Fun with Maps is back with another edition, the second this weekend. Yes, I’m bored. Am I that transparent?
Map 87 comes to us from Business Insider using data from the Minnesota Population Center. It shows the median income for millennials throughout the United States. What is a millennial? Essentially, a millennial is a young person. The years of birth vary greatly from definition to definition but I’ve seen everything from 1977 to 2004. That means everyone 14 to 39 years old. That’s a ridiculous range but most websites use 15 year windows like 1985 to 2000. “According to the Pew Research Center, a millennial is a ‘born between 1981 and 1997. They currently represent about one third of the population'” [YourDailyDish]. That one sounds good so let’s go with that. That would place me, unfortunately, as one of them. Based on what the media and general public believe about the millennials – like that they are entitled, whiny, annoying, and lazy – I’m not terribly happy with the label. It has a negative connotation and using my own opinions of many people younger than me, not entirely inaccurate. The kids behind me in high school, the juniors and the sophomores especially, were generally worthless. I’m sure the most exaggerated examples remained in my memory the best but damn they were a rough group. My own class weren’t all winners either, but I like to think the percentage was high enough to warrant hope for the future. Regardless of my own opinions of them, the map shows how millennials are doing financially.
The data is skewed because some millennials are still in college but young people aren’t doing all that well overall. People in some states are doing better than others but let’s consider how little young people are making in California, a state with very high cost of living. The study found the average to be under $22,000 a year! Millennials are just starting out, of course, so low salaries can be expected but it’s not easy to start a life on $22,000 per year when the cost of rent has outpaced inflation and wages across the country have plateaued for everyone except the top one percent. “Millennials have a harder time trying to save money and investing than previous generations. Part of this is due to the 2008 financial crisis, hitting at a prime time for millennials” [Business Insider].
Personally, I have found it very difficult to save money as there are so many good uses for my hard-earned cash. Beth and I love to take vacations, obviously, but we’ve also got a house we want to improve and a baby on the way (we find out the gender next week). So how can millennials save money for their future? How can Bryan and Beth get what they need in the bank so they can retire comfortably? I’m no expert but I know it is important to take advantage of employer retirement programs like 401k. Not everyone has 401k available at work (my previous job offered no benefits at all) so personal savings plans like Roth IRA accounts are great too. Young or old, if you don’t have a plan for retirement, please start one as soon as possible. Thankfully Beth’s job and my current one offer savings plans and benefits so we’re on our way to retiring comfortably (you know, in forty years (wow, that sucks)).
Map 88 is of Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia. The Masters is this weekend and is all over the news. Okay, so at least all over the sports news (the news I watch the most). I’m not really a fan of watching professional golf but this tournament is a big deal. People try to predict (and possibly bet on) the winners. It doesn’t have to be my favorite but I am well aware of it. Thinking about it today caused me to look up the golf course itself. Why? Maps of course!
It’s so green! Minnesota had a very mild January and February but March and April so far have been horrendous. The snow melted in February and the ground temperature rose to a point where it thawed and no new snow will stick around long. It’s been quite cold these past five weeks, however. It made it to 65 degrees last Sunday but every other day has been in the 30s and 40s. Hell, yesterday we had a windchill in the 20s, IN APRIL! So uncool. Minnesota gets a bad rap for our nasty Winter weather and it’s BS like this that causes it. I’m not saying the rumors aren’t true, Winters here can really suck, but our Springs, Summers, and Autumns are truly spectacular. Well, at least they are supposed to be. This one is just making up for a warmer than average January and February. The weather needs to improve and looking at pictures and video of the beautiful green landscape of Augusta National Golf Club is simultaneously making me jealous and angry (at Mother Nature).
I don’t watch the PGA and I didn’t even have time to golf last summer but man it’s a beautiful setting. I wouldn’t mind visiting the tournament one day. It’s similar to attending the Super Bowl, the World Series, or the Final Four.
Hopefully our weather will improve soon. I need to get outside. I have a yard to manicure, weeds to annihilate, and a fence to stain. These are the things I should be doing an April weekend instead of blogging. I like blogging, of course, but round two of cabin fever has set in.
Bonus Augusta Map Link: Why One Family Keeps Turning Down Millions