Millennials Take on Baby Boomers: Outdated Baby Boomer Advice vs. Modern Realities

From lectures on saving money to the importance of hard work, Baby Boomer advice is never in short supply. But what happens when that wisdom doesn’t seem to fit with the experiences of a millennial?

Spill the Tea

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Reddit’s millennial community has had enough and is ready to spill the tea on the worst “Baby Boomer advice” they’ve ever received. Get ready for a side-splitting and eye-opening journey as we explore the disconnect between two generations.

Worst Baby Boomer Advice

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Someone asked on Reddit, “Millennials of Reddit: What’s the worst “Baby Boomer advice/wisdom” you’ve ever been offered?”

Here are some of the responses.

Answers have been lightly edited for clarity.

Related: 10 Top Tips the Older Generation Says Will Save You Money

1. Don’t Use the Internet To Find a Job

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“When I was in high school looking for a job, my grandmother told me to just go to places and fill out applications; she told me it was useless using the Internet to look for a job. This was in 2008, and every place I checked for a job had an Internet-based application,” wrote one person.

Most places don’t make paper applications anymore! It is all online and algorithm-based. Times have certainly changed.

2. Have Babies

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“‘Babies just need love, not money.’ Sorry, mom, no grandkids until I have a job with a decent paycheck and less student debt,” someone wrote. Another added, “Love doesn’t buy diapers or food.”

You do need some money to have a baby, but you don’t need as much as you think. You can have a baby on a tight budget with some advance planning and being careful with what you buy.

Related: How To Get Free Baby Stuff: Free Baby Samples & More 

3. Don’t Leave

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“My friend’s dad got a fantastic job right out of college (with an unrelated bachelor’s degree) by LITERALLY GOING INTO A RANDOM BANK DOWNTOWN AND REFUSING TO LEAVE UNTIL THEY GAVE HIM A JOB. Can you even imagine? Can you??” someone shared.

Wow! That would play out very differently today. Someone wrote, “I can imagine being escorted out by security.”

4. Don’t Go Into Computer Science

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“I guess I’m on the old side of the millennials, but I had numerous people tell me not to go into computer science and instead go into some other engineering field because computer scientists didn’t make good money, wasn’t a good job, not a good fit, etc. Glad I didn’t listen to any of them as I make a really good salary now. Why the heck would I take advice on entering a high-tech field from people who can barely use a computer?” someone vented.

Good thing they didn’t follow that advice! Computer science is a good field and a good job.

5. Get a Job

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“My mother told me to, “Just get a job. Tons of places are hiring,” one person said. He added,  “Though she has come to understand the struggle now as she spends all day applying to jobs and not getting a single call back.”

Many places say they are hiring, but that doesn’t mean they are hiring.

6. Buy a House

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“You know, your generation doesn’t understand that you have to buy a house as young as possible to pay it off quickly”. No, old man, we get it. We’re broke as f***, making 1/3 of what you do in the same work place,” someone wrote.

With house pricing at an all-time high, this advice doesn’t really make sense.

Related: The Housing Crisis: 61% Of Americans Can’t Afford To Buy a House 

7. Be Grateful You Have a Job

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“I love being told, “be grateful you /have/ a job!” Then they look on in horror as I explain that I can’t afford to live on my own while working over 40 hours a week. I don’t get vacations. I don’t get sick days. I get absolutely no paid time off, even for s*** like Christmas. No time to pursue things I enjoy, no money to see a doctor about my deteriorating jaw,” someone vented.

When a full-time job does not mean what it used to, and employee benefits are getting reduced right, left, and center, It’s hard to be grateful.

8. Just Go to College

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“Just go to college even if you don’t know what you want to do,” someone said.

With the student loan debt crisis spiraling, going to college just for “the experience” is not the best idea.

Related: How to Avoid Student Loans: My Personal Story 

9. Never Work a Day in Your Life

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“‘If you turn your favorite hobby into a job, you’ll never work a day in your life.'” I’m sure it works for some people, but I have heard so many people say that doing this has just turned their hobby into work they dread doing. When you’re forced to do something to pay for your living, it can end up becoming a chore. It’s okay to have a little separation between passion projects and careers, IMO,” wrote one person.

This one can be a bit controversial. Some people do this successfully, and some people don’t. However, you SHOULD have a hobby that makes you happy even if you aren’t good at it and you don’t ever monetize it.

Related: 11 Cheap Hobbies for Literally Any Budget

10. Ask Your Landlord for a Rent Reduction

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“You’re having trouble making your rent? Just call up the owner and ask if they can reduce it for a little while or put you on a payment plan,” wrote one person.

This may have worked in a different era, but as the person said, ” Mom, no. Maybe that works for some people somewhere, but my owner is a huge company out of state. They don’t cut me a break out of the kindness of their heart. If I’m late, they charge a fee, and if I’m still late a month later, they sue me.”

11. Take a Walk

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“‘Go outside, get some fresh air! Your mental illness is just in your head! Laugh and smile more, you’ll be fine. From a family member. 4 years of therapy in, and I still struggle daily.”

Mental health needs mental health professional to help you deal with it. While taking walk is a good idea, it won’t cure depression.

Related: Living Your Best Life: Practical Tips To Live Your Best Life 

12. Trust the Banks

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“Trust the banks” Republicans are trying to deregulate banks to let them use customer funds to speculate on the stock market….Which was a major cause of the great depression,” wrote one person.

This is an interesting take. Maybe the advice-giver just didn’t know history?

13. Be at the Top of the Phone Book

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“I founded a startup. Went to a successful business person for some advice, and he suggested changing our company name to something that starts with an ‘A’ so it appears at the beginning of the phone book. 90-minute meeting, and that’s the advice we got. ..” someone shared.

Maybe a better piece of advice would have been to choose a name that will be SEO-Friendly.

14. Pick Yourself Up By Your Bootstraps

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“The whole pick yourself up by your bootstraps schpeel. The “I started with nothing, and now I’m successful.” someone shared.

“Great, I wish I started with nothing. I’m starting with 40,000 dollars in student loan debt and a degree everyone in my life told me to get, but no one wants, which forces me to work a job that in your day paid enough starting to support a family of four and a house and a car, but for me can barely cover rent. Yeah, I wish I was lucky enough to start with nothing,” they ended.

15. Stop Going Out to Brunch

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“‘Just stop going out to brunch, you’ll have enough money for a house deposit in no time,'” one person was advice they were given.

They explained, “Sure. Let me just pay my rent, which is at least 40% of my income. Wages have not risen for a decade, but the cost of living has sky-rocketed. Then there’s the pay I don’t see due to HECs (student loan) debt repayments, private health insurance, phone, internet, transport & groceries. Never mind that the average house price in my city is $1 million, and a 20% deposit is required. I don’t think cutting out brunch a couple of times a month is going to make a difference, but thanks.”

16. Learn Cursive

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“Learn cursive because you will need it when you become an adult!” one person wrote.

This one is pretty funny. It reminds me of the teachers who said, “you won’t always have a calculator in your pocket.”

17. Stop Eating Avocado

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“Housing prices wouldn’t be such an issue if I’d just stop eating smashed avocado,” one person wrote.

With housing prices at an all-time high, I’m pretty sure the few dollars spent on avocados aren’t going to help you buy a house.

18. Don’t Go to Trade School

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“Don’t go to a trade school; that’s beneath you. Thanks, Mom. This Film degree from a Liberal Arts school is really paying the bills,” one person wrote.


19. Work Harder

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“‘You just need to work a little harder’ When I was already putting in 52 hours a week,” one person shared.

Someone added, “And these are the same people who worked 30 hours a week, had a car, home, and baby with a lovely wife (who doesn’t work) they could come home to with dinner.”

20. Don’t Learn From the Internet

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Let’s end with a kicker, “You will never find any information of worth on the internet.”I feel like this one is the best and worst advice I have been given at the same time,” someone wrote.

That is certainly true! Simultaneously the best and worst advice.

Baby Boomer Advice

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I hope you enjoyed this Reddit list of the worst “Baby Boomer advice/wisdom.” Think we are too hard on Baby Boomers? Check out these 30 Boomer Opinions That We Actually Agree With!

This post originally appeared on A Dime Saved.



Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.