It’s almost back-to-school time. If you have young children going to public schools, your biggest expenditures may be on pens, pencils and notebooks. But if you want those same kids to go to college someday, you’ll eventually face considerably larger costs – so you may want to start preparing soon.
College is costly. For the 2015-16 school year, the average expense (including tuition, fees room and board) was nearly $20,000 at a public, four-year school, and more than twice that amount at a four-year private school, according to the College Board. Of course, cheaper alternatives are available – your children could go to a local community college for two years at a very reasonable cost, and then transfer to a four-year school.
If you have an interest in looking up obscure holidays and celebrations, you will find that August 16th is National Roller Coaster Day. As you know, a roller coaster is used as a metaphor for many areas of life – including the financial markets. As an investor, what can you learn from this thrill ride?
Here are a few suggestions:
by Edward Jones Matthew North Financial Advisor Next week, the 2016 Summer Olympics begin in Rio de Janeiro. One of the most compelling events is the marathon, a 26.2-mile endurance contest with roots dating back to ancient Greece. It may be that we’ve kept our interest in the marathon because it can teach us much […]
If you’re a small-business owner, you think a lot about today. Is your cash flow sufficient … today? Are your products and services competitive … today? Are you confident in your marketing and advertising efforts … today? And because you are so focused on today, you may be neglecting a key aspect of tomorrow – your retirement. Specifically, do you have a good retirement plan for yourself?
Next week, we observe the 4th of July with sparklers, picnics and parades. And living in a country that offers so much freedom, we have a lot to celebrate. But on a more personal level, you may still be working toward another type of independence – financial independence. What can you do to speed your progress toward this goal?
It’s almost Father’s Day. If you’re a dad with young children, you can expect some nice homemade cards and maybe even a baseball cap. But, of course, your greatest reward is spending time with your kids and watching them grow. In return, you can give them a gift – the gift of knowledge. Specifically, in the months and years ahead, teach them the financial skills that can help make their lives easier and more rewarding.
You might work diligently at building a financial roadmap for your retirement years and a comprehensive estate plan. But you can’t just create these strategies – you also have to communicate them. Specifically, you need to inform your spouse and your grown children what you have in mind for the future – because the more they know, the fewer the surprises that await them down the road.
Let’s start with your spouse. Ideally, of course, you and your spouse should have already communicated about your respective ideas for retirement and have come to an agreement on the big issues, such as when you both plan to retire, where you’ll live during retirement, and what you want to do as retirees (volunteer, travel, work part time and so on).
But what you both might have let slip through the cracks are the important specifics related to financing your retirement. You’ll need to answer several questions, including these:
When will you each start taking Social Security?
Identity theft is a big problem. How big? Consider this: In 2015, about 13 million Americans were victimized, with a total fraud amount of $15 billion, according to Javelin Strategy & Research. That’s a lot of victims, and a lot of money. How can you protect yourself from becoming a statistic?
Here are a few suggestions:
If you have children who are finishing college or embarking on their first full-time job, you obviously want them to get off to a good start in their adult and working lives. And by virtue of your years of experience, you probably have some good advice to offer – especially when it comes to making smart financial moves.
Of course, you can find a broad array of financial topics to discuss. But if you want to concentrate on just a few, you might consider these for starters:
We’re at the end of another school year. If you have younger kids, you might be thinking about summer camps and other activities. But in the not-too-distant future, your children will be facing a bigger transition as they head off to college. Will you be financially prepared for that day?
A college education is a good investment – college graduates earn, on average, $1 million more over their lifetimes than high school graduates, according to a study by Georgetown University – but a bachelor’s degree doesn’t come cheap. For the 2015–2016 school year, the average expense – tuition, fees, room and board – was $19,548 at a public four-year school and $43,921 at a four-year private school, according to the College Board. And by the time your children are ready for college, these costs may be considerably higher, because inflation is alive and well in the higher education arena.