Millennial vs. Boomer: Deciding the Big One

Published by Mark Petersen & Alexis Rauschkolb

No! Even though Alexis Rauschkolb works in Carson Wealth’s San Francisco Bay Area office, we are not debating the next big earthquake in California. Carson Wealth Management spends a lot of time thinking about “Next Generation” service. For many people that translates to Millennials and much is made of the differences between Baby Boomers, Generation X’ers and the Millennial generation. Alexis Rauschkolb and I thought it might be fun to explore this premise and collaborate on the result. Alexis is a Millennial who joined the company via acquisition in 2013 and I’m a Baby-Boomer who has been with Carson Wealth for thirteen years. Having gone through this exercise, it is apparent that there may be fewer differences between Boomers and Millennials than one is led to believe. After all, Baby Boomers are the parents, role-models and mentors of the Millennials and want to provide them with the tools to be successful.

At Carson Wealth, we work with clients to evaluate life’s trade-off decisions. Our focus here is a little narrower, specifically the process of deciding major (life-altering) decisions. Sometimes this process is short, and other times it involves deep consideration, pondering alternatives, methodical thinking and weighing the pros and cons.

Step #1, Identify the Decision:

Take a sheet of paper for each of the alternatives upon which a decision is being considered. Draw a line down the middle of the page with positives on the left side and negatives on the right side. Use this to organize thoughts around the possibilities for each alternative. A positive for one choice may be a negative for another choice.

The decision process involves embracing the notion that rest, recovery, and reflection, are three essential daily practices that are necessary to gain clarity on life decisions. When one takes the time to listen to their mind and body and connect with themselves on a deeper level, they become more intentional about life changing decisions.

Step #2, Reflection/Deep Thought:

Take the lists you’ve created and move to your most comfortable place for deep thinking. A place where you are isolated, without distractions and spend quality time thinking about not only the list, but the future possibilities.  Things to ponder may include:

  1. What you want; 1, 3, 5 and 10 years into the future?
  2. How do you envision your life?
  3. What is your passion?

Discerning what is “good and right” means knowing oneself and becoming familiar with the “why” behind the “what”. Identifying what one is deliberately trying to pursue and not procrastinating or dwelling upon decision making. More importantly, being faithful to the decision and allowing time for the result to unfold, which may be short, intermediate or long-term. One must not declare failure before giving an adequate amount of time to succeed.

Step #3, Advice from Trusted Individuals:

Having organized one’s thoughts, talk with trusted family members, friends, colleagues and/or mentors about your current thinking. Be careful not to talk with too many people as it may cloud the issue rather than clarifying it. Perhaps no more than three, but two people may be enough. Based upon this new input, review the list of positives/negatives and amend them as necessary. Return to your place for deep thinking and reevaluate based upon new information.

Every mentor, friend, family member and relationship helps shape one into whom they are. Set standards high and only let in the best of the best as trusted individuals. Having a mentor helps to navigate decision making. A mentor is a guide (usually not a parent or a friend) who may provide insight and frequently has a different way of thinking about or approaching a decision. A mentor doesn’t make the decision, but helps one arrive at their own decision.

Step #4 Confidently Implement the Decision

Life-altering decisions are not easy. Most may involve walking away from “good-enough” in search of “can’t live without.” Ultimately it is a matter of discovery, what matters most and does it reflect one’s ideas, beliefs and attitudes. One should be honest with oneself about what is important and real to them. Change and growth may be painful, but not as painful as maintaining status-quo, simply because it is the ‘easy’ choice. Evaluating life-altering decisions may be easier having a process for evaluation.  Ultimately, it comes down to decisions with which one is comfortable and confident. Carson Wealth stands ready to help when it comes to making decisions, life-altering or otherwise. Call your Wealth Advisor today, to get started.

Learn some helpful tips on how Millennials can get started on the path to the confident financial future that they seek by downloading this free guide.

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