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New Tools for Gen Y Grownups

According to a study from MTV Research—who will be presenting their findings on Millennial Milestones at our upcoming Millennial Mashup: Millennials Reassessed event— the generation associates getting their first job, graduating college, and moving out/gaining financial independence as the three big markers of adulthood. But after those milestones have been conquered, the waters become murkier for Gen Y grownups. Getting married, buying a home, and other big adult decisions are happening later in life for the generation, and as Millennials age up and begin to take on these major tasks in larger numbers they’re looking for tools to make the intimidating more manageable. Being a grownup doesn’t come with a guidebook (as previous generations know) but Millennials are used to being able to rely on lifehacks, cheats, shortcuts, and how-tos to get things done faster and more seamlessly. They are approaching their next wave of grownup moments with the same expectations, and building a grownup toolbox to help navigate new waters.

Here’s a look at some of the services and tools emerging to help guide Millennials through the next big steps in life. 

1. Hitchswitch: The Name Change Assistant

Though Millennials may be revising and updating many wedding and marriage traditions to suit their own needs, the number of women who are deciding to keep their maiden names is actually shrinking. But when Millennial women decide to change their names, they face an antiquated system of paperwork and government agencies that do not move at the speed of Y, and the task may be delayed by some merely because of the onerous amount of work involved. Enter name-change services like Hitchswitch. For $50, the service provides all of the necessary completed paperwork to file name changes along with prepaid envelopes to sent the forms out after they have been signed. Founders Josh Gelb and Jake Wolff are Millennials themselves who went through the experience of getting married and having their wives struggle with the paperwork and bureaucracy of getting their last names updated. A similar service, i’m a mrs, began as a quest for the perfect bridal shower gift after founders watched friends try to manage the laborious name change process. Now these services are growing in popularity to cut through the red tape of tradition for Millennials.

2. Doorsteps: Empowering the New Home Buyer

The moment that real estate agents have been waiting for may finally be here: Millennials are starting to get ready to buy houses. After vacations and weddings, they’re saving for down payments and starting to figure out the process of getting their own house. But for a generation that is unsurprisingly gun-shy after the housing market crash, making sense of the tangled web of mortgage lenders, payment options, bankers, buyers, sellers, home insurance choices, attorneys, and agents is a potential looming nightmare. It’s a complicated system that can seem even more complicated to Millennials, who are used to the streamlined and seamless. Doorsteps is an online service that provides prospective homebuyers with information and tools to cut down on the stress, “ get ready faster, and make the best possible decisions along the way.” The site provides tools like buyer profiles and expert advice to every level of potential buyer from the curious to the seriously searching, and aims to put every step of the home-buying process in one place. With a mission to empower users and give them confidence in their decisions “without wasting time,” Doorstep is exactly the kind of tool that appeals to the new Gen Y grownup.

3. NeverMissGift: Kid Gifts for Non-Parents

It is undeniable that becoming a parent is a major step that many Millennials have put off for the future.  But just because they might not be parents themselves doesn’t mean they’re living in a world without children. A rising number of Millennials with disposable income but no kids of their own are spending time with and buying presents for OPC (other people’s children). And though some think they are just big kids themselves, the average older-edge Millennial still has trouble figuring out just what kinds of things a 6-year-old is into today. So what are childless Millennials with nieces, nephews, Godkids, and friends’ kids galore to do? NeverMissGift is a website that provides reminders, suggestions, and gifts to grown-ups shopping for kids, and caters to time-crunched 20-45-year-old professionals without their own families. Users simply enter info on all of the children they shop for— including ages, likes, and gift occasions—and NeverMissGift will email present options that match the child’s interests and are both on-trend and on-budget, just in time for the birthday or holiday. The site will also wrap and send the gift directly to the recipient, so grownup Millennials can take care of being caring with a single click.