Meet Jenny and Phil. They have so much in common..

Both are 32 years old.

They are also ardent travelers.

And lovers of books.

“I have even written a children’s comic book!” Jenny says, grinning

“Funny, she has just made a couple of sales…” Phil interjects, laughing

These two are career marketers.

So it’s odd that Jenny can’t sell her writings

Luckily, she doesn’t have two.

Because she no longer needs to work.

Indeed, the two millennials are now 2 years into their retirement

“My parents thought we were crazy when I told them I will hang up my career on my 30th birthday” Phil informed me

“On the night after our nuptials, we swore to help each other make our dreams come true.”

“That’s the revised American Dream, right?….at least according to us”.

   

The ‘Digitized’ American Dream

Well, Jenny and Phil are part of an increasing number of Millennials who have ‘digitized’ the American dream.

“Why should we wait to be 50 with all these opportunities? “

According to this couple- and many of their peers- by 30, you should be good to go.

It seems 30 is the new 50!

 

The “American Dream” is very much alive. Only that it’s coming earlier!

It’s no longer only about education. And working hard.

It’s more about working smart and innovating.

And aggressively pursuing passive income.

Plus buying homes and retiring early.

As it stands, living life to the fullest is the new normal.

The couple says they do what they want when they feel like.

“Besides traveling, we volunteer in charity, take on occasional marketing contracts and write…though we need to pull up our socks on the latter”

“Our investments bring us around $10k monthly”

To this group, it boils down to seeing opportunities and maximizing them.

And the earlier, the better.

 

So, what are millennials up to?

I sought to find out how come some millennials are making serious bucks while their elders have been choking from debt

Here is what these select millennials are doing right..

  • Investing in Passive Income

More and more young men/women no longer trade time for money.

They have taken to innovative investments like a duck takes to water.

The craze is about earning even when sleeping.

Many of them are actively looking for means to earn passively

So, where are they putting their money?

  • Stocks

Jenny and Phil receive between $30,000 and $40,000 annually from dividend payments.

Like some of their peers, they have a well-balanced stock portfolio.

While a recent report by Merrill Edge has revealed that a bigger percentage of millennials prefer savings over investing, the percentage that invests is going big on stocks.

And these millennials’ go-getter attitude is serving them well

  • Technology

In the report “Thematic Investing: Generation Next”, Merrill Lynch concluded that millennials have a higher likelihood of accepting new technology compared to older generations

It found that more than ninety percent own mobiles devices.

And to some, technology is a matter of life and death.

As a matter of fact, 50% of them would rather sacrifice their ability to smell than lose access to their beloved technology.

And some have a very good reason for this: technology is a major cash cow.

 

Here is how our young are making 30 to be the new 50 through technology:

  1. Social Media Influencers

Brands continue to viciously fight for a piece of cake in the lucrative millennial market segment

And they are using leading social media personalities to penetrate this territory.

Most are paying top dollar to millennials who have a huge following on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Snapchat, and elsewhere

For example, Virginia Salas Kastilio has made big money as a leading Snapchat influencer promoting industry leaders such as Nasdaq, Good Mag, and Sundance

This generation is ,therefore, finding fortune from their fame online

  1. Developing apps

There’s hefty money in creating apps. Billions.

Top-grossing apps continue to rake in millions of dollars, year after year.

And millennials seem to know this.

Some have created Mobile apps that are drawing in around $5000 per month passively.

And they are not stopping.

  1. Freelancing

Jenny and Phil are passionate about freelancing. They are currently pursuing an online digital marketing course.

Because of their background in sales, small businesses and individuals have been hiring them to lead short-term marketing projects

An increasing number of their clientele has been pestering them about online marketing.

They believe they could be freelance internet marketers- out of passion- on leading freelancer marketplaces like Fiverr

My research shows that a good number are earning handsomely from freelancing part-time

Graphic design, transcription, web-design, making videos, doing homework for students are just some of the tasks they’re into

  1. E-commerce

67% of digital-native millennials love purchasing online

And they have invested in e-commerce too.

Looking at the bigger picture, e-commerce can be the ultimate passive income animal

Some of these folks are earning hundreds and in some instances thousands of dollars daily online

From running Shopify stores, running affiliate marketing websites, all the way to pushing their own merchandise online globally; e-commerce has become another money-minting machine for this group

  1. Online Courses

Millennials who are ridiculously good in some topics are selling their knowledge online in form of digital courses.

And they’re earning passively by marketing them on popular platforms including Udemy.

Those who trust in their own marketing skill are hosting their online schools on reputable elearning providers such as teachable and thinkific and selling them from dedicated websites

Of late, internet courses have become hot cakes.

This means the creators are smiling all the way to the bank

 

Buying Homes

Spending as much as $500,000 or more as a tenant is mind-boggling- considering you end up the same way you started – owning absolutely nothing.

It can happen if you live in a high-cost suburb and you rent all your working life.

Calculating millennials are not about to fall into this trap.

Instead, they have prioritized buying homes early.

And they’re also driven by other financial advantages of owning your own home.

For example:

  1. Homes appreciate in value over time. This means they will end up bringing in a higher ROI compared to other investments
  2. You can rent out your property. The corrected rent adds to your basket of passive income
  3. Even if you take a mortgage, the fixed monthly installments are more affordable in the face of constantly rising rental costs

 

Paying off debt early

Generation Y has invented some creative ways of using debt and paying off typical 30-year loans- including mortgages-  in 5 to 7 years

“I had to throw off the shackles of debt before coming into this marriage” Phil says

“And I did unbelievable stuff to raise the required $5000”

Yeah.

That’s it. Some of the things they do are pretty crazy.

Have a look:

 

       I.  Cutting down expenditure to the bare minimum

“Saving money has really served us right.  A couple of months, I saved 70% of my salary.”

“And this went a long way in helping me clear my student loan.”

By playing blind to all non-essential purchases, some of our youngsters have succeeded where many have failed- settling old debts

 

       II.  Earning more

By generating some extra income, you can secure a tremendous passport out of debt

“I worked overnight as a freelance writer on UpWork. And I had this client who would swamp me with work”

You see?

Cumulatively, the extra coins pull you out of the mud that is debt sooner than later.

And that’s what our friends are doing.

 

       III.  Borrowing Intelligently

Back to home ownership and other major investments

Generation Y would rather take friendlier debt than conventional mortgages.

And they are paying off mortgages in 5-7 years

Here’s one strategy they’re using that works:  The HELOC Mortgage repayment strategy

With a HELOC (home-equity-line-of-credit), some income, and by being a bit disciplined, millenials are paying off 30-year mortgages in no time.

How does it work?

         a.  They leverage a HELOC to reduce mortgage loan balances and interest payments

Using a HELOC to repay the mortgage is essentially creative refinancing. Millennials reduce interest while avoiding the usual closing costs of home refinance plans.  This is how:

  • They apply for a HELOC then use it to pay off some of the outstanding principal on their mortgage loan
  • Then they’re left to pay off the debt and the interest on the HELOC.
  • Once the first cycle of HELOC is repaid, they again use a portion of the HELOC to pay another installment of the mortgage principal.
  • Then they repeat the cycle

By making large, lump sum payments towards principal only, and more of each interim payment going towards the principal, the amortization schedule is dramatically accelerated while saving tons in interest.

       b.  Using HELOC as the main bank account

To succeed, they use HELOC as the primary bank account…the other temporarily forgotten

This means everything happens here.

The direct deposits come to this account; groceries and gas are paid from here…pretty much everything.

This is what generates the cash-flow to pay the HELOC so that they’re able to restart the cycle.

Each time the HELOC balance drops to zero, they make a new big check towards the mortgage- bringing it further down

 

       IV.  Making additional payments

Instead of saving, this chosen group will sacrifice and pay more each installment.

Slowly but surely, they pay off their debts.

 

       V.  Negotiating

Our friends have confidence in their negotiation skills.

So, they are ready to hop from one lender to the other looking for better rates.

They will argue their case until they get better terms.

In the final end, they will be paying less.

 

       VI.  Investing In businesses

Another way generation Y is making passive income is by investing silently in high-risk but high-potential businesses.

There’s no shortage of small entrepreneurs who are looking for angel investors or venture capital as they seek to scale

In a few years’ time, such businesses could be worth billions.

Smart millennials know this.

And want a piece of the pie.

So, they have saved and committed accumulated funds in enterprising firms.

And surely, they are reaping big. Without being hands on!

 

Conclusion

By being creative and thinking outside the box, millennials are enjoying financial success and freedom at a very early age.

With their smart investments bringing in remarkable passive income, they are retiring much earlier.

For them, work is out of passion and not as a means to earn a living

For many years, such a lifestyle has been a preserve for their seniors.

Not anymore.

“I can say we are obnoxiously happy” says Jenny

Indeed, 30 is the new 50.

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