It may be difficult to embrace the thought… but, we don’t own our children. We have custody of them, and most people try to do the very best they can to instill optimal values as their children grow to mature adults. And then, we may be blessed with grandchildren. So, we try our best to provide “occasional” grandparent guidance to the next generation.
Of course, there is a challenge to successfully impart first-class values and provide desired financial support given all of the contemporary interference factors. And indeed, the financial responsibility of parents is significant.
A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture reveals the cost of raising a child from birth through age 17, is now $233,610. This is based on a two-child, middle income, married-couple family. A breakdown of the costs follows: 29 percent for housing; 18 percent for food; 16 percent for child care and education; 15 percent for transportation; 9 percent for health care; 7 percent for miscellaneous; and 6 percent for clothing. (“Expenditures on Children by Families,” 2015, USDA, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, Misc. Report, Revised March 2017.)
Consider the concerns of a thoughtful mother.
My husband and I have three beautiful children ages 4, 7, and 9. We are planning oriented and as we look to the future we try to calculate, as best we can, how to provide for our children through their college years and then for our own retirement. Is there a general framework as an overview for long-range family financial planning?
Most likely, the best approach would be to meet with a competent and trusted professional financial planner. There is much published data on costs of raising a child and the cost of a college education. So there is no shortage of information on current and forecasted costs that pertain to your family.
Overall, we are glad to hear that you are planners and as such you should do some homework to gather preliminary data and information prior to meeting with a professional financial planner. At a minimum, you should prepare a current balance sheet, a budget, and pro forma financial statements for future expectations.
Just remember that a plan set to writing should be a fluid and not a static document.
Sure, we have control over our money along with the right to buy all sorts of consumable products, boats, cars, expensive clothing, and the like—or we can choose to invest in stocks, bonds, commodities, real estate, or some other asset mix. Chapter two in the book, “Richer Than A Millionaire ~ A Pathway to True Prosperity,” provides a comprehensive self-audit checklist to evaluate your overall financial standing.
Our freewill is empowerment to make decisions. Is a healthy lifestyle practiced? Do we create a homegrown culture of superfluous stuff for ourselves and/or for our children? Or do we create a nurturing environment? Do we decide to live large or live below our means in order to save/invest for the future? What examples do we set for our closest observers?
We are custodians of our children. As such, what seeds are we planting for the next generation?
New York Times bestselling author William D. Danko and Richard J. Van Ness, wrote the research-based book, “Richer Than A Millionaire ~ A Pathway to True Prosperity,” which shows the way to wealth and happiness through embracing traditional values. Content appearing in this article is based on excerpts from the authors’ book. The book is available at Amazon.com.
Visit the authors’ website, RicherThanAMillionaire.com.