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I was thinking: A course in financial planning should be a mandatory class before graduating high school.

I had a dad who encouraged me to save. I am trying to do the same for my children who are 19 and 21. I find they are having a hard time finding a job that will offer them a 401k plan while they are still full time students. The jobs that pay them well are listing them as temporary employees. So, I encourage them to fund their Roth IRAs.


I found the "Fool" 5 yrs. before retiring. I took their retirement workshops and was always working with the retirement calculators.

I did well in planning for my retirement. But things have not been exactly what I planned for. Who knew interest rates would be so low? I had 4 yrs. college tuition planned for my son. But college costs were much higher then projected. Health insurance is higher. And the cost of my dream condo for retirement was 3 times the cost then it was a year before my retirement. So I adjusted my plans.

If I had not planned at all, I could not have been successful. I have accomplished much of my plans for retirement, but have had to make adjustments. And I'm sure I will make many more during my retirement years.
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The LA schools used to have a required course called senior problems, at least that's what it was called in my high school in the early 50's. One of the tasks was to pick a career of interest, determine what income might be expected, and make a budget. Being a smart little brat, I saw all you needed to do was imagine a career with sufficiently high salary expectations that budgetting would be a snap. Eventually it came true, but there were years when budgetting was not a snap, especially for a post doc living in the expensive Stanford area with my wife commuting daily to SF for training. I think a course in simple logic should be required as well. I often read arguments in which universal conclusions are drawn from particular premises.

db
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Foolkath:

A course in financial planning should be a mandatory class before graduating high school.

Many schools DO try to do a little something (our kids' school did, way back in the 80's), but I couldn't agree more strongly with you!

Seems to me that few kids probably get such information at home (THEIR folks may not know, anyway, sad to say), so schools might do well to include a mandatory segment of some kind on "How To Live", absurd as that may sound. Before they go off into the big world, kids need to know how to balance a check book, how to use credit wisely (!), and a lot of other things -- including the notion, at least, that they need to eventually start saving for the future.

Vermonter
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