Millennials Face a New Kind of Midlife Crisis

Millennials are redefining the concept of a midlife crisis. Unlike their predecessors who indulged in luxury purchases, millennials face a crisis of purpose amid economic challenges, reshaping traditional views on midlife turmoil.

Madison Hayes
By Madison Hayes 102 Views Add a Comment

Millennials today are grappling with a midlife crisis distinctly different from that of previous generations. Unlike the stereotypical sports cars and drastic lifestyle changes of their predecessors, millennials are facing what experts call a “crisis of purpose and engagement.”

A recent study by the Thriving Center of Psychology surveyed over 1,000 millennials, revealing that 81% believe they cannot afford a traditional midlife crisis. This sentiment is rooted in economic challenges that differ significantly from those faced by baby boomers.

A generation that was encouraged to work hard and shoot for the stars—they got there and wondered: am I satisfied? Do I even care?

Steven Floyd

The midlife crisis of previous generations often involved significant financial expenditures on luxury items or life-changing decisions. However, millennials, defined as those born between 1981 and 1996, are hindered by lower earnings, student debt, and high living costs, making such expenditures impractical.

This generation’s midlife crisis is characterized more by emotional and psychological struggles rather than financial ones. According to Steven Floyd, owner of SF Psychotherapy Services, millennials face a “crisis of purpose,” questioning the value of their achievements and struggling with engagement in their daily lives.

Financial constraints play a significant role in how millennials experience midlife crises. As Mason Farmani, a personal life coach at Farmani Coaching, explains, millennials earn 20% less than baby boomers did at the same age. This economic disparity, coupled with student loans and rising housing costs, limits their ability to spend on traditional midlife crisis indulgences.

Andrew Latham, a certified financial planner, notes that the essence of a midlife crisis lies in the quest for meaning and identity, not just in financial capacity. Millennials may not splurge on luxury items but instead seek fulfillment through more modest, yet meaningful changes like wardrobe overhauls, spontaneous travel, or new hobbies.

Katya Varbanova, CEO of Viral Marketing Stars, shares that despite financial preparation, she has faced symptoms of a midlife crisis such as depression and anxiety. She attributes these feelings to the pressures of modern life and the impact of being constantly online.

We’re the first generation that realized that money isn’t worth it if it costs you your soul and freedom.

Katya Varbanova

Varbanova believes millennials will redefine what a midlife crisis looks like, with many turning to self-employment and entrepreneurship to find financial stability and personal fulfillment. She emphasizes the generation’s desire for both financial success and personal freedom.

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Madison Hayes is a dedicated financial journalist at She graduated from Boston University with a degree in Economics and Journalism. Known for her clear and engaging writing, Madison simplifies complex financial topics, covering personal finance, investment strategies, and market trends. Passionate about financial literacy, she also volunteers to teach finance basics in her community.
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