Generation Why

A number of news organizations have been following up on a report from CNN Money that “66 percent of millennials aged 21 to 32” have no money saved for retirement. Most chalk it up to a bad economy and student loan debt, but Salon saw it as a more existential aversion to responsible investing.

The idea that we millennials’ only hope for retirement is the end of capitalism or the end of the world is actually quite common sentiment among the millennial left. Jokes about being unable to retire or anticipating utter social change by retirement age were ricocheting around the internet long before CNN’s article was published.

“When I’m at retirement age, around 2050, I think it’s possible we’ll have seen a breakdown of modern society,” Elias Schwartzman, 29, a musician, told Salon.

I do see it as a real possibility that nuclear holocaust or environmental apocalypse will make money completely meaningless, and that reinforces my approach of living in the now. If I can find my way to saving, or creating a lot of wealth, I’ll use it to buy land and build toward self-sufficiency as a way to hopefully protect myself against the various unpleasant futures that I can see ahead of us.