The other day a friend asked me which type of lifestyle I prefer: condo dwelling in the heart of a bustling city, finding myself some space in the suburbs, or living way out in the boonies.
I answered that while I had always fancied myself a city person, the ease of living in Merritt and the total lack of patience for traffic it has inspired in me have left me with the feeling I’m a city person with an addendum: a city person with a cabin.
Sometimes I daydream about this combination; my bright, minimalistic space in the (to-be-determined) big city and my charmingly rustic cabin in some nearby lake country.
Then the feeling that it’s going to be rather difficult to afford one, much less both, comes crashing right through the roofs of my dream spaces and I’m left under the crushing weight of the rubble.
This is not an uncommon worry amongst people my age — at least of those I know. Homeownership seems within reach enough to be a real goal, but just barely. And many of us feel it’s going to be tight to even get that starter home.
The Ottawa-based Broadbent Institute recently released the results of a poll on my generation’s prospects and worries, and how they compare with the outlooks of baby boomers.
The report, titled Time for a new deal for young people, interprets the results of a poll of 983 people between ages 20 and 30 from across Canada who are currently on the job market, and 1,064 people aged 50 to 65 who have at least one child in their 20s or older.
The issue of homeownership divided the group of millennials into roughly thirds, one-third believing they’ll certainly own their own homes by retirement; one-third think it’s likely; and the last third fall into the maybe to definitely not categories. More than half of boomers were certain they’d own their own home at retirement.
According to the report, the poll results indicate young people feel the working world is at a precarious intersection of corporate policies and worker advantages where they’re more likely to have less than their parents did.
One difference in perceptions exists in the world of contract work. Four times as many millennials reported they expect to work on contract at some point than boomers did. Nearly twice as many boomers expected to move from permanent job to permanent during their working lives than millennials.
Predictably, pensions were an area of discrepancy. Millennials expect low benefits and high instability.
Although the generations are very different, their perceptions of how working works today overlap in some areas. Most notably, they agree that increasing power handed to corporations over government isn’t in the best interests of Canadians.
The think tank bills itself as a non-partisan, independent organization, but clearly it’s got some values that align with a “progressive,” shall we say, line of thought. As with any poll, I take the methods, findings and interpretation of those findings in the report with a grain of salt, but I am not so quick to entirely discount this study and its findings. Given my experience, it mirrors fairly accurately how my friends and I view our futures compared to how our parents might view them and how they viewed their own, and, at the very least, could give us some consolation that we’re not alone in this uncertain future.
And what harm has a little hope ever done anyone?