How Millennials Are Reinventing The 'White Picket Fence' American Dream

In the past few decades, there has been a template designed to show us how we should live our lives: go to school, get a job and buy a house.

This criteria has been established to help determine whether or not a young adult has achieved a measurable degree of “success.”

However, there has been a stirring of the pot lately, and Millennials are rewriting the recipe.

Instead of following in their parents’ footsteps, Millennials are carving out their own paths and doing things on their own terms.

Do you roll your eyes when you hear of a 29-year-old still living with his or her parents?

Many do, but what was once a faux pas is now the norm for Generation-Y.

With a changing of the tides comes a change in how we view what a successful Millennial looks like.

Brian Davis, VP of ezLandlordForms, says:

Millennials live in a different America than their parents and grandparents did. They need to be smarter with their finances than Baby Boomers were at their age, as America is no longer the automatic growth engine it was in the second half of the 20th century.

So, what are some ways Millennials are living on their own terms, while still being mindful of their finances?

1. Parental Pilgrimage

As of 2013, 36 percent of the total US population between the ages of 18 and 31 were still living at home. This statistic could raise a flag about the current state of Millennial living.

Are they lazy? Is the economic climate really that harsh?

While these theories may be true for some, many young home-dwellers have figured out the benefits of extended parental living.

One reason for the increase in the number of Millennials shacking up with their moms and dads is the staggering amount of student debt many face.

The class of 2015 holds the title as the year with the most student debt in history.

Living with one’s parents can often mean you are saving money and can accurately plan for your future.

This is leading many to disregard posh urban settings for the security of the suburbs.

Taking the time to get finances in order after college and not rush into dead-end jobs has affected Millennials in another way as well: marriage.

The sheer fact of the matter is, people are waiting to get married.

Instead of jumping into the deep end of life, Millennials are pacing themselves in the shallow waters.

By living at home, Millennials are aiming to break the antiquated ideas of arrested development.

Living with your parents no longer means your life is at a standstill.

In fact, it represents a careful, more pragmatic generation.

2. Embracing Different Surroundings

Have you ever dreamed about hopping on a plane and traveling to parts unknown?

There are many reasons why this may not be a tangible plan for most of us. However, Millennials are going to live abroad more than ever.

So, why are they doing it?

An easy (and not at all cheap) answer is, why not?

Millennials are embracing their young age and putting experience over the desire to settle down.

Not only can traveling abroad bring about emotional and personal growth, but it can also bring about professional development, as Millennials are finding a slew of job opportunities outside the United States.

This can be attributed, in part, to the sometimes bleak US job market.

A young professional can take his or her radical ideas and get health insurance at a consistent rate overseas.

In addition to exploring different opportunities outside of the United States, Millennials are finding new ways to live here.

Despite the growing number of people moving back home or far, far away, there are still millions of young Americans who crave their own piece of property.

Micro-homes are giving younger people the ability to get on the property ladder by offering exciting, eye-catching homes at an incredibly low rate.

The beauty of these micro-homes is they can sprout up almost anywhere.

Many young people are also fleeing cities and suburbs for rural America. These micro-homes enable Millennials to own their homes and sustain lives away from it all.

This generation has the ability to hunker down in the middle of nowhere with a new home and a laptop to start a business.

For some, it’s all about their surroundings, and this could be the answer.

For many, the big city is still the answer after college.

However, in a city like New York, it can be hard to even afford a falafel on a street corner, let alone a home.

Thankfully, the rise of micro-apartments is giving Millennials the opportunity to live large in a small surrounding.