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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this topic is not new, but I can't help feeling that I am one of the very few who are increasingly concerned about the economic issues that Millenials and newer generations are facing. I don't want this to be a "woe is me" thread. I want to discuss how the issues millenials are facing actually could impact everyone else negatively, as well. I want to know why things are not being done to change the economic landscape and I want to know how this landscape CAN be changed.

By definition, I am a millenial. I am 30 years old. For the life of me, I can't seem to understand how anyone of this generation or newer is able to get ahead. I am personally becoming fatigued, both mentally and physically. Trying to work more, harder, faster, efficiently, or sacrifice even more leisure time seems to be something that is required just to stop yourself from falling behind more than your peers. Because let's face it, 99% of us are falling behind.

Let me be clear about my choice of words when I say "falling behind". I am strictly speaking about purchasing power, discretionary/disposable income, you know... The things that can actually help make your life more enjoyable. What I'm NOT debating is standard of living... I am not debating access to education or healthcare or environmental safety. I am strictly voicing my concerns that the gap between millenials and other generations is widening at an insane rate. Not only that, but even boomers are finding things to be tough if they didn't play their cards right.

In fact, I will even argue that the gap between millenials is widening at an insane rate, as well. The truth is that wages simply aren't increasing, but everything else is. Every single economic or financial dagger is being aimed directly at most of us.

Low wages. High inflation. High taxation. High asset prices (RE, Stocks, dare I say crypto...). High commodity prices (food, oil, lumber, etc). High privatized services (insurance companies, oligopoly banks and telecommunications companies).

What exactly is it about Canada that makes everything so punishing, exhausting, infuriating and downright discouraging?

How is it that the average Canadian home increased $130k last year? Does anyone see how insane this is? Are we living in some kind of sick joke? $130k is an insane number. What's more insane is when you factor in that this is a net amount and you still need to add mortgage interest. What's even MORE insane is that the average salary in Canada is what? Maybe 55k gross?

Someone please tell me what I'm missing. It appears to me that after you account for taxation and interest, the average home went up by over 5x the average salary. Am I getting this right?

Now, I know, I know. Some of you boomers will come in here saying things like "A home is not a right, it is a privilege" or something of that nature. And this is true. I do agree. But just because I agree doesn't mean it is fair. And I know life is not fair. But at what point does the scale tip too far? At what point are people (like myself) ready to throw in the towel and say "fk it"?

It seems like in this day and age, working is more or less a waste of time. It's a means to an end. It just gets you by. That's great for those that don't care, but I need more. I need continuous improvement. I don't want to just "get by" and I know I'm not the only one.

What is the solution? Wages are low but you can't possibly tax companies more or they will leave. Canada is already an expensive country to employ people in. We need better taxation. We need better fiscal policies, especially policies surrounding real estate.

How have we let ourselves get this deep? We are destroying future generations. We are destroying this country. We are on the fast track to an impoverished society. Canadians are being gouged, nickle and dime'd, and otherwise squeezed from every angle.

Are people not concerned about inflation?
Are people not concerned about rising rates?
Are people not concerned about asset prices?
Are people not concerned about wages?
Are people not concerned that DB pensions are basically non-existent and now everything is DC?

I am just perplexed. I am perplexed at our governments actions. I am confused by the non-chalant behaviours of my community and peers. I am shocked when I learn that most people I know or talk to "just don't care" and even more frightened when most people have no idea what I'm talking about or why there is any need for concern.

Each day, I fall further behind. And so do 99% of Canadians. But as I said, nobody seems to care. I am beginning to think this is the right attitude. Maybe that's all I can do at this point. I don't know. But I took a week off work because I was no longer feeling like it was a good use of my time.

I'm open to all opinions or criticisms. Someone just please say something because I'm losing my mind and I have nobody to talk to about these things because nobody understands like some of you folks will. I can't be the only one feeling these feelings.
 

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A lot of millennials have similar concerns

A podcast recent queued me to the 4th Turning generational theory. As human history seems to repeat itself we are currently in a financial crisis exactly 4 generations following world war era that was 4 generations following the civil war. The boomers always like to say that good times created weak millennials.. but the 4th Turning predicts it is the millennials who will clean up this **** show rather than the ones who enjoyed the "good times"

What amazes me is that you can write a post so detailed and yet not see the answer in front of you
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What amazes me is that you can write a post so detailed and yet not see the answer in front of you
I'm not sure which answer you are referring to.
I guess I really don't see it.
 

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If I was a young person, I would counsel them to invest in themselves hard. That could be education or simply taking the necessary steps to advance your career - move, hustle, work your butt off, whatever it is. Those millennials or younger who spend 10-15 years off gallivanting around the world or not taking personal advancement seriously are in for a world of suffering. You have to unlock your human capital. And you will need a life partner who does the same. Unfortunately, that means a lifetime of working and not leisure. But that is not unlike previous generations. Unless you are willing to take a serious reality check in your living circumstances.
 

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How is it that the average Canadian home increased $130k last year? Does anyone see how insane this is?
I'm a millennial too, and if things stay the way they are, I doubt that I will ever be able to afford a house.

On the other hand regarding wages, I want to point out that when you're in your 20s and early 30s, you really haven't hit your income earning peak. In this phase of the career, wages will feel low to you. This is the trend that every generation sees, and towards your late 30s, and into your 40s, your income will likely be much higher.

As I understand it, most people can only really save money and accumulate wealth in their 40s and up. I don't think anyone really is well off in their 20s with few lucky exceptions.

Just remember to push HARD for rising wages. Push for raises, and if you don't get it, look for another job. It just occurred to me recently for example that I should raise my contract hourly rate by 7%.

All of us have to keep pushing hard for higher wages, and ditch employers that don't pay them. Be strategic and always look for higher salary opportunities.

Another thing that is for sure is that you have to become an asset owner. Accumulate assets. This could be stocks, bonds, real estate, whatever... but you have to accumulate assets over time.

Each day, I fall further behind.
It's probably hard to get an accurate reading on this. Just because other people drive new cars and have big homes, does not mean they are well off, or even financially stable. People make a lot of stupid decisions.

A lot of people are broke. Even a lot of high income earners are barely scraping by, so try not to make assumptions about how others are doing.
 

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The government could solve the problem within a couple of years.

Buy land. Service land. Hire contractors to build 1200 square foot bungalows with egress windows so the basement can be finished.

Hire a sales team (no commissions), set up mortgages, remove land transfer taxes for them, eliminate the need for lawyers.....and start selling them by the thousands. First time home buyers will buy them. Retirees moving down will buy them opening up sales of their bigger homes. It would provide stability for young families and solve a housing problem.......and the government can recoup all the costs by holding the mortgages at a fixed 30 year rate.

Of course......land speculators, home builders, banks, real estate lawyers, and realtors will say it won't work.......but it has in the past and would again.

And.......existing home owners won't like it much because it would provide some competition to them selling their home for "lottery win" profits.

We owned many homes and know how home owners think. It is only human nature.

We all used to chat happily about our rising home prices but nobody wanted to chat about it anymore when the prices stopped rising or started to decline.

All we are lacking is the political creativity and the will to fix the problem.
 

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I'm not sure which answer you are referring to.
I guess I really don't see it.
One solution I can see is that we can organize. We keep having governments that serve the interest of wealthy elderly people sitting on their assets; no wonder we keep getting screwed.

Politicians don't look out for us (young people) because they don't represent us.

If we (as a generation) take control of government, we could make a few big changes. End the CMHC subsidies and financial stimulus. Crack down hard on real estate incentives, freebies, tax breaks, benefits for property developers, jack up interest rates ... we could pull the rug out from under the real estate market / property bubble.

We could come down hard on property developers and real estate speculators. These people currently RUN cities and get all the freebies. We can put an end to their rampage.

We could tax the living daylights out of wealthy people and use the tax revenue to fund things that are actually useful for society. We still have a tax system which heavily favours extremely rich, old people.

Now watch the rich old people at CMF react to my post. Come on guys, let's hear what you have to say!! lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The government could solve the problem within a couple of years.

Buy land. Service land. Hire contractors to build 1200 square foot bungalows with egress windows so the basement can be finished.

Hire a sales team (no commissions), set up mortgages, remove land transfer taxes for them, eliminate the need for lawyers.....and start selling them by the thousands. First time home buyers will buy them. Retirees moving down will buy them opening up sales of their bigger homes. It would provide stability for young families and solve a housing problem.......and the government can recoup all the costs by holding the mortgages at a fixed 30 year rate.

Of course......land speculators, home builders, banks, real estate lawyers, and realtors will say it won't work.......but it has in the past and would again.

And.......existing home owners won't like it much because it would provide some competition to them selling their home for "lottery win" profits.

We owned many homes and know how home owners think. It is only human nature.

We all used to chat happily about our rising home prices but nobody wanted to chat about it anymore when the prices stopped rising or started to decline.

All we are lacking is the political creativity and the will.
Of course, your idea would work. Anyone who says it wouldn't work is a fool, so long as those bungalows are not built in the middle of nowhere.

The problem, as you said, is making something like this happen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
One solution I can see is that we can organize. We keep having governments that serve the interest of wealthy elderly people sitting on their assets; no wonder we keep getting screwed.

Politicians don't look out for us (young people) because they don't represent us.

If we (as a generation) take control of government, we could make a few big changes. End the CMHC subsidies and financial stimulus. Crack down hard on real estate incentives, freebies, tax breaks, benefits for property developers, jack up interest rates ... we could pull the rug out from under the real estate market / property bubble.

We could come down hard on property developers and real estate speculators. These people currently RUN cities and get all the freebies. We can put an end to their rampage.

We could tax the living daylights out of wealthy people and use the tax revenue to fund things that are actually useful for society. We still have a tax system which heavily favours extremely rich, old people.

Now watch the rich old people at CMF react to my post. Come on guys, let's hear what you have to say!! lol
I see a lot of young people voting for the wrong governments. I feel like lots of youth don't understand or they lack the competitive drive of older generations.

I work with many guys in their 20's that would never vote for something like this. It blows my mind.

Also, I do have a townhouse, but I still want home prices to fall. I'm not really sure how it benefits me to have home prices rise. When prices rise, it just means I will be stuck in a townhouse forever. If home prices fall, it suddenly becomes easier for me to get a detached home.

I don't understand the hysteria behind rising home prices. Who cares? It doesn't really benefit anyone. It benefits only those who are leveraged to the tits looking to move out of the cities.

James,

You are obviously right about assets. But this is my whole point... How are my shares of Bell, CNR, TD Bank, or Enbridge keeping up with all the other inflation?

You are right that these assets help me. But overall, they are still lacking. They pale in comparison to the other inflation going on around me.
 

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I live in London, Ontario.......and our home prices have risen at insane levels because of people moving here from Toronto.

I can drive in any direction out of the city......any direction, and within 1 minute will be surrounded by nothing but land.

The real estate cartel is the same as the doctor cartel. They keep the numbers low so the price is kept high.

If we really wanted more family doctors.....there are hundreds of thousands of well qualified doctors in China who work at part time jobs to survive.

If we want more houses built.......we have to push the middle men completely out of the way and just build them.

Maybe the NDP would take up such a proposal ? If they did.........they could gain a lot of support from millennials.

Better than them sitting around griping to the Liberal government about high home prices. That isn't building anything.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If I was a young person, I would counsel them to invest in themselves hard. That could be education or simply taking the necessary steps to advance your career - move, hustle, work your butt off, whatever it is. Those millennials or younger who spend 10-15 years off gallivanting around the world or not taking personal advancement seriously are in for a world of suffering. You have to unlock your human capital. And you will need a life partner who does the same. Unfortunately, that means a lifetime of working and not leisure. But that is not unlike previous generations. Unless you are willing to take a serious reality check in your living circumstances.
I'm not saying you're wrong.
But I think you do make it sound easier than it is.

Working on yourself is one thing. That is something you can control, and you will ALWAYS get out what you put into it.

But what about the things you CAN'T control? This is the issue!

Some millenials are lazy. Absolutely. I can confirm. But some are seriously extremely hard working, diligent, focused individuals. Yet, it doesn't seem to be enough. Why? Because outside factors they can't control are outpacing their efforts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I live in London, Ontario.......and our home prices have risen at insane levels because of people moving here from Toronto.

I can drive in any direction out of the city......any direction, and within 1 minute am surrounded by nothing but land.
I am close to you.

I'm in the Kitchener Area. Had family that used to live near Wonderland Rd and an ex girlfriend in Woodstock. I know alllllll about it.

The worst part is that London is largely a service/college city. It's not even that heavily focused on "well-paying" jobs, and yet, the prices are flying.
 

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I don't understand the hysteria behind rising home prices. Who cares? It doesn't really benefit anyone. It benefits only those who are leveraged to the tits looking to move out of the cities.

James,

You are obviously right about assets. But this is my whole point... How are my shares of Bell, CNR, TD Bank, or Enbridge keeping up with all the other inflation?

You are right that these assets help me. But overall, they are still lacking. They pale in comparison to the other inflation going on around me.
Home price inflation is a tremendous boost to all the middle men who get rich off real estate. All the home building, house flipping, financing, renovations (which increase when home prices rise), all employ a lot of people. The Canadian economy is a home-flipping, renovation economy these days. Corporate lobbyist interests from the real estate industry influence the government policy, to keep the party going, to keep enriching themselves.

But I don't think stocks should be shrugged off.

I feel like BCE, CNR, TD, ENB do keep up with inflation over the long term. Here's a chart, and I don't see how this is lacking with 15% long term return. My own Canadian 5-pack holds similar stuff.

I'm in the Kitchener Area.
Nice place. I lived in the KW area for nearly a decade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I feel like BCE, CNR, TD, ENB do keep up with inflation over the long term. Here's a chart, and I don't see how this is lacking with 15% long term return. My own Canadian 5-pack holds similar stuff.



Nice place. I lived in the KW area for nearly a decade.
You might be right.

But let's say the companies are growing at 12+% a year...

The problem is that real estate uses leverage. The other problem is that these companies that you invest in use leverage to generate these returns. So...

I mean. It's great that I MAY get 12% yoy on my portfolio, but 12% of my portfolio is not the same as 12% on a million dollar home.

Because my portfolio is not a million dollars.

Also, what made you leave the KWC area and where did you end up?
 

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We could tax the living daylights out of wealthy people and use the tax revenue to fund things that are actually useful for society. We still have a tax system which heavily favours extremely rich, old people.
I'm not old, nor rich, but I'll bite. What rate do you feel would be reasonable? What amount constitutes "wealthy people"? 1M? 10M? I think the majority of Canadians would consider you wealthy, no?

LOL - Maybe I should ask what "old" is too... in case I fall into your target :)

We still have a tax system which heavily favours extremely rich, old people.
Can you explain? Do you mean the capital gains rate? Primary residence exemption?
 

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Also, what made you leave the KWC area and where did you end up?
I found a good job in Toronto at the time, so I moved to Toronto and lived there for a few years. And I really liked (central) Toronto ... pretty fun place. That was many years ago, before the new building binge started. You can see how the property developers are destroying what remained of Toronto's appeal.

After that, our jobs were outsourced to China. Very literally... the company even flew in a guy from China and made me train him. Shortly after, everyone was laid off. Me and my coworkers all scattered, because we couldn't find work in Toronto any more.

I then found a job in the US, so I moved there and worked for a while. I guess you can call me an economic refugee who had no choice but to move to another country to get good income.

After a few years in the US, I moved back to Canada. Life is better in Canada overall.

All this constant moving has made it hard for me to stay close with my friends, and it's also made it difficult to find a girlfriend / wife and settle down. I dated a couple nice American ladies but they didn't want to move to Canada so there wasn't any long term potential there.

These economic pressures have shaped my life, with some big consequences -- like being unable to start to a family. Too much moving, because that's really the only way to find a decent job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
After a few years in the US, I moved back to Canada. Life is better in Canada overall.
I never would have come back.
I'd do anything for a Green Card.
 

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I never would have come back.
I'd do anything for a Green Card.
My personal opinion, but it's not as great as it looks. Many parts of America are basically like a third world country, though with a lot of glossy paint making it look shiny.

America is only really great if you're filthy rich. It's a pretty bad deal for most citizens and I actually think the middle class is better off in Canada.

The crime, social problems, rampant drug addiction, and lunatics all over the place are unbelievable. Not to mention the ludicrously high healthcare costs.

IMO the better countries are Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and much of Europe
 

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Consider a nice condo in Toronto....look at the gorgeous view of the city. Plunk down big bucks and 5 years later your view is the side of a building 20 feet away.

People don't want to live in high density housing. They want room to stretch out.....a small bit of ground and a neighborhood for their kids to play in.

We hear about all those who can't afford to buy a home and are stuck paying rising monthly rent payments. But there is another group of young people who own a "first time" home and are stuck there because they can't afford to "move up"........like past generations did.

You sell now.........and you are either paying a huge cost to move up or you stay put where you are.

At some point the government is going to be forced to take action. I think taxing current home owners is the wrong solution.
 
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