Money bills

By Age 35

Part of a series on Millennials. [View Related Entries]

Updated Mar 16, 2021 at 06:39AM EDT by andcallmeshirley.

Added May 16, 2018 at 03:07PM EDT by Adam.

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About

By Age 35 is a series of tongue-in-cheek and practical wisdoms about various benchmarks people should have satisfied before reaching their mid-thirties, stemming from an article which suggested that by the time one is 35 years of age, the person ought to have saved twice the amount of the annual income. Upon its publication in May 2018, the article prompted strong reactions from many Twitter users who found the notion absurd considering the challenging realities of the job market and economy in the United States.

Origin

On January 5th, 2018, Market Watch[1] published an article titled "Money Milestones: This is how your finances should look in your 30s,"[1] which quoted Boston-based investment firm Fidelity Investments as saying one should have savings equivalent to their salary by the time they are 30, and double that when they are 35 (so if one makes $50,000 a year, they should have $50,000 saved by the time they are 30 and $100,000 saved by the time they are 35). The article does acknowledge that this is a difficult goal for many to achieve considering rising mortgage costs and high student-debt rates.

Spread

The article did not begin drawing attention on Twitter until five months later, when the site's Twitter account tweeted the article on May 12th, 2018 (shown below).


MarketWatch Follow @MarketWatch By 35, you should have twice your salary saved, according to retirement experts: Money Milestones: This is how your finances should look in your 30s The beginning of mortgages and marriages shouldn't be the end of your retirement contributions. marketwatch.com

Twitter users began noticing the tweet on the 14th, and began mocking the idea that they should have twice their salary saved when they're 35. For example, Twitter user @meakoopa joked that the only things in his pocket were two moths, gaining over 9,600 retweets (shown below, left). Twitter user @EscoBlades tweeted a joke that gained over 1,700 retweets (shown below, right).


Anthony Oliveira @meakoopa Follow turns pockets inside out; two moths fly out] oh no my moths MarketWatch@MarketWatch By 35, you should have twice your salary saved, according to retirement experts: on.mktw.net/2Gb4UDC Andrien soou E3 Follow @EscoBlades By 35, you should have collected all the Chaos Emeralds and have half the Infinity Gems in your grasp, say retirement experts. MarketWatch@MarketWatch By 35, you should have twice your salary saved, according to retirement experts: on.mktw.net/2Gb4UDC

Other Twitter users offered less humorous takes on the article. User @Jeanine_Frost said the article must be intended for the super-rich, gaining 300 retweets and 1,700 likes (shown below, left). Twitter user @MarkAgee made a similar statement, joking "to be fair, 'be rich' is good financial advice (shown below, right). Jokes about the article were covered by Twitter Moments,[2] Huffington Post,[3] and News.com.au.[4]


Jeaniene Frost @JeanieneFrost Follow l can't be only one who reads this & thinks "Who are they TALKING to?" I didn't have that much saved in my 30s. No one l knew had that much saved their 30s & most of us were solid middle class. Is this advice only for the rich? If so, maybe start w/"95% of Americans can ianore.' MarketWatch Ф @MarketWatch By 35, you should have twice your salary saved, according to retirement experts: on.mktw.net/2Gb4UDC 10:41 AM - 15 May 2018 Mark Agee @MarkAgee Follow Everyone's roasting this, but to be fair "be rich" is very good financial advice MarketWatch@MarketWatch By 35, you should have twice your salary saved, according to retirement experts: on.mktw.net/2Gb4UDC 10:42 PM -14 May 2018

Parodies

In the week following the article's spread on Twitter, a snowclone began spreading on Twitter with the phrase "By age 35…" followed by a humorous goal one should have by that age. Some popular examples include a tweet by user @chrisopotamia that gained over 21,000 retweets and 134,000 likes (shown below, left). User @LoriG tweeted a joke that gained over 32,000 retweets and 189,000 likes (shown below, right).


Nutella Enchanted @chrisopotamia Follow By age 35 you should have at least one fork in your cutlery drawer that you just don't like, and actively frown at if you accidentally grab it. 11:07 PM-19 May 2018 Lori G @LoriG Follow By age 35 you should have a huge box of cables but you can't throw them out because you're pretty sure you still need a couple of them but you're not sure which ones 1:09 AM-19 May 2018

Other tweets took the snowclone in a more absurd direction. Some more ridiculous examples include a tweet by @JuliusGoat that gained over 7,800 retweets and 24,000 likes (shown below, left) and a tweet by @dylmdav that quoted Talking Heads' "Once in a Lifetime" and gained over 6,000 retweets and 28,000 likes (shown below, right). The snowclone variations were covered by The Daily Dot.[5]


Julius Goat a@JuliusGoat Follow By 35 you should have returned to your childhood home to discover the ancient evil you and your friends thought you'd defeated when you were all 12 has risen again, say retirement experts. 12:23 PM -16 May 2018 Dylan @dylmdav Follow by 35 you should have a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife and you should ask yourself "well, how did I get here?" 1:28 AM -20 May 2018

By Age 30

In November of 2018, the meme spread again, though this time going under the name "By Age 30." It's possible the meme was sparked by a November 16th, 2018 report by CNBC[6] about the savings of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In the report, a financial advisor states that by age 30, one should have a few thousand dollars available and a year's worth of salary in a retirement account. On November 22nd, Twitter user @rchlltrmn tweeted a sarcastic list of things one should have by age 30, gaining over 8,800 retweets and 79,000 likes (shown below, left). The same day, Twitter user @katebrauning tweeted an example that gained over 44,000 retweets and 221,000 likes (shown below, right).


rachelle toarmino @rchlltrmn Follow by age 30 you should have: -two types of rice in your pantry -a daily spf 50 -heated blanket -a TON of anxiety -figured out your moon and rising -debt 12:30 AM-22 Nov 2018 Kate Brauning @KateBrauning Follow By age 30 you should have: $3 in savings $5,000 in credit card debt Existential dread A favorite spoon One half-dead plant you feel really bad about because your mom keeps asking for grandkids but you're not ready and you thought this basil plant would be a good place to start 11:43 PM-22 Nov 2018

The meme grew popular over the following several days, as people tweeted various iterations. Some popular examples include a tweet by @therealjessnoe that quoted the lyrics to "Landslide" by Fleetwood Mac gaining over 26,000 retweets and 118,000 likes (shown below, left). Twitter user @internetlauren tweeted the lyrics to "Running Up That Hill" by Kate Bush, gaining over 2,400 retweets and 10,000 likes (shown below, right).


Jess Noé @therealjessnoe Follow By the age of 30 you should have: -took your love -took it down -climbed a mountain -turned around -seen your reflection in the snow covered hills 11:36 PM-24 Nov 2018 lil sigourney weaver achiever Follow @internetlauren by the age of 30 you should be -running up that road -running up that hill -running up that building 11:16 PM - 25 Nov 2018

Various Examples


Erica Henderson Ф @EricaFails Follow When did my mom start writing articles MarketWatch@MarketWatch By 35, you should have twice your salary saved, according to retirement experts: on.mktw.net/2Gb4UDC 12:38 PM -15 May 2018 Clinton and Obama Dem... Follow @emanzi Replying to @MarketWatch l think you meant to say, By 35 you should have debt twice your salary. 2:30 PM-14 May 2018 from Fish Hawk, FL I'mWithThem @JamesWetuski Follow Replying to @MarketWatch 2x0-0 penin ri GIF Anna Hughes Follow @AnnaGHughes By 42, you should be able to lift thrice your own weight By 16, you should have written your first screenplay By 8, you should have your self portrait hanging in the Philadelphia museum of art. MarketWatch@MarketWatch By 35, you should have twice your salary saved, according to retirement experts: on.mktw.net/2Gb4UDC 3:11 AM - 15 May 2018 Adriel Wallick Follow @MsMinotaur As a freelancer, I don't actually have a yearly salary...so I'm nailing it 6$ MarketWatch@MarketWatch By 35, you should have twice your salary saved, according to retirement experts on.mktw.net/2Gb4UDC 10:42 AM -15 May 2018 Leesha Hannigan @LeeshaHannigan Follow Salary is a grass pokémon right MarketWatch. @MarketWatch By 35, you should have twice your salary saved, according to retirement experts: on.mktw.net/2Gb4UDC 5:36 PM -14 May 2018


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Top Comments

Siegg
Siegg

Right… a salary…. totally not stuck working a shitty job that pays by the hour with schedules that are so random and prone to change at the last minute that it should be illegal.

And how stupidly expensive it costs just to live in the current year.

Also 30% of my entire paycheck goes straight to taxes, plus however much my health insurance I HAVE to have, or else I have to pay a crazy fine in tax season costs.

But yeah I should have been saving my "salary" this whole time instead of being alive. WHO KNEW?

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