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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 6773  
Subject: Teaching personal finance Date: 6/17/2006 10:08 AM
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I used to merely disagree with the call for mandatory personal finance classes in K-12. Now I am adamantly opposed. What changed ? I just finished recent issues of 2 personal finance magazines and found that I disagreed with recommendations for young people in each of them.

There's now somehow an assumption that consumer debt is inevitable. I disagree. I also disagree with forcing my kids to use the money they earn/receive in specific ways. I believe my job was to inform, educate and encourage and I did all those things which resulted in my kids each choosing to do some things differently.

One magazine told young people to only use cash because it would help them stay out of debt.(this was couched as "listen to your mom"). My kids have been encouraged to carry as little cash as possible, use a rewards credit card and pay those bills in full every month. LBYM and saving for retirement goals have always been part of the dinner conversation as well at our house. My youngest has definitely leaned toward as little cash as possible after his wallet was lifted in high school - bye-bye cash but no prob on getting the credit card replaced or any charges covered by the credit card company.

Another place I disagree is I bear no responsibility for securing my children's retirement. I gave them a good start in life by ensuring they have no college debt. They each ended up with a car that ran. I encourage retirement savings by discussing the concept with them, matching dollar for dollar what they contribute to a Roth until college graduation and by offering to manage their Roths as long as they would like. I have no interest in just giving them retirement money or requiring them to put their money in retirement accounts.

There was an amazing article that said the wealth of my husband and me should be considered an asset of the whole family. Maybe someday but it's hard for me to see when that day will come other than when we're both dead and gone. It's ours to do with as we wish. Now I seriously doubt my kids would ever read an article like that and come to use with a plan for what to do with the family wealth.

Frankly, I have a hard time even remembering a time when any of our kids asked us for money. Maybe before they had a job somebody asked but even that is too long ago for me to remember. I remember pressing a loan on my daughter when she was in college and the Air Force was taking a ridiculously long time in reimbursing her and I didn't think she should have to carry their debt.

Now I seriously doubt there is anyone who would agree with all of the above and I don't think there should be. But neither would I want someone else teaching my kids personal finance. I did make sure they all had excellent math skill and I know they can always calculate the results of their financial choices.

rad
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Author: Diablo2Queen Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6592 of 6773
Subject: Re: Teaching personal finance Date: 6/17/2006 12:14 PM
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There was an amazing article that said the wealth of my husband and me should be considered an asset of the whole family.

What a bunch of hooey.

Whatever money my parents have is theirs to use as they see fit. Although I know they'll try to leave me some sort of an inheritance, I'm not counting on it because if they need to spend all of their money on their needs, that's what it's there for.

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6593 of 6773
Subject: Re: Teaching personal finance Date: 6/17/2006 12:29 PM
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There was an amazing article that said the wealth of my husband and me should be considered an asset of the whole family. Maybe someday but it's hard for me to see when that day will come other than when we're both dead and gone. It's ours to do with as we wish. Now I seriously doubt my kids would ever read an article like that and come to use with a plan for what to do with the family wealth.


This particular one is one of my pet peeves. It's the notion that anything I earn belongs to anyone else who happens to be related to me. It ignores the fact that perhaps I have a need for the money or that these relatives may have simply squandered everything they've earned or lived well beyond their means, neither of which is my problem. I guess I don't consider me to be my brother's keeper, and as we've had considerable experience with DH's parents and siblings living well beyond their means and then expecting us to bail them out, it's one that I've had enough experience with to know how I feel.

My kids already know that we will provide them with a good education, and it is up to them to provide their own way in life. I expect them to be self-supporting, and I do not expect either of them to be expected to support the other.

Now I seriously doubt there is anyone who would agree with all of the above and I don't think there should be. But neither would I want someone else teaching my kids personal finance. I did make sure they all had excellent math skill and I know they can always calculate the results of their financial choices.


I'm sure that you'll be shocked when I say that I do agree with everything you've said, and I cannot imagine a financial magazine of any sort advising some of the things you've listed. Maybe that's why I don't bother reading many of them anymore, though.

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Author: NaggingFool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6594 of 6773
Subject: Re: Teaching personal finance Date: 6/17/2006 12:46 PM
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I'm sure that you'll be shocked when I say that I do agree with everything you've said, and I cannot imagine a financial magazine of any sort advising some of the things you've listed. Maybe that's why I don't bother reading many of them anymore, though.

I think I've said this before, but I'd pay good money to read 2gifts/rad's joint guide to parenting and finances. I appreciate how much effort both of you go to to write out your experiences on these boards.

- Megan


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Author: FoolishN8 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 6595 of 6773
Subject: Re: Teaching personal finance Date: 6/22/2006 5:07 PM
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Nice post rad. I was attracted to it as I'm going to be teaching a personal finance class to college freshman in the fall. I imagine one of the hurdles will be dealing with the influence of so many other sources. I have no intention of teaching one right way, but more opening their eyes to what's out there, good and bad. I will definitely draw on the Fool's wisdom, as well as the wisdom of the community. Thanks for some good advice.

N8

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