One of the biggest uncertainties and hopes facing many families today is whether their kids will be as successful or more successful than we are.
Yes of course, the single most important factor is how our children define success for THEMSELVES but come on now, these are kids we are talking about.
They also need us, parents, to help them understand risk and reward.
If your daughter wants to become a doctor that is fantastic, but if it requires huge student loans that will take years to pay off, is it worth it?
If your son decides to go to a fancy private college and will rank up $260,000 of student debt when he graduates, vs going to UGA which is significantly cheaper. Is that worth it?
If your daughter decides to start her career in wealth management to stay in the town where she went to college vs starting a career in high tech which would require her to move to expensive NY or SF, is that worth it?
But there are countless external factors that help determine our success that are beyond our control like — luck, timing, and being in the right place at the right time.
But higher debt means higher risk and debt can limit our options later in life. How do we increase the odds of ending up in sweet spot (yellow box) vs the bitter spot (red box)?
Maybe the daughter should apply to as many scholarships as possible before going to medical school.
Maybe the average salary for kids graduating from the fancy private school are higher because of the rich network? But he will have to live at home for 4 years.
How do we lower the risk so we can reap a higher reward?
Research starting salaries, analysis of income vs debt paydown, cost of living, and understanding option value of higher valued skills, higher growth industry and network.
These are all very complex problems but there are outcomes you can help your son or daughter with if you take the time to discuss his or her 5-year plan.