Many people in their 20s are now choosing a slower path to adulthood by postponing marriage, careers, mortgages, and babies. Instead, they are choosing to remain single, stay in school, travel more, and rent.

A Clark University reports that, “One-third of people in their 20s move to a new residence every year. Forty percent move back home with their parents at least once. They go through an average of seven jobs in their 20s, more job changes than in any other generation. Two-thirds spend at least some time living with a romantic partner without being married. And marriage occurs later than ever.”

More than a blip on the screen this appears to be a new reality. Our culture is adapting to a longer life expectancy with the average American now expected to live nearly 80 years. Compare this to 1900 when the average life expectancy was only 47 years. This explains why people back then seldom finished the 8th grade and frequently got married at 14 years old and had children.

My message to the parents of these 20 year old late bloomers is to “lighten up” and let the kids find their way own way. Our biology dictates our behavior and our biology has changed. We must adjust our expectations.

For those in their 20s, adulthood can wait. Party on.

John Bradley Jackson

© Copyright 2010

All rights reserved.

P.S. Marketers take note. Traditional age based demographic segmentation is obsolete. People in their 20s are not looking for life insurance or Roth IRAs. Instead, they would prefer to score some really cheap tickets to Cancun.

Source: NY Times

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