Monday, January 20, 2014

Retirement Comes Before College

If you have children, it is very likely that you will assume that you must pay for their college education. This is a mistake. If you can pay for their college education, consider it a blessing from God. By all means pay off all your debts, live on less than you earn and model a love for education in your life. I believe that a love of education is one of the keys to generational wealth. However, the day will come when your job is no longer any fun. The day might come when you will be incapable of performing your job. Some day you will want to retire. This will require considerable resources. No one wants to become a burden on their children. No one wants to live in their children’s home until and unless it is unavoidable.

There are no “retirement grants.” There are no retirement scholarships. There aren’t even any retirement loans. On the other hand your children will have access to grants, scholarships, and if worse comes to worse, loans for their education. In addition there are work study programs and even the possibility of, “God Forbid,” a job. It will be a lot easier for your children to find a job to help pay for their education than it will be for you to continue working after a stroke. There is also more than one way to skin a cat. Many employers will cover tuition costs for any appropriate degree that will make your child a more valuable employee.

Once you are fully funding your retirement accounts. Once you are debt free with the exception of your mortgage. Then you can start saving for your children’s education. Grandparents, hear my plea. If you have sufficient resources, help your children and your grandchildren at critical junctures in their lives. My parent’s generation destroyed the extended family in the economic and geographic mobility that followed World War II. My generation did a pretty good job of destroying the nuclear family with divorce rates that approached 50%. Let’s try to reinvent the extended family. Your job as a parent does not end with your children. Make it your intention to be a blessing to your family as long God gives you breath.

Proverbs 13:22

A good man leaveth an inheritance to his children's children: and the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the just.

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