There's a reason most millennials can't afford to buy a house. And it's not avocado toast.

There's no doubt that millennials are one of the most talked about generations.

But millennials are also one of the most misunderstood. They are often mischaracterized as "lazy, entitled, and narcissistic." They are accused of killing a whole ton of industries ranging from diamonds to beer. The list goes on and on.

But one of the most bothersome misconceptions about millennials is about the alleged reasons they can't afford to buy homes.


For instance, on July 26, the "Today Show" featured a study asserting that millennials can't afford to buy homes because they're spending too much on bachelor parties. The study, sponsored by real estate site Zillow, reported that attending "nine destinations bachelorette parties in your life time" could rack up a hefty sum of approximately $13,788.

Photo via iStock.

"In other words, you could spend up to 35% of a down payment on a median-price home (in certain areas of the country) celebrating a friend’s nuptials," reported "Today."

But here's the thing: The study doesn't mention how many millennials are jetting off to destination bachelor parties. Not all millennials are attending or can even afford their friends' destination nuptials or pre-nuptial festivities. In fact, a lot of millennials are choosing to stay unmarried.

"Studies" like this come up with a lot of obscure rationales for why millennials can't afford homes, but they're not painting the full picture.

It's not just bachelor parties getting the blame for millennials' financial woes. Some reports and pundits claim millennials spend too much on avocado toasts and coffee rather than saving up for a down payment for a home.

But there's one thing all these studies seem to leave out: Most millennials can't afford to buy homes because of massive college debt.

In the United States, approximately 45 million people have student loan debt. Americans owe more than $1.2 trillion in student loans with the average debt amount being $30,000. Millennials make up most of these borrowers, with 63% claiming to have more than $10,000 in outstanding college debt.

It's no secret that paying back student loans can take up huge chunk of a person's monthly income. In addition to high interest rates and potentially negative effects on credit scores associated with student loans, millennials are earning less and struggling to find jobs compared with previous generations. It's no surprise that saving for a down payment for a house is nearly impossible for many millennials.

The effects are probably more widespread than people think. According to the National Association of Realtors, 80% of millennials blame student loans for not being able to purchase a house. About 52% of millennials also can't qualify for a mortgage due to their debt-to-income ratio, Marketwatch reported.

But skipping college — and the debt it often comes with — doesn't seem to make purchasing a home any easier. Millennials without college degrees have a harder time finding employment than those who do, which in turn means it'll be more difficult for them to save for a down payment or qualify for a mortgage.

Photo via iStock.

But — not all hope is lost for aspiring millennial homebuyers.

It's not impossible for millennials carrying student loan debt to afford a house. There are some steps that can help:

  • Benefits packages for some employees might include student repayment assistance. Some companies are helping their employees by paying off a certain percentage or sum of their workers' college debt.
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness, a federal program, sounds just like what it's called: The government will provide student loan forgiveness for direct loans if the borrower takes a career in certain government, public service, or nonprofit organizations, and has made 120 monthly payments.
  • To reduce debt-to-income ratio, look into lowering the monthly payments or refinancing student loans with a private lender. Borrowers who have already graduated and maintain a steady income might qualify to refinance that loan for a lower interest rate.

All generations can agree: The student loan crisis needs to be addressed.

The student debt burden has rapidly grown for years, and with the present system unchanged, there are no signs of that stopping. Making matters worse, the current administration has proposed cuts to programs that would help borrowers suffering from steep college debt. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has proposed to cut $13 million from a program that provides loan forgiveness for defrauded students.

The best way to tackle the ever-growing student loan bubble is to address it head on. Stand behind candidates that propose student loan forgiveness, urge local representatives to propose free tuition programs, and call your congressional representatives to come up with legislation to regulate and reign in college debt.

We can no longer afford a generation to be ridden with debt. It's time to take action now.

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This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

Usually when we share a story of a couple having been married for nearly five decades, it's a sweet story of lasting love. Usually when we share a story of a long-time married couple dying within minutes of each other, it's a touching story of not wanting to part from one another at the end of their lives.

The story of Patricia and Leslie "LD" McWaters dying together might have both of those elements, but it is also tragic because they died of a preventable disease in a pandemic that hasn't been handled well. The Michigan couple, who had been married for 47 years, both died of COVID-19 complications on November 24th. Since they died less than a minute apart, their deaths were recorded with the exact same time—4:23pm.

Patricia, who was 78 at her passing, had made her career as a nurse. LD, who would have turned 76 next month, had been a truck driver. Patricia was "no nonsense" while LD was "fun-loving," and the couple did almost everything together, according to their joint obituary.

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Courtesy of Macy's

Brantley and his snowman

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"Would you like to build a snowman?" If you asked five-year-old Brantley from Texas this question, the answer would be a resounding "Yes!" While it may sound like a simple dream, since Texas doesn't usually see much snow, it seemed like a lofty one for him, even more so because Brantley has a congenital heart disease.

On Dec. 11, 2019, however, the real Macy's Santa and his two elves teamed up with Make-A-Wish to surprise Brantley and his family on his way to Colorado where there was plenty of snow for him to build his very own snowman, fulfilling his wish as part of the Macy's Believe campaign. After a joy-filled plane ride where every passenger got gift bags from Macy's, the family arrived in Breckenridge, Colorado where Santa and his elves helped Brantley build a snowman.

Brantley, Brantley's mom, and Santa marveling at their snowmanAll photos courtesy of Macy's

Brantley, who according to his mom had never actually seen snow, was blown away by the experience.

"Well, I had to build a snowman because snowmen are my favorite," Brantley said in an interview with Summit Daily. "All of it was my favorite part."

This is just one example of the more than 330,000 wishes the nonprofit Make-A-Wish have fulfilled to bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses since its founding 40 years ago. Even though many of the children that Make-A-Wish grants wishes for manage or overcome their illnesses, they often face months, if not years of doctor's visits, hospital stays and uncomfortable treatments. The nonprofit helps these children and their families replace fear with confidence, sadness with joy and anxiety with hope.

It's hardly an outlandish notion — research shows that a wish come true can help increase these children's resiliency and improve their quality of life. Brantley is a prime example.

"This couldn't have come at a better time because we see all the hardships that we went through last year," Brantley's mom Brandi told Summit Daily.

Brantley playing with snowballs

Now more than ever, kids with critical illnesses need hope. Since they're particularly vulnerable to disease, they and their families have had to isolate even more during the pandemic and avoid the people they love most and many of the activities that recharge them. That's why Make-A-Wish is doing everything it can to fulfill wishes in spite of the unprecedented obstacles.

That's where you come in. Macy's has raised over $132 million for Make-A-Wish, and helped grant more than 15,500 wishes since their partnership began in 2003, but they couldn't have done that without the support of everyday people. The crux of that support comes from Macy's Believe Campaign — the longstanding holiday fundraising effort where for every letter to Santa that's written online at Macys.com or dropped off safely at the red Believe mailbox at their stores, Macy's will donate $1 to Make-A-Wish, up to $1 million. New this year, National Believe Day will be expanded to National Believe Week and will provide customers the opportunity to double their donations ($2 per letter, up to an additional $1 million) for a full week from Sunday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 5.

There are more ways to support Make-A-Wish besides letter-writing too. If you purchase a $4 Believe bracelet, $2 of each bracelet will be donated to Make-A-Wish through Dec. 31. And for families who are all about the holiday PJs, on Giving Tuesday (Dec. 1), 20 percent of the purchase price of select family pajamas will benefit Make-A-Wish.

Elizabeth living out her wish of being a fashion designer

Additionally, this year's campaign features 6-year-old Elizabeth, a Make-A-Wish child diagnosed with leukemia, whose wish to design a dress recently came true. Thanks to the style experts at Macy's Fashion Office and I.N.C. International Concepts, only at Macy's, Elizabeth had the opportunity to design a colorful floral maxi dress. Elizabeth's exclusive design is now available online at Macys.com and in select Macy's stores. In the spirit of giving back this holiday season, 20 percent of the purchase price of Elizabeth's dress (through Dec. 31) will benefit Make-A-Wish.You can also donate directly to Make-A-Wish via Macy's website.

This holiday season may be a tough one this year, but you can bring joy to children fighting critical illnesses by delivering hope for their wishes to come true.

via Twins Trust / Twitter

Twins born with separate fathers are rare in the human population. Although there isn't much known about heteropaternal superfecundation — as it's known in the scientific community — a study published in The Guardian, says about one in every 400 sets of fraternal twins has different fathers.

Simon and Graeme Berney-Edwards, a gay married couple, from London, England both wanted to be the biological father of their first child.

"We couldn't decide on who would be the biological father," Simon told The Daily Mail. "Graeme said it should be me, but I said that he had just as much right as I did."

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via Elliot Page / Instagram

Elliot Page, once publicly known as Ellen Page, has announced he is transgender. The announcement makes the Oscar-nominated actor one of the most high-profile celebrities to come out as transgender.

The actor currently stars in Netflix's "The Umbrella Academy" and has acted in films such as "Juno," "Inception," and the "X-Men" franchise.

Page made the announcement on social media where he celebrated the joy of coming out while taking the opportunity to discuss the issues faced by the transgender community.

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