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千禧一代的中年危机,与金钱无关

SYDNEY LAKE
2024-06-10

迥异于父辈们,靠买跑车和找情妇也无法解决。

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千禧一代的处境如此艰难,以至于他们甚至认为难以承受中年危机。GETTY IMAGES—IGOR SUKA

买帅气的跑车、换发型和找情妇,以前是中年危机的典型迹象,至少对于老一辈人而言是如此。但一项最新心理学研究显示,在当前的经济环境下,千禧一代的处境如此艰难,以至于他们认为,过于拮据使得他们甚至无法像前辈们那样靠“堕落”来度过危机。

在1,000多名接受调查的千禧一代中,有81%表示无法承受一次中年危机。繁荣心理学中心(Thriving Center of Psychology)对中年危机的定义是,大幅增重或减重,更多饮酒,接受治疗,改变外貌,或者培养一种新的兴趣爱好。

研究显示,许多人在中年危机经历了焦虑、抑郁、迷茫、悲伤和倦怠。婴儿潮一代的中年危机可能是出于害怕变老或者对人生重大变故的恐慌,但年轻人担心的问题却截然不同。

SF Psychotherapy Services的老板史蒂芬·弗洛伊德对《财富》杂志表示,千禧一代的中年危机是一场“目的与积极性危机”。“这一代人一直被鼓励要努力工作,要有远大志向,但人到中年之后他们便开始思考:我满意吗?我在乎吗?”

为什么千禧一代“无法承受”一次中年危机

过去的中年危机的特征通常是奢侈消费,例如昂贵的汽车、长期度假、跨国或环球旅居,或者昂贵的整容手术。但Farmani Coaching的个人生活教练曼森·法玛尼对《财富》杂志表示,千禧一代面临的经济挑战使他们难以承受传统的中年危机。

法玛尼表示,1981年至1996年出生的千禧一代的收入比婴儿潮一代在相同年龄时的收入少20%。此外,千禧一代“背负着学生贷款债务,就业市场充满挑战,住房成本不断上涨,这些都削弱了他们建立财务稳定性的能力”。由于高房价和通货膨胀,千禧一代推迟了买房和生儿育女等各种人生大事,这也限制了他们在中年危机时大肆消费的能力。

然而,一些专家认为,千禧一代并非无法承受中年危机,只是这个人生拐点可能与前辈们不同。

注册理财规划师安德鲁·莱瑟姆告诉《财富》杂志:“虽然中年危机的经典形象可能涉及奢侈消费,但真正决定这段经历的是潜在的情绪和心理波动。无论大肆购买奢侈品,还是冲动地改变生活,中年危机的本质在于对意义、身份认同和个人成就感的追求,而不是支票账户的余额。”

虽然闪亮的新跑车或奢侈的假期可能是中年危机的典型例子,但千禧一代在这一时期可能会进行金额较小但可自由支配的消费。

莱瑟姆表示:“人们在经历中年危机时可能会冲动消费,大量购买衣服,进行整容手术,或开始说走就走的旅行探险,所有这些都不一定要有大量的积蓄或财富。这些行为往往是由于人们渴望重返青春、寻找人生的意义或摆脱停滞不前的感受,而不是出于谨慎的财务规划。”

事实上,虽然千禧一代可能不会面临与父辈们类似的“传统”的中年危机,但这并不意味着他们不会经历重大的人生变故。

法玛尼表示:“‘中年危机’一词可能需要根据这一代人的经历和情况重新定义。”

与金钱无关

虽然大多数千禧一代表示他们认为自己无法承受中年危机,但也有一些人并不担心经济方面的问题。事实上,Viral Marketing Stars公司CEO、千禧一代企业主卡佳·瓦尔巴诺娃告诉《财富》杂志,她在二十几岁时努力工作,就攒下了一笔应急资金,这让她随时可以休假一两年。

尽管如此,瓦尔巴诺娃表示她也经历过中年危机的迹象,包括抑郁、焦虑、迷茫和失去自我等,她把其中的很多原因归咎于长期上网。

她说道:“最近,网上出现了太多会引发愤怒的内容,这确实会影响你的心理健康。”此外,现实生活中的其他因素也导致了中年危机感。“当然,有时生活就是这样,可能会遭遇健康问题以及类似失恋这种个人灾难。我不得不克服这两种情况。”

瓦尔巴诺娃预测,千禧一代将继续重塑什么是中年危机或重大生活变故。她认为,更多千禧一代将选择自主创业,以改善他们的财务稳定性。

瓦尔巴诺娃表示:“我们这代人最早意识到,如果金钱会让你失去灵魂和自由,那么它就不值得。我相信千禧一代真正渴望的是灵魂和自由。”(财富中文网)

翻译:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

千禧一代的处境如此艰难,以至于他们甚至认为难以承受中年危机。GETTY IMAGES—IGOR SUKA

买帅气的跑车、换发型和找情妇,以前是中年危机的典型迹象,至少对于老一辈人而言是如此。但一项最新心理学研究显示,在当前的经济环境下,千禧一代的处境如此艰难,以至于他们认为,过于拮据使得他们甚至无法像前辈们那样靠“堕落”来度过危机。

在1,000多名接受调查的千禧一代中,有81%表示无法承受一次中年危机。繁荣心理学中心(Thriving Center of Psychology)对中年危机的定义是,大幅增重或减重,更多饮酒,接受治疗,改变外貌,或者培养一种新的兴趣爱好。

研究显示,许多人在中年危机经历了焦虑、抑郁、迷茫、悲伤和倦怠。婴儿潮一代的中年危机可能是出于害怕变老或者对人生重大变故的恐慌,但年轻人担心的问题却截然不同。

SF Psychotherapy Services的老板史蒂芬·弗洛伊德对《财富》杂志表示,千禧一代的中年危机是一场“目的与积极性危机”。“这一代人一直被鼓励要努力工作,要有远大志向,但人到中年之后他们便开始思考:我满意吗?我在乎吗?”

为什么千禧一代“无法承受”一次中年危机

过去的中年危机的特征通常是奢侈消费,例如昂贵的汽车、长期度假、跨国或环球旅居,或者昂贵的整容手术。但Farmani Coaching的个人生活教练曼森·法玛尼对《财富》杂志表示,千禧一代面临的经济挑战使他们难以承受传统的中年危机。

法玛尼表示,1981年至1996年出生的千禧一代的收入比婴儿潮一代在相同年龄时的收入少20%。此外,千禧一代“背负着学生贷款债务,就业市场充满挑战,住房成本不断上涨,这些都削弱了他们建立财务稳定性的能力”。由于高房价和通货膨胀,千禧一代推迟了买房和生儿育女等各种人生大事,这也限制了他们在中年危机时大肆消费的能力。

然而,一些专家认为,千禧一代并非无法承受中年危机,只是这个人生拐点可能与前辈们不同。

注册理财规划师安德鲁·莱瑟姆告诉《财富》杂志:“虽然中年危机的经典形象可能涉及奢侈消费,但真正决定这段经历的是潜在的情绪和心理波动。无论大肆购买奢侈品,还是冲动地改变生活,中年危机的本质在于对意义、身份认同和个人成就感的追求,而不是支票账户的余额。”

虽然闪亮的新跑车或奢侈的假期可能是中年危机的典型例子,但千禧一代在这一时期可能会进行金额较小但可自由支配的消费。

莱瑟姆表示:“人们在经历中年危机时可能会冲动消费,大量购买衣服,进行整容手术,或开始说走就走的旅行探险,所有这些都不一定要有大量的积蓄或财富。这些行为往往是由于人们渴望重返青春、寻找人生的意义或摆脱停滞不前的感受,而不是出于谨慎的财务规划。”

事实上,虽然千禧一代可能不会面临与父辈们类似的“传统”的中年危机,但这并不意味着他们不会经历重大的人生变故。

法玛尼表示:“‘中年危机’一词可能需要根据这一代人的经历和情况重新定义。”

与金钱无关

虽然大多数千禧一代表示他们认为自己无法承受中年危机,但也有一些人并不担心经济方面的问题。事实上,Viral Marketing Stars公司CEO、千禧一代企业主卡佳·瓦尔巴诺娃告诉《财富》杂志,她在二十几岁时努力工作,就攒下了一笔应急资金,这让她随时可以休假一两年。

尽管如此,瓦尔巴诺娃表示她也经历过中年危机的迹象,包括抑郁、焦虑、迷茫和失去自我等,她把其中的很多原因归咎于长期上网。

她说道:“最近,网上出现了太多会引发愤怒的内容,这确实会影响你的心理健康。”此外,现实生活中的其他因素也导致了中年危机感。“当然,有时生活就是这样,可能会遭遇健康问题以及类似失恋这种个人灾难。我不得不克服这两种情况。”

瓦尔巴诺娃预测,千禧一代将继续重塑什么是中年危机或重大生活变故。她认为,更多千禧一代将选择自主创业,以改善他们的财务稳定性。

瓦尔巴诺娃表示:“我们这代人最早意识到,如果金钱会让你失去灵魂和自由,那么它就不值得。我相信千禧一代真正渴望的是灵魂和自由。”(财富中文网)

翻译:刘进龙

审校:汪皓

Millennials have it so bad they think they can't even afford a midlife crisis.

Buying sexy sports cars, changing hairstyles, and finding a mistress used to be the classic signs of a midlife crisis—at least for older generations. But millennials have it so bad in today’s economy that they think they’re too poor to allow themselves the breakdown their predecessors were mocked for, a new psychology study shows.

Of more than 1,000 millennials who were surveyed, 81% of them reported they can’t afford to have a midlife crisis, which Thriving Center of Psychology defines as either dramatically gaining or losing weight, consuming more alcohol, attending therapy, changing appearances, or taking on a new hobby.

Many people who undergo a midlife crisis also experience anxiety, depression, loss of purpose, sadness, and burnout, according to the study. But while the midlife crises of the baby boomer generation may have been defined by a fear of getting older or panic about major life changes, younger generations experience a different set of worries.

The midlife crisis for millennials is rather a “crisis of purpose and engagement,” Steven Floyd, owner of SF Psychotherapy Services, tells Fortune. “A generation that was encouraged to work hard and shoot for the stars—they got there and wondered: am I satisfied? Do I even care?”

Why millennials ‘can’t afford’ a midlife crisis

Midlife crises of the past were usually defined by lavish spending—whether on expensive cars, extended vacations, cross-country or cross-world moves, or costly cosmetic surgery. But millennials face a challenging economy that makes it difficult for them to afford a traditional midlife crisis, Mason Farmani, a personal life coach at Farmani Coaching, tells Fortune.

Millennials, who were born between 1981 and 1996, earn 20% less than baby boomers did at their age, Farmani says. Plus, they’re “burdened with student loan debt, a challenging job market, and rising housing costs, which diminish their ability to establish financial stability.” Millennials are delaying all kinds of milestones, including buying homes and having kids, thanks to high housing costs and inflation, which also limits their ability to spend carelessly on a midlife crisis.

However, some experts argue that it’s not that millennials can’t afford a midlife crisis—it’s just that this inflection point in life may just look different from past generations.

“While the classic image of a midlife crisis may involve extravagant spending, it’s the underlying emotional and psychological turmoil that truly defines the experience,” Andrew Latham, a certified financial planner, tells Fortune. “Whether it’s splurging on luxury items or making impulsive life changes, the essence of a midlife crisis lies in the quest for meaning, identity, and personal fulfillment—not on the balance of your checking account.”

While a shiny new sports car or extravagant vacation might be classic examples associated with a midlife crisis, millennials may make smaller, but discretionary purchases during that time period.

“Someone experiencing a midlife crisis might impulsively splurge on a wardrobe overhaul, undergo cosmetic procedures, or embark on spontaneous travel adventures—all without necessarily having significant savings or wealth,” Latham says. “These behaviors are often driven by a desire to recapture youth, find meaning, or escape feelings of stagnation—rather than by careful financial planning.”

Indeed, while millennials may not face a “traditional” midlife crisis—one that looks similar to their parents—it doesn’t mean they’re not going through major life changes.

“The term ‘midlife crisis’ may need to be redefined in the context of this generation’s experiences and circumstances,” Farmani says.

It’s not all about the money, though

While a majority of millennials reported they don’t think they’re able to afford a midlife crisis, others aren’t as concerned about the financial aspect of it. Indeed, millennial business owner Katya Varbanova, CEO of Viral Marketing Stars, tells Fortune that she worked hard in her twenties and saved up an emergency fund that would allow her to take a year or two off whenever she wants to.

Still, Varbanova says she’s also experienced the signs of a midlife crisis, including depression, anxiety, loss of purpose, and losing her identity—a lot of which she blames on being chronically online.

“Lately, there has been so much rage-baiting content, it can really impact your mental health,” she says. Plus, other real-life factors have contributed to the feelings of a midlife crisis. “Of course, sometimes life just happens, whether it’s a health issue, a breakup, a personal disaster. I’ve had to overcome both of those.”

Varbanova predicts that millennials will continue to reshape what a midlife crisis—or major life changes—look like. She thinks more millennials will pursue self-employment and entrepreneurship in order to improve their financial stability.

“We’re the first generation that realized that money isn’t worth it if it costs you your soul and freedom,” Varbanova says. “I believe millennials truly crave both.”

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