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    The Five Milestones of Adulthood are BS

    1. Jim Wang

      November 17th, 2015 at 7:35 am

      I think milestones is a bad choice of words because not everyone wants to get married, go to school, have kids, etc. Milestones (and measuring “delay”) makes the implication you’re railing against – that you’re making a mistake if you don’t get married, have kids, etc. Personally, I call them “life events” because they’re often triggers for people to think about financial things, like estate planning, without the emotional load.

      I’m a proponent of people doing whatever the heck they want. If you (I don’t mean you Stefanie, but the informal you) don’t want to get married and/or have kids until you’re 35, don’t. Do whatever you want, live your life. 🙂

    2. Stefanie

      November 17th, 2015 at 7:50 am

      Haha thank Jim. I’m of the same do what you want mindset. I don’t know why people get so up in arms when “what you want” doesn’t translate into marriage and baby making.

    3. Hannah

      November 17th, 2015 at 8:03 am

      I am pretty disappointed by the milestone narrative, even though I personally ticked off all 5 before age 25. The problem with these “milestones” is that they don’t take into account life after step 5. It assumes a linear life that cummulates in procreation and then what, life is about your kids forever?

      My kids will all be out of the house by the time I’m 45ish. Even if I were to drop out of the workforce for the remainder of the time that I have kids at home, I would still have half my life ahead of me once they’re gone.

      I think if being a millenial has taught me anything its that rejecting linear narratives are important for life satisfaction.

    4. Stefanie

      November 17th, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Great points Hannah all around. The notion of linear narratives don’t really serve any expectation too well when life by nature is non-linear.

    5. Sarah Noelle

      November 17th, 2015 at 11:50 am

      Oh awesome, I’m 34 and I’ve done exactly one of these (leaving home). 🙂 The times, they are a-changin’!
      You make some great points here that I had not ever thought of — in particular the potential long-term financial payoff of delaying having kids (assuming that one wants to have kids at all). It had definitely occurred to me that no kids was cheaper than kids, but I hadn’t thought much about the timing before. It’s a really good point.

    6. Stefanie

      November 17th, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      Oh yeah, timing is everything 🙂

    7. Abigail @ipickuppennies

      November 17th, 2015 at 12:50 pm

      It’s weird to me that so many people assume that no kids by 30 means no kids at all. It’s definitely an adjustment, since my mom’s family has ’em young.

      The divorce statistics you cited don’t surprise me. But so many of us aren’t really quite formed completely until our late 20s, early 30s. I feel like I spent most of my 20s figuring out who I was (and, to be fair, what medications I needed to be on), so I really didn’t hit my stride until my 30s.

      And by the way, what about people who don’t want or can’t have kids? We’re pretty sure we won’t be able to, adoption isn’t an option, and it’s unlikely foster care will be either. So… am I just never going to be an adult? (And if so, could someone tell the people who keep sending me bills?)

    8. Stefanie

      November 17th, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      Right?! I haven’t made up my mind on whether I want to have kids yet either, so maybe we can be in the non-adult club forever 🙂

    9. Gary @ Super Saving Tips

      November 17th, 2015 at 5:23 pm

      As someone who has reached all of those “milestones”, I agree that it’s the wrong measuring stick of adulthood. Being responsible, having goals and working toward them is what makes an adult in my eyes.

    10. Jaime

      November 18th, 2015 at 12:59 am

      I’m of the mindset of do what works for you. People need to quit judging others. It’s a difficult economy right now, I’m sure that things will change once the economy starts booming, but right now it’s difficult.

    11. Parenthood isn't the same as adulthood | I Pick Up Pennies

      November 18th, 2015 at 5:01 am

      […] Stephanie over at The Broke and Beautiful Life recently wrote about how the five milestones of adulthood are BS. […]

    12. Ramona

      November 18th, 2015 at 6:21 am

      Got married at 34, 4 months after getting pregnant. No, it wasn’t a mistake, we were together since 2002 (11 years back then). We never hurried with marriage or kids. I wanted to know we’re gonna be together for more than 2 years, apparently we do ‘function’ well together. I also waited until my small business picked up some speed, since giving birth here is very expensive (compared to the regular wages).

      Say most Romanians make about 300-400 bucks/month and giving birth at a private clinic, plus the stem cells (we wanted those collected as well), goes up to 3000 bucks. So there’s a lot of savings to work on, or have a very lucrative business to make up for the costs.

      Why private clinic you’d ask? Because in the state system the hospitals and dirty and almost crashing down, the doctors expect bribes, you need to have EVERYTHING (even surgical needles and thread for instance). The costs would get pretty close to the private clinic fees. In this case, I paid the money, went there with my clothes on me, my tablet and phone (so that I don’t get bored). Everything was great and clean.

      We then add the costs of caring for a newborn, then toddler, then kid and waiting a bit more did make sense for us.

      I was lucky to get pregnant at the first try, otherwise I might have regretted letting some ‘fertile’ years pass me by 😀

    13. Amanda

      November 18th, 2015 at 7:40 am

      I completely agree. Why are we still measuring “success” by these antiquated standards? And what about the research that says adolescence is lasting longer? We live longer, so our developmental stages are extended. That “30” marker is crap. AND it also makes me think about how graduation ceremonies used to mean something – then we started adding them to pre-schools and kindergartens and middle schools. How many graduation ceremonies does the average kid go through today? After a while, don’t they start to lose their meaning and just become a kind of habit? ANYWAY, good post.

    14. Stefanie

      November 18th, 2015 at 9:01 am

      haha, I’m sooooo with you on the graduation ceremonies. It’s kind of ridiculous!

    15. Holly@ClubThrifty

      November 18th, 2015 at 8:24 am

      I didn’t have kids until I was 29/31. I’m glad I waited. I enjoyed being married and spending that time with my husband for the first four years without children complicating things. I also believe I’m a better and more patient mother because I didn’t rush it. Other than that, I pretty much followed these milestones to the “T.” But I’m all for living your life how you want. Who cares? Not everyone wants to get married and make babies! I’m glad I did it, but I know I would have been happy single, too.

    16. Stefanie

      November 18th, 2015 at 9:02 am

      Yes for doing what you want! I just don’t get why people feel the need to get so up in arms when you deviate from the “norm” or past “norm”.

    17. Brian @DebtDiscipline

      November 18th, 2015 at 8:38 am

      I hit all of those milestones by the time I was 29, but that was by choice, not because someone told me too. 🙂

    18. Stefanie

      November 18th, 2015 at 9:02 am

      As it should be 🙂

    19. DC @ Young Adult Money

      November 18th, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      I think the “becoming financially independent” milestone is a bit of a gray area. I mean, what does that TRULY mean? Probably something different to each person. While I am married and I “own” a home (a 30 year mortgage just doesn’t feel like I own it haha – it’s easy to take out a mortgage), I definitely respect people who haven’t done either.

      As far as kids I think you and I are 100% in agreement. I was called “selfish” by a friend a few years ago for saying that my wife and I have discussed never having children. Which is completely ridiculous. I think most people would benefit by putting off having kids as long as possible, especially those in their 20s.

    20. Stefanie

      November 19th, 2015 at 4:49 pm

      People who call others “selfish” for not having children absolutely mystify me.

    21. Mel

      November 19th, 2015 at 12:49 am

      I may print this out and tape it to my forehead when all my extended family start asking about my life at Christmas.

      I’ve only checked off 2 out of 3 of those items – and sometimes it drops down to 1. Although I suppose I’m arguably financially independent since I can pay all my bills, even when I’m not living with my parents. But I’m pretty darn sure I’m an adult anyway.

    22. Stefanie

      November 19th, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      hahaha, I know you’re adult and I’m all on board with your print out plan 🙂

    23. Kim

      November 19th, 2015 at 3:34 pm

      Thanks for this! It’s great that people are becoming more open minded to different kinds of lifestyles. You need to determine the 5 milestones that are important to YOU and will fulfill you. That’s the secret!

      http://twentyinla.com/

    24. Shannon @ Financially Blonde

      November 20th, 2015 at 10:32 am

      As someone who accomplished all of these goals before 30, I can tell you that you’re right, it is absolutely BS. I literally turned 30 and thought that I wouldn’t have a break down because I “had it all” a great job, a husband, a child, a beautiful home and by 31 I literally broke down because I was unhappy and didn’t really feel like I wanted any of it. I just wanted it because someone told me I should. It’s so important to take time and figure out what’s important to you and not what anyone else says.

    25. Kara

      November 20th, 2015 at 1:31 pm

      I agree with you. I also think boomers need to stop criticizing us. Our world and mindset is different but that doesn’t make it wrong. I’m 27 and just paid off my loans and steered saving for retirement. There’s simply no way I can add a house and a wedding and a kid to my life right now and that’s ok. My goals are different and that’s ok!

    26. Taylor

      November 20th, 2015 at 5:19 pm

      Woohoo! This article is my new life mantra. Seriously, what’s more important or more gratifying than living life on your own terms?! I think I’m slightly younger than your target audience at 23, but I share all of the same frustrations. There’s nothing with delaying the traditional timeline (or opting out of it all together!) Not going to lie though, I’m super excited to marry my partner within the next few years 😉 haha. Preach on!

    27. Heather @ Simply Save

      November 21st, 2015 at 2:17 pm

      I’m with you on this and I love your ultimate goal to live on your own terms. I don’t ever plan to have kids, so does that mean I’ll never be grown up? Hahaha!

    28. Natalie @ Financegirl

      November 23rd, 2015 at 7:46 am

      YES!! Great post! I agree completely. I’m in that camp and in Ohio it’s not common at all.

    29. annonomous

      August 18th, 2018 at 11:26 pm

      Thank you. This made me feel better about life. xo

    30. Sarah

      May 7th, 2019 at 7:52 am

      Always makes me laugh when people think they get to have a ‘choice’ in getting married or having kids, these are inevitably things that happen by luck and there is very little personal control over whether you will meet someone or even be able to conceive anyway.

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