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June 20, 2012


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Precocious kids. Only hope my own would be this savvy, if I were to ever have them.

I think you could do a "man on the street" interview with adults in this country, and not get much better answers.

I think some of the older kids did great. It is always funny to read the young ones too. I think the amount of money they need to retire will be the biggest shock for all of them.

I learned about money real fast when I was a small boy of 11 or 12. I needed money and my parents were unable to provide any so I got a paper route.

That entailed getting up very early, riding my bike to our nearest railway station where the newsagent received the newspapers from London on an early train. I switched my bicycle for a heavy one with side panniers to hold all the papers and set of delivering them whether it was raining, snowing, or whatever. When it was done I would go home, grab a bite to eat and cycle the 8 miles to school. Once/month I then had to go to each customer and collect the payments. That was always a problem because some customers would have you come back several times until they had the money. I kept that route all the way through highschool and started saving quite a bit of the money. I met my wife when I was 15 and we would go to the movies every Saturday night and I would use some of my earnings to buy the tickets and 1/4 lb of toffees at the candy store next door.

Today parents coddle and spoil their kids completely in my opinion by not encouraging them to earn money when they are young.

It's interesting to note that the answer to how much does it take to be rich and how much does it take to retire are almost always very close to the same number. I think that was true for FMF's kids too. This was true even for the 4 year old. Whatever that age child's concept of a lot of money is comes out in both of those answers.

I find this interesting because kids are like unfiltered discovers of truth. I think what they are stumbling on is that to be able to retire (i.e. quit your job), you need to have enough to basically live and do what you want without ever having to work again. And if you think about it, that's a pretty decent description of someone who is basically financially rich.

I love how innocence just stumbles on truth.

Q : "At what age do you think people retire?"
A : "Whenever they’ve saved up enough money, or when they’ve run out of energy or get fired."

I think the first 12 year old nailed the answer on that one.

Man, I wish I was that smart at that age. This is really what it is all about, making sure that our children understand what money truly means, how to manage it wisely and never fear it. My parents had kind of a negative relationship with money growing up. They were both professionals (electrician, nurse), who owned their home, so money was never an issue. But they always talked in terms what they couldn't afford and what happens when you don't have it rather fostering a responsible positive relationship (i.e. discussing savings.)

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