Before 2020, and even 2016, traditional milestones had been exposed as outmoded, knee-jerk quasi-aspirations we inherited from literal knuckle-draggers who lived in caves.
A considerable portion of our youngest generation still intends on building picket fences someday, but the current state of things appears to have cracked the hammer.
Sixty-one percent of the 2,000 Americans polled in a new Life Matters survey conducted by OnePoll said that life goals were no longer important to them in light of COVID-19 and economic downturn.
In fact, financial uncertainty was the most commonly cited reason for putting milestones on the back burner—even if said milestones were prioritized differently among the study pool. The most common ranking was as follows:
Saving retirement funds
Buying a new home,
And getting engaged
“While traditional milestones are no longer making or breaking what’s important in life, our study shows our hearts are still an important driver to achieving financial peace of mind, no matter your life path,” Life Happens CEO Faisa Stafford says in a press statement. “A whopping 72% say financial security is an important act of love — with men more likely to agree that financial security is a genuine act of love compared with women — 80% versus 64%.”
Fifty percent of those struggling with their finances occasioned doing so on behalf of personal insecurities, specifically in regards to their careers and their ability to provide for a hypothetical family.
Some of the older respondents stressed anxiety over a lack of growth within their respective firms, while the younger demographics featured in the report tended to feel bogged down by student loans (47%).
An additional third of the survey pool confessed to having delayed pursuing certain milestones like having children and owning a home after their friends chose to do so.
The survey went on to suggest that the relationship between abandoned ambitions and life satisfaction was an asymmetrical one. In other words, even though most of the participants put off starting a family because of financial stress, 74% of those who did so reported being more financially stable as a result.
Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic at once stifled existential goals and identified the ones that participants only thought they cared about.
Seventy-seven percent of young adults belonging to Generation Z say they feel judged for not getting married and just about half of both Millennials and Generation X admit that they get judged for not having a retirement plan in place yet.
If we could find a way to root out evolutionary echoes, the world might be a happier lonlier place. The same action could just as easily result in a greater number of companionships, career paths, and ethics built on substance.
“Our study shows that 54% of people have had to deal with unexpected life events, which have impacted their long-term financial planning, bringing to the surface the reality that our life’s path can change in a second,” Stafford concluded.