- We asked five Gen Zers and millennials earning six figures whether they feel like they’ve “made it.”
- Some said “yes” because they don’t have to worry about money and live a comfortable lifestyle.
- Some said a six-figure salary could feel smaller after expenses like childcare and housing.
Many millennials and Gen Zers dream of the day they can wake up and say, “I made it.” Some say a higher salary is the key to reaching this goal.
Gen Zers, the oldest of whom are 26, are just entering the workforce, while many millennials, who are 27 to 42, are well into their careers. A SmartAsset analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data from the third quarter of last year found that the median salary of a 25- to 34-year-old in the US was $52,156, while the median salary of a 35- to 44-year-old was $62,244.
While these salaries are higher than they were a few years ago, they’re far off from what many young people hope to achieve. In 2021, Americans said they’d need to earn $122,000 a year on average to feel that they’re in good financial shape, according to a survey by Personal Capital and Harris Poll that polled more than 2,000 people.
But this was before inflation surged over the past few years. With the high costs of things like housing, college, healthcare, and childcare, what’s enough for young Americans to feel like they’ve “made it”?
We asked five Gen Zers and millennials who earned six figures last year what that money has done for them, what it hasn’t done, and whether overall they feel like they’ve made it. Insider viewed documents to verify their incomes.