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The Millennial Version of the American Dream

Core Facts

Thursday, March 22, 2018

You may be forgiven if you thought that Millennials’ lives only revolved around going to modern art museums for Instagram photo ops with their friends. But a recent study gave some very interesting insights into the minds of these young adults, especially with regards to money and The American Dream. Some key findings illuminated their attitudes towards a number of things.

Here are some highlights:

Helping Others

Only 22% of Millennials considered helping others as a valued part of their American Dream. This percentage is the lowest reported among any age group.

Money Conscious

Millennials were the group that placed the most importance on having a job that paid well, with 46% saying that was crucial to their attainment of the American Dream. While most everyone wants to attain financial security and maintain a work-life balance, Millennials are just more "direct" than others about their future and pressuring employers for better wages.


Millennials placed the most importance of all age groups polled on luxury items, with 32% saying having luxury items were crucial to their attainment of the American Dream. The 30-and-under set valued traveling to other countries, owning a nice car, having the latest technology, and belonging to exclusive organizations. In a world moving dramatically toward technology, this isn’t all too surprising and is possibly evidence that Millennials seem to value luxury items because they're optimistic about the future.


Millennials were the most likely to value having children. 20% of Millennials said this was an integral part of their American Dream. [4]

While the fact that more Millennials placed greater importance on having kids is interesting, it might not translate into their actually having children.

Optimism of Youth

In keeping with the stereotype of optimistic youth, Millennials believe that they will attain the American Dream more than any other group. Of those polled, 31% said they thought the American Dream was alive and well. Participants between the ages of 51 and 64 were the least optimistic about this at only 17%.


Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities.

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law.

Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC.

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Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Lawrenceville, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website: www.davidlerner.com

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Jake Mendlinger
Account Manager
516.829.8374 X 232

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