Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Doing right by the children

So. It's only less than one short decade until the first child starts college. And they will both overlap for most of their time in school. I don't have a college fund for them yet. Although I'm solvent--no credit card debt, and my home & vehicles are paid for--we still live rather tightly. I dropped an unexpected $2500 on vehicle repairs over the past three months, and I'm looking at having to get rid of one of them this year. I'll buy used, because even though we keep our cars until we drive them into the ground, and don't want to borrow trouble, I don't want to have any car payments.

My situation is far from desperate, and probably doesn't even sound very difficult, to some. But it was at this juncture that I decided to look to the far horizon, and sock away a couple of grand each for my kids in an S&P Index mutual fund. I got it out of their savings accounts, which I and kind relatives have been funding monthly since they were toddlers. My hope is that the market will continue its pattern of returning an average of 10% yearly, if they hold these into middle age, probably past my clock-out time. If they let it ride, and we're not all pulling rickshaws for the Chinese by then, they ought to have a tidy cushion to help them buffer the buffets of middle age.

I won't let them thank me, if I'm still around and it pays off. I owe them this. I owe them this, and a thousand other things I haven't done for them. I just hope they gain financial wisdom earlier and in fuller measure than I did.

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