Dear Fellow Millennials: All Economic Issues Are Our Issues Too

​The narrative that social security and Medicaid are issues that only matter to aging voters is wrong. Or at least it should be.

Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images.

The economic outlook for millennials is bleak. 66% say they have no savings for retirement, yet many still believe they’ll be able to retire by 65.

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Once, when I was very poor and considering my options, I hopped onto Craigslist to scope out the cost of a van. I could park it in lots for free, I reasoned, and I’d be able to sell my car for some cash. And, most importantly, I’d save on Seattle’s ever-increasing rent. I’d seen pairs of attractive white couples with long hair and cute dogs periodically crop up on Instagram and Tumblr, sharing their glamorous mornings under Mexican blankets, backed up to a roaring ocean with the doors wide open. The #vanlife fantasy has become so popular as a social media movement, The New Yorker even dedicated a lengthy feature to the topic.

So how much would it cost to make the fantasy real? I went in search of answers from the people who’ve not only done it, but shared their stories. In addition to the beautiful sunsets, there are very real nuts and bolts to consider.

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My First Big Paycheck: Why I Spent It On Fancy Perfume

How a scent became a signifier for much more

Our first paychecks are often the most memorable. In this GOOD Money series, people share the details of their first career splurge—the first time they made real money and how they spent it.

In high school, all the wealthy girls had one thing in common: They smelled good. The distinctive notes of Clinique—citrusy, beachy—and Burberry Brit—upscale and crisp like a pear—followed them through the halls and lingered after they had left classrooms.

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