By Miles Clyne
As we go through life we hopefully get better at most things. If not, the following theory of insanity may be relevant: “You keep doing the same thing, but expecting different results.” The question for us today is, do we get better at understanding money as we age?
I’ve taken this question to a 10 and 12 year old to see what their thoughts are on five basic questions on money. They received no support with respect to their answers. As you go through these, ask yourself the questions and think of your answer, then read how the children responded and see how you differ.
Maybe you’re not as old as you think you are.
1. What does money mean to you?
10 year old: It means to buy things with like resources.
12 year old: Something that you buy stuff with and need to live, or else you’re forced to steal.
2. Is money important and why?
10 year old: Yes, so you won’t have poverty and you will have things to do.
12 year old: You need it to get basic needs, and if you don’t you can go into poverty.
3. How much money do you think you need to retire?
10 year old: About $500,000
12 year old: Quite a bit, maybe $200,000.
4. How do you learn about money? School, parents and family or anyone else? Do you learn about saving and budgeting?
10 year old: Parents and family, but not so much of budgeting and just saving.
12 year old: We have a class at school where we make a business and sell it at lunch break.
5. What does money mean to you?
10 year old: To save up for stuff you want.
12 year old: By saving up for something wanted/needed in the future.
There you have it. At 10 and 12, two kids have the basics.
1. If you don’t have enough money to live you might be forced to a life of crime because you don’t have the money to buy the resources you need to live.
2. Without sufficient money now and into the future you could end up in poverty and be very limited in your lifestyle, missing out on the things you would like to do.
3. In retirement, you need a reasonable amount of savings or pension; everyone is different, find out what you need for the lifestyle you want in retirement.
4. We can learn different things from different people. Don’t limit yourself to what you know.
5. Money is an important tool to help you get what you want out of the future.
So what about you, what are your thoughts on money, saving and building and maintain quality of life? Learning and doing the basics early are very helpful. You can’t decide to be a great athlete once you reach your 20 or 30’s for most sports. Money is no different, the sooner you start working on your base skills the better off you will be regardless of your goals. Age should not be a deterrent. You can find a sport to play at just about any age or ability, you can also make a difference to your financial future at any age.