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Kids’ Snacks and Your Retirement…

Before I hung up my cleats from coaching youth soccer, I always had one goal while coaching kids:  Make sure they had fun! So when planning practice and game times, we always made sure kids had a treat afterwards.  Each parent took turns supplying a treat and drink.  These treats really added that extra FUN quotient, helping me reach the goal of providing fun, fun and more fun.  We built lasting friendships with hundreds of young people over the years and that gives me warm feelings everyday.
Fast forward 20 years and I see parents giving big treats to their children, like college educations.  Parents are giving their kids the 529 Plan with lots of money in it and they’re going without in terms of their retirement funding so their children can go to college without figuring out how to pay for a cent of it by themselves.
Now I ask you, what is your philosophy about giving children so much that they don’t have to learn some responsibility in life?  If you have the resources I guess it’s okay, but what are you teaching your children?  Are they learning how to cope? Are they learning how to deal when life hands them struggles?  In my experience life keeps coming up with surprises and kids who get handed everything don’t learn how to grow up and deal with those surprises — they seem to just cave in, then move back home with you. Umm, not good.
The bigger concern I have, however, is for parents who don’t have those shutterstock_254511226kinds of resources and what it’s doing to their retirement.  By helping children so much, most parents are jeopardizing their retirement.  Before you give another cent to your grown (or almost grown children) look at your own future. If you can see that you will be short on retirement income, you need to seriously cut back on how much you give your college-bound (or wedding-bound) kids.  Do you think it will hurt your children not to have their own car, or their own apartment, or pay for some of their college expenses? Check out this post for an enlightening view on the idea of not helping your kid with every little thing:  Are You Trading Your Retirement for Kids’ College Education?
Balance is a good thing.  So weigh your options and take care of yourself, then see what you can do with helping your children.  Like the airline hostess explaining safety regulations, if the oxygen masks drops down, you should put this on yourself first, then put the mask on your child.  This advise applies to your money and your children as well.  For more, go to www.moneymastery.com.  

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