college grads have longterm debt, which has longterm negative impacts.
“It’s causing several different problems of this delay of starting their financial lives,” said financial adviser Steven Elwell, a millennial who sees these trends far too often. “That’s kind of a double-whammy. You’re not saving, but you’re also losing time.
“What you’re going to say is at some point, you’re going to have to address this. And the longer you wait, the worse it’ll get,” he said.
Christine Bird is the co-founder of HR-startup, Plum, which is also located at 43North.
She said the millennial mentality has been more a help than a hindrance.
“I can make choices of what I want to do and follow the passions that I have instead of being constricted by, I need to have a longterm job that will keep me secure,” she said. “It’s hard work, but I consider myself lucky as a millennial and also as a person to have that opportunity.”
While millennials may start their adult lives at a financial disadvantage, there also ahead of the game when it comes to innovation and adaptability. And that’s good news for a rising economy like Buffalo, experts say.