Today on MYM360 – I was on Tom Hall’s Midday on NPR yesterday talking about one of my favorite topics – money and the discussion rolled around to paying for college and I said that I didn’t think that parents should go into debt or take money out of their retirement to send their kids to school because while kids could get a loan for college the parents could not get a loan for retirement. I said that kids needed to have some skin in the game like working and I mentioned that I had worked my way through college and a caller took exception. She said that college probably cost a lot less when I went to school. And, yes that was true but there was a bigger question so I going to pose it to you. Are parents or should they be responsible for paying for their kids college? Let that sink in for a moment because I’m sensing some entitlement issues from some of the kids I talk to.
Now here is another question to ponder – why do you think student debt is so high? There is actually $1.45 trillion in student debt and that surpasses credit card debt which is only $784 billion. Okay, both numbers are astronomical. But my point is, life is different today. And, a college education today does not necessarily a guarantee to high paying job which is one of the reasons why student debt is so high. Many college grads are being forced into lower paying jobs. And, student debt is becoming an albatross around their necks. There are actually people who are collecting Social Security and still paying off student loans.
Plus, there are so many professions today and more are coming to light everyday where a college education is not necessary to be successful so there may be consider a different route to get to where you want to go. And, there are also low cost options – community college, online colleges and some employers who will help pay for college. So before you go into debt, you need to explore every option. And if you decide that the best option is to get a loan, create a plan to pay it off before you accept one penny. But first before you do anything, you need to explore your ‘why’ for wanting to go school and if your why is big enough you will find a way to make it happen.
That’s it for today. I welcome your comments and suggestions. Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks so much for listening and as always remember that minding your money really is the path to a richer life!