2019 Advice For My Children

Avoid Debt

Education Debt

There is a reason my university aged children attend the local university. I moved away from home at 17 years old since my home town did not have reasonable options to pursue higher education.

I planned differently for my children. I bought our current home when my daughter was two years old. I recall my husband’s questioning look when I mentioned that this home would be close to the university. Now they are all grateful that I had that insight.

Many parents say that their child learns how to be independent when they move away from home. But I’m not sure living on campus residence and being on a meal plan makes anyone grown up. I don’t believe that it does.

Mortgage Debt

I would tell my children to avoid this one like the plague. We already have urban residences for them. I would prefer they take the time to search for a good urban multiplex and then rent it out. Why pay for anything yourself if you do not have to? I see it as common sense but I find few who would want to do that.

I prefer to get what I want but not make myself pay doubly for it. There is always an easier and simpler way to do most things if you keep an open mind.

Auto Debt

I would have a serious talking to my kids if they go down this route. This would be infinitely worse than having any mortgage. Owing money on depreciating consumer items is the silliest of all.

I am beginning to understand why most people can not say “No”. It likely stems from their inability to say “No” to themselves.

When you are broke or make very little income, avoid the car. It really is that simple. Work harder to find a way to avoid this expense. You will save more and keep your life simpler.

Avoid The Expensive Wedding

This one is the easiest to avoid. Just do not do it. No one wears their wedding dress again. You daughter will not want to wear it when she gets married.

Why spend so much for one day of your life? There is no protection that if you pay more for your wedding that your marriage will work out for the better. There is probably a stronger correlation when you see a young couple striving to save together than to see who can outspend the other.

These habits as a couple start somewhere. It probably starts right here.

Attain FI

Develop The Floor

There are innumerable ways to do this. If they are serious about this they will find a way. This is the universal truth after all. When someone cares they will move a mountain to get what they want.

Often they don’t want it or don’t care about it enough. Then the excuses and reasons for why something won’t work would suffocate you.

It is a common theme I have seen in decades of working with patients and people in general.

That is why, I stop talking once the other person responds with objections. .

When the student is ready, the teacher appears. Before that time, it is all a waste of energy.

Aim For Growth

I would always stress to them to invest with growth in mind when they are young. The best options would be investment real estate or the stock market. It would depend on the individual for sure. My son would do well in equities since he can seriously do nothing.

Others who have a “do something” personality would be better served with investment real estate since they would offer more control potentially.

Do More With Less

Get Travel, Fashion and Entertainment For Less

When one is young, this is the best time to live a cheaper life without judgement. If you can not resist this while you are young, life may force you to do this while you are older. That would not be pretty.

It is similar to what I tell my kids all the time. If you can not manage your time now, you will be in for a surprise when life actually gets busier and more complicated.

This stops them from whining and complaining. To me anyways.

But that is the truth isn’t it? Think back to your university years. All you had to do was your studies, feed yourself, maintain your fitness and keep up with your social calendar.

You barely owned anything that was valuable enough to insure. You didn’t own a house or a car. You had no children so you could take off anytime and barely anyone would even notice.

No one relied on you.

I tell my kids to cherish this stage. It will not last if you want a good life. So enjoy this unique stage of your life.

I tell them I have no regrets for my younger university years. I enjoyed my time immensely. In fact I tell them that life doesn’t really get a lot better but it just is different.

This journey has different stages. Enjoy whatever stage you are currently at. Change what needs to be changed but enjoy it the best you can.

And I would remind them that many things I worried about weren’t really that important. Many of it related to career and finances.

I hope that they will heed some of my advice.

2 replies on “2019 Advice For My Children”

  1. Hi Dr. MB,

    Excellent advice for your children. I couldn’t agree more with your point about wedding costs. Recently, I’ve been hearing about newlyweds spending >$40k for their wedding as the norm nowadays. I think that’s a bit crazy, but to each their own.

    If you don’t mind me asking, how are you paying for your kids’ university costs (RESPs?) or do/did they have part-time jobs to pay for themselves?

    DN

    1. Hey DN!

      I have spent on many silly things for my kids over the years. But the wedding thing I will be putting my foot down.

      Kids’ university is only about 6K/ year. They both work part time and can pay for it themselves. Plus my daughter got a scholarship to pay for part of her first year.

      I forgot to use RESPs since I had planned on using dividends from the Corp.

      Many of my friends who had that option kiboshed by the government pay their kids to work in their practice now.

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