Varo Money, a mobile banking company, recently surveyed some 1,100 Millennials about their vision of the American Dream. How similar or different is the Millennial version of the American Dream to other demographic groups? How likely do Millennials see themselves achieving the American Dream? If not the American Dream, what then?

The Millennial version of the American Dream sounds fairly consistent with traditional versions…homeownership (46%), financial security (36%), steady employment and money for retirement (34%.)

The HUGE difference compared with other generations is that 54% of Millennials believe they will NOT be able to achieve the “traditional” American Dream.

What obstacles would prevent Millennials from achieving the American Dream?

  • 47% of survey respondents indicated that social norms have changed. Many Millennials lived through the Great Recession and watched their parents struggle and sometimes fail to keep the family home. They fear repeating that family history and want to avoid such loss.
  • 43% of Millennial respondents indicated they have “mountainous” student debt. Nearly 50% of respondents said they receive regular financial “contributions” from their parents. Interestingly, only 5% of survey respondents indicated they have no money problems whatsoever.
  • 43% of survey respondents indicated the job market was “difficult.” Many indicated that the current job market requires them to work two and three jobs to earn a livable wage. Others indicated that the current job market offers no stability or progressive career path in which to even imagine a long-term future or loyalty.

Have Millennials created a “new” American Dream in light of feeling that their parents’ traditional American Dream is out of their reach?

  • Their New American Dream does NOT include buying a home.
  • 42% of respondents want to achieve financial security.
  • 36% of Millennial respondents want to feel happy and content.
  • 33% of survey respondents want the freedom to focus on their wants/desires, needs and passions.

According to Colin Walsh, CEO and co-founder of Varo Money said, “While dreams may vary between generations, there is a common theme…Americans seek financial security to make their dreams come true.”