8 ATTRIBUTES OF A MIDLIFE MILLENNIAL (PART 1)

Midlifers are becoming the new Millennials - here's 8 attributes we have in common with them

FROM PERENNIAL TO MILLENNIAL

A while back I wrote a post about how Midlife is all about being a Perennial. The term originated from a US internet entrepreneur Gina Pell, since then, I've wondered if maybe we're actually just late in life Millennials? Have you ever stopped to think about the characteristics we Midlifers are manifesting? They definitely have a Millennial flavour to them and today I'm planning on delving a little bit deeper into our similarities.

THE DEFINITION OF A MILLENNIAL

Live Science described Millennials as being open-minded, and supportive of equal rights. Other positive adjectives to describe them include confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and receptive to new ideas and ways of living.

An interesting post on Lucky Attitude also gives a list of 22 postitive Millennial attributes. I've taken the liberty of grouping several of them together and applying them to Midlife Millennials as well. I think Midlife Millennials (MM's) manifest these 8 characteristics differently to your average young Millennial, but I think we actually do it better!

1. TECHNOLOGICALLY SAVVY AND PROGRESSIVE

We all know that Millennials are the generation that grew up with technology, but we MM's have taken it a step further. We grew up with corded telephones, Encyclopedia Brittanica, library books, cassette players, cameras with film that needed to be sent off to be developed, typewriters, pen and paper, black and white television (with no remote control), and more that I'm sure you can list in the comments.

Do you remember cassette players, corded phones, b&w tvs, and typewriters?

We've had to make a conscious effort to stay current and to learn by trial and error how to use all the technology that is now commonplace. We all remember when cordless phones arrived, then mobile phones. There were video players, DVD players, CD's, Ipods, word processors, desktop computers, laptops, and tablets. The internet, Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, blogging, vlogging, and so much more. We've taken it all on and the majority of us have conquered it with barely a whimper. We're rocking this whole technology thing!

2. CIVIC MINDED AND COMPASSIONATE

Millennials may think they're civic minded, but MM's are leading the way. We hold our governments accountable, we vote and have a voice that demands to be heard. We're also speaking up on health, social, economical and environmental issues because we have children and grandchildren who will inherit this world from us and we want to make it the best possible place for them.

Midlifers are civic minded and compassionate

Compassion comes with life experience - Millennials may have intrinsic compassion, but only those who have lived the ups and downs, highs and lows, joys and miseries of life can really offer genuine and heartfelt compassion. With age comes wisdom and compassion is a big part of wisdom - knowing the difference between sympathy and empathy is the crux of this. To be able to say "I've been there and I know you will get through this" is something most MM's can offer to others going through a difficult time.

3. AUTHENTIC AND TRANSPARENT

I'm sure all those in their 20's and 30's are doing their best to be authentic, but authenticity develops with age and experience. It's easy to say that you hold certain values when those values haven't been put to the test. It's easy to say that you believe in certain non-negotiables - until you have to re-think them or be held accountable to them. The older you get, the more confident you are in your core values and what you stand for.

MM's have weathered the storms, we've questioned and been questioned on what we believe and why we believe it. We know what is important and where we draw a line in the sand. We don't vacillate with the current trends, we don't buckle when the going get tough. We've ridden through a lot of tests and trials and we know who we are and we are prepared to stand our ground when needed. Don't mess with a MM's boundaries!

4. FRUGAL 

Millennial's might be better with managing their money than their predecessors, but they have nothing on the MM's. We've been through the GFC, we've seen mortgage rates hit ridiculous highs, we've seen interest rates hit ridiculous lows. We've scrimped and saved to buy our houses and we've put our own needs second to our family as we educated our children, supported our spouses, and generally made sacrifices to reach the financial stability we experience today.

Midlifers who were frugal through the early years, reap the benefit in retirement

I'll admit that there are some MM's who have mismanaged their finances or who've taken big hits through marriage break-downs, health expenses, job losses, education fees etc. Still, we push through and most of us are reaping the benefits of a frugal life. A lot of us are debt free, we have funds put aside for our retirement years, we can afford to travel or to help our our adult "kids". Being frugal is second nature to a lot of us and it has served us well.

THE FINAL FOUR

I've run out of room to list all 8 attributes today, so I'm splitting this post in half and Part 2 will cover the other four areas where Midlifers are rocking this whole Millennial lifestyle. Please click HERE for Part 2, and I'd love to know what your views are on being a MM in the comments. Am I right in thinking we're doing it well? Do you have any extra thoughts to throw into the mix?


Midlifers are becoming the new Millennials - here's 8 attributes we have in common with them

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Midlifers are becoming the new Millennials - here's 8 attributes we have in common with them

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58 comments

  1. I enjoyed this post. I'm fascinated about the differences between generations xx Maria

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    1. Thanks Maria - I find it really interesting that we're not fading into old age, instead we're keeping pace with all those 20 and 30 year olds :)

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  2. Absolutely yes! All of this yes. Looking forward to the other 4 points, but we are so rocking this MM thing...

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    1. We are definitely rocking it Jo! I have so much admiration for all of us who have kept pace with the changes and who are thriving and not having a case of the vapours :)

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  3. Fabulous Leanne! That a big yes from me, we're doing it all really well! We definitely rock the whole technology thing :)

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    1. Back again for #mlstl, really enjoyed this post and you've nailed it! Just don't tell any millennials! Shared!

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    2. Yes, the Millennials might feel a bit annoyed at my smugness with how well we're playing them at their own game. So.....shhhhh

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  4. I am sure many Millennials will find this post of yours highly offensive :-) but I think it is spot on. I am reminded of this "In 2007, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated, “Young people are just smarter,” apparently forgetting that it was baby boomers like Tim Berners-Lee, Bill Gates, and Steven Jobs who led the information revolution and made his job (and all those hoodies) possible."
    Looking forward to the next 8, we have been rule breakers and trend setters for decades, why would we stop now?

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    1. You're so right Jan - we have led the way and I think we're keeping pace quite admirably with all those "young things" who have absorbed a lot of stuff by osmosis. We've had to make conscious decisions to stay relevant and I think that makes us more authentic and real in how we make our choices and decisions.

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  5. I like it Leanne! A big difference is we do not speak with the uplift at the end of a sentence except if it is a question. My pet peeve with Millennials. Also their frugality is often at the expense of living with their parents far longer than we MMs.

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    1. I laughed at both of those examples Haralee - the uplift is definitely a "thing" with them - especially the girls. And yes, I'm so grateful my kids didn't hang around at home bleeding me dry for their Millennial years - such a relief (for our finances too!)

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  6. Leanne, a thought-provoking argument. I am not sure that any set of characteristics belong exclusively to a particular generation. While the popular media likes to write in broad generalities about generational groups (baby boomers, gen-x, millennials, etc.), I think the individual differences amongst members of a demographic greatly exceed the similarities.

    Jude

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    1. I think you've got a good point there Jude - it's definitely a media/social media thing that likes to clump groups together and give them common characteristics. I think part of the problem is that they haven't caught on to the fact that Midlifers aren't sitting back waiting to get old - instead we're keeping pace and surprising everyone.

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  7. Hi Leanne, I must admit I've learned a bit about technology from my daughter who might be on the end of the Millenium age group. Unfortunately, what you right is true however, I wouldn't say they are frugal. Many Millenials have the 'I want it now' attitude rather than saving and then appreciating when they have reached their goal. Of course, like anything we can't put all Millenials in the same box, some are wonderful humans and a pleasure to be around. I've learned much from my younger friends and they keep me young :)

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    1. Hi Leanne, just popping back to say I've shared on social media and we are off and running for another week of #MLSTL. Have a great day BBB! xx

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    2. I've learned bits and pieces from my kids too Sue - but we learned it all by figuring it out as we went along and with older brains! No classroom lessons for us. And yes, frugiality is a personality thing rather than a generational trait - and the older you get, the more being a frugal person pays off. I just hope the Millennials are the generation that are recognizing that and that's why it's being attributed to them.

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  8. Hi, Leanne - Thank you for this very positive and thought-provoking post. I always find myself stressed by Millennial-Bashing and Boomer-Bashing (amongst other prejudices). Your post showing common ground was soothing for my eyes and my soul!

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    1. I'm the same Donna - I think younger people have so much to offer and they learn new skills so easily. I love watching my adult kids thriving in their careers and homes. To be able to say that and to also be happy to know that we're doing just as well - despite 25 years in age difference just makes me really proud.

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  9. Hi Leanne - An interesting argument. My experience has been it's up to the individual, as opposed to which age group or generation, s/he belongs to. #MLSTL

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    1. Exactly Natalie - but there is a definite belief out there that Millennials have all these qualities that other groups haven't discovered. What the media doesn't notice is that Midlifers are doing it too - and doing it really well!

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  10. I never thought about putting the two together but this is very true and a lot to think about. But I won't tell my millenial kids!

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    1. I won't be telling mine either Marya - they might not see the similarities as clearly as I do!

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  11. Gosh you write on some fabulous and interesting topics Leanne. I really enjoyed reading this post! I agree that us Midlifer's have much to offer. The wisdom that comes from the ups and downs of all the years we have lived should never be underestimated. I think the term Midlife Millennials is quite appropriate! We are resilient, passionate, adaptive and pretty darn tech savvy. I'm looking forward to reading part 2. #MLSTL

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    1. Oh Min what a lovely compliment - thank you so much. It just really struck me that a lot of what the world credits Millennials with is exactly what Midlifers are doing from life experience and from a desire to remain relevant. Our idea of thriving encompasses so many of the Millennial traits and I think that's such a positive for this age and stage.

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  12. Oh, so true. Technology wise I worked in telecommunications for 25 years and was on the cutting edge of cell phone development. I also worked with a bunch of millennials. Some fit the description and some did not. We all once took a quiz to determine "how millennial" we were and I was more so than many of them. What I found was that those were were first generation American had more boomer tendencies. They were buying houses and upsizing their lives while I was selling and downsizing my life.

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    1. That's hilarious Jennifer - that a Midlifer is more Millennial than a Millennial - proves my point perfectly doesn't it?

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  13. I agree there are some similar characteristics among each generation, Leanne! Boomers are still not good with their money, at least this is true for American boomers. We are also addicted to all things "youth oriented" and spend the money to stay that way. We could learn some lessons from our Millennial children, but they can learn lessons from us as well. Each generation has its good and bad characteristics. Read and shared for #MLSTL

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    1. You're right about each generation having positives and negatives Terri - if we can learn from each other and embrace the connections it would make the world a much friendlier and more accepting place wouldn't it?

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  14. Love, Love, Love this article! Can't wait to read Part 2! Great insights and I can't wait to share!!

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    1. I'm glad you liked it Agnes - Part 2 is written and ready to go for next week - I was surprised at our commonalities with these younger people.

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  15. That so true and cool. Wonderful post. I wish that my kids would believe it. #MLSTL

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    1. I think if we keep modelling it in front of them then they take it onboard by osmosis and wake up one day realizing that their parents are actually pretty on the ball!

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  16. Thanks for the food for thought, Leanne. It's nice to realize that people of all ages share these positive attributes. I agree that midlifers have more potential to have developed them to a higher level. I look forward to reading part 2. #MLSTL

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    1. I think that's the key point Christie - that these great traits aren't limited to people in their 30's, they are being manifest by lots of different ages and isn't it great that we can be an example of moving forward and continually growing?

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  17. Hi Leanne, I love being in midlife. I feel like our opinions matter, and we can be a great example to the millennials with our guidance and wisdom. Thanks for sharing another great post. I look forward to part 2.

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    1. I'm really enjoying Midlife too Christina - so many options that are open to us and the ability to try new things and discard what doesn't suit us - just perfect!

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  18. I have to agree with you and it's a really interesting read.

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    1. Thanks Anne - the similarities really struck me and I was so pleased to see that Midlifers are just as relevant and engaged as any Millennial can claim to be.

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  19. I really like your post Leanne it is spot on. I listen to my twenty+ year old granddaughters and I always think they have the ideas they have because they have experienced very little. I also find it funny that my daughter sees me as young and progressive while her father is getting old, we are almost the same age. lol

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    1. I think younger people can be very black and white in their opinions at times, it's living life and experiencing the shades of gray that brings with it some wisdom. I wonder if you seem younger to your daughter because you're on the same wavelength or because your husband's so ill, he seems older right now?

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  20. Hi Leanne,
    I think I relate more as a boomer than Millennial, but I think I can agree with the characteristics you list. Looking forward to the next 4! Shared to SM; visiting from #MLSTL

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    1. Boomers and Midlifers are just thriving and I think we are bucking the preconceived notions about getting older. We're engaging more and not sitting back in our rocking chairs watching the world go by.

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  21. Leanne, I'll be back for Part II!! Being on the tale end of 'Midlife and Beyond', this post helped me realize I'm still a part of the Midlife Millennials. You've definitely found your purpose with this blog and #MLSTL. I'll be sharing this on FB and Twitter. Thank you! <3

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    1. I'm so glad you could relate to it Mary Lou - I think if we stay positive and proactively engage with others and with the world in general then we can give those Millennials a run for their money :)

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  22. Thanks very much for referencing my Lucky Attitude article in your post :) Makes me proud!

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    1. It was a great article Tanya - well thought out and it certainly helped me figure out where the similarities lie. I'm so glad you were happy for me to reference you and your research x

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  23. Hello Leanne,

    You really made me think here. I must admit all those traits you mentioned are the same traits I admire in Millennials. In my mind they seem to have worked out a lot of things earlier in life. Looking forward to Part II!

    Best,
    Sigrid

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    1. You're so right about them figuring it out sooner than we did Sigrid. My adult kids have got much higher self esteem and confidence than I had at their age. They seem more aware of their worth - probably because we told them they had value (whereas our parents basically ignored us and didn't know about positive affirmation.)

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  24. Hi Leanne! What an interesting concept. :-) I must say that I don't fit into all 4 categories, and might even say I'm at the other end of the spectrum with one of them (in respect to technology!). Looking forward to the next 4 on Monday. :-)

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    1. Oh dear Cheryl - you failed the Millennial test Part 1! You might be surprised at how much you actually match those qualities without realizing it. Not too many Millennials have moved to Russia with a French husband and achieved what you have + you're blogging and living life to the full. Maybe you can tick a few more in Part 2? :)

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    2. Yes, I'm hoping I'm more suitable for part 2 - can't let the team down, now, can I? Have a great weekend and see you on Monday! :-)

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  25. I am a proud baby boomer and can boast none of the so-called attributes the media likes to paint us as. We did have a house, without a mortgage for a while, then we got a new mortgage and set our 2 adult kids up with deposits for their first places (they also had children so it seemed a good idea then) ...and with 2 relationships ending, no houses for them, none for us either as when we sold, we paid back out mortgage and have a small deposit towards our next house.

    I get a bit annoyed at how media generalises each generation. I think we are who we are and I do know that I have been glad to be the recipient of free tertiary education (bonded so I did have to serve time where I was sent to teach) and to have been the first children to have TV available. I am an early adopter of technology and get offended when a person younger than I (I am 69) says "you have a blog, wow!?". Great discussion topic isn't it? Learning more about each other as humans.

    Denyse #mlstl

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  26. I'm also a baby boomer. Thankfully no mortgage now, but we had to help our kids with a deposit for their houses. I've gone from not even knowing how to switch a computer on, to having to learn how to use one for my job as a medical secretary. Technology is evolving all the time, but I think I'm managing to keep up with it.

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  27. I was nodding and nodding again as I read this article Leanne, and I do think we have had to get our heads around a lot of changes in our lifetime - more on a day to day basis than our parents for sure - although they had so much more strife and heartache to deal with with the war. I think these days the quantum leap between generations will just widen, and it will be harder and harder to keep up with the pace. My Mum kept up with all things technological for quite a while and managed to keep track of her grandchildren and communicate with them, but as they switched channels with such swift and admirable dexterity and poise, she hasn't been able to keep up. I just think the world is spinning faster and faster than ever before and I don't necessarily think that the best things to know are how things used to be done. Things are done now as they have been done in the last 5 seconds. it's a brave new world. Shared on SM x

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  28. In my neck of the woods, Millennials get a bad rap. Many consider them the "entitled" generation.

    I, however, agree with you. I think Millennials have a lot to teach us about 21st century living ... and we are more like them than we think.

    I am excited to read next week's follow-up post!

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  29. You are right about being a MM that is breaking new ground. When I started blogging about 6 years ago I wanted to influence the newly retired age group to 'live' life and not sit back and let it pass. Also to upgrade their health and lifestyle. I could not find others with this attitude until I met Sue as she was sizzling toward 60. She was doing a great job encouraging these things. I remember her telling me that one of her posts she had submitted to another blog site was knocked back 'because people of that age group would not be interested in the things she wrote about.' Fast forward and you and many others have stood up and are a huge motivation to really 'live' life and not sit on the edge watching it go by.
    We have to feature this post on the next Blogger's Pit Stop
    Kathleen

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