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Home > Archive: April, 2019

Archive for April, 2019

college and debt

April 26th, 2019 at 04:54 pm

So yesterday as I waited for my DK2 girl scout troop meeting a couple of moms were congregating and talking. One was from Ireland, one from UK, and one went to US college but like me 20+ years ago and went to public local university.

So the foreign moms asked us why is it so expensive to go to college in the states? Why is it so hard to get a job? And why in the states is it constantly being pushed to get another degree after the 4 year degree? The Irish mom said her sitter was complaining about graduating with a degree in psychology and said she couldn't find a job.

The other mom said she wasn't sure why it was so hard to find a job. But wasn't any job a minimum wage good enough? The Irish and British mom said it's crazy (in the USA) to go to college and come out working fast food or retail instead of going straight in and working their way up.

I said here's the truth, it's a class thing. Perhaps I'm wrong but in the US the only people who can be picky and not have a job after graduating are people who have parents wealthy enough to afford to support them. It was true 20 years ago and it's true now.

If you come from a family like my DH and I where your parents didn't help you, working a minimum wage job and hunting like crazy before college ended. My friends at least either had a job before college ended or moved home into their parents basement until they found a job. I did not have a single friend who lived in an apartment and got checks handed to them to live until they found a job.
My DH was the same way. Most of his friends had jobs entry level as well of some sort before college ended.

I recall my college roommate saying I'm looking for a job close to my dad so I can move back in and save more and pay off my debt from college. It also was that her mom had just died from breast cancer and her dad was reeling and her brother was jr in college and wanted to support them both. Another friend did the same because his mom was widowed as well and needed help with their rentals.

Actually none of my friends in college had freebie handsout. But as I got older and well more affluent, I noticed a lot of parents talk about their kids having trouble finding jobs and need to take the summer off and then supporting them.

I found it interesting. I think it does support the idea you need "higher" education to get a job, but honestly how many people really want the entry level jobs?

I asked the Irish mom did her sitter apply for every single job out there and be willing to take anything? Work in a public hospital? Work non-profit? Government? Something low paying but entry level to get her work experience and foot in the door? Or was she being picky?

It leads one to conclude that yes we do have a problem in the US with many people going to school and having an expectation that they will immediately land their dream job without any problems. And then expecting to go on for more schooling to get a "better" job rather than asking how will going to school really help them?

I guess with all this publicity about college loans and debt I do feel bad. I met a dentist with $550k school loans from just dental school. His parents paid for undergraduate but that means he took out $137.5k out every year for 4 years! Was it really all tuition? Okay so he couldn't work. But was tuition $100k? And he had to live on $40K? Why didn't he live on less? He admitted to me that if he had been smarter he'd have gone into the military to get 4 years paid for and had a job after for 4 years to boot, gaining experience, then 4 years later he'd have had $550k loans paid and money saved!

But the reality is that lots of people don't think about it. He admitted he probably didn't need to take out $120k/year. But it's super easy to get caught up in the lifestyle

So I wonder even in undergraduate, how many people borrow more than tuition, don't work, and then realize OMG I didn't get a job paying $100k?

I look at college costs and keep thinking, I really need to have a serious conversation with my kids. I'm going to offer to help buy them a if they can save me money on tuition. What I would have spent on tuition i'll give them. And I'll try to hope they decide to start saving at 22 if not earlier.

debating what to do

April 19th, 2019 at 05:56 pm

The good, the bad, the ugly was about my parents. I'm just pondering what to do. You can't take away people's independence. I'd like to work with my parents and get them involved in their finances a bit more. I'd like to not be handed a mess and have to work through it. I'd like for them to trust me and not feel guilty that we are "investing" wisely for the future.

But at the same time I want to slam my hand on the table and scream why didn't you come to me earlier? Why didn't you tell me that you thought someone was mismanaging your money? Why did you raise me to be independent and smart and tell me all the "right" things to do but then not do it yourself? Why were you embarrassed? Why didn't you let me help you earlier?

Some of it is water under the bridge. There is nothing I can do. If money was lost (and it was) well there is nothing we can do. We might be able to do an audit but I'm not sure what else. I'm also not sure we can recoup anything.

But I can prevent this from happening again. My parents are so old school. My mom acts like having money and talking about it is taboo and huge deal. That telling me anything is a HUGE slight. That she shouldn't need help and until absolutely necessary.

But why? Why when it is the end of the line should people be expected to help? Why expect me to clean up the mess when we're in so deep instead of trying to start now?

I was going home to relax in August with the kids. But now its' really weighing on me. Weighing on me a lot. I'm worried. I need to talk them seriously and my mom said they are willing to sign off on a power of attorney and discuss their wills and trust. I had trouble sleeping when she was here thinking about the fact the SEC fined, banned their previously planner who was fired by merrill lynch. I always thought the gullible ones were like my grandma. I realize now even my parents a bit trusting and gullible.

But I can't take over completely they'd never forgive. I can't take away their self-respect and independence so I have to work with their planner and just keep a firm hand and sharp eye on everything. More work than doing it myself.

I am still a bit bitter. Bitter that my parents are still upset over talking with me, but worried enough to spill the beans because I think my mom knows something went wrong and she doesn't know how to fix it.

A few months ago she tried to take pictures of her papers and send to me but I said I couldn't read it. So i brushed it off. I said later. I didn't want to worry about it. Come to find out I should have. And now I feel guilty. So guilty.

Anyway my DH says there is nothing I can do. I need to stop thinking about it and just go home and deal with everything.

He's also not been honest with me about his parents. His parents are better with money but at the same time there is so many unknowns. I think my DH is going to work forever because I think he worries about our parents and if we need to give them money. Not because they didn't try but because they do something dumb.

I guess it's a good thing we're savers and can afford to help them. They always preached save, no debt, live below your means. Sigh. Now if they had taught us more investing in RE and everything else.