Putting off Parenthood

no children

Dear Mr. Dad: By the time my parents were my age (I’m 27), they already had three children. But I’m not married, don’t have any children, and don’t have any plans to. I know there’s been a trend over the past few decades towards having kids at a later age, but in talking with my friends—many of whom feel the same way I do—it seems that there might be a trend towards not having a family at all. Am I right?

A: You are absolutely right. Young people of your generation (Millennials—those born between 1982 and 2002) have some very different ideas about family than their parents and grandparents. Back in 1992, 78% of college grads (79% of women and 78% of men) had plans to either adopt or have children. Twenty years later, in 2002, just 42% (41% of women, 42% of men) intended to become parents. I honestly find that a little scary. With so many people choosing not to have children, who’s going to be making the Social Security contributions that will support those Millennials when they retire?
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Fighting about Money Could Cost Your Kids Plenty

When mom and dad fight about money, their college-aged students are more likely to rack up credit card debt. So says Adam Hancock, who coauthored a just-published study at East Carolina University.

The study looked at the credit-card-carrying habits of 400 college students. Two thirds of them carried one card, while about one third had more than one. But the number of cards didn’t necessarily predict the student’s debt level. Instead, the students who told researchers that their parents “usually argued about finances,” were three times more likely to have balances over $500 than those whose parents never quarreled about money.

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U.S. Department of Treasury: Who’d Have Thought They Could Have Fun?

We all know that Americans have  among the lowest savings rates of any industrialized country. Well, we’re about to get some help.

The U.S. Department of Treasury just launched a contest that’s designed to inspire kids in grades K-12 to set financial goals and save for them. The “Save Out Loud” contest invites kids to send in their savings stories for a chance to win prizes from the Department. The grand prize is a live video call with Rosie Rios, the Treasurer of the United States (a much cooler prize would be to let the winner sign some dollar bills, but that’s just not in the cards, so a chat with the Treasurer is the next best thing).

The contest runs from now through November 25, 2012. Entry info on the next page.

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Why You Should Think Twice Before Co-Signing a Loan

With the economy still gasping along, more and more families are running into credit problems. For some, bankruptcy is the only solution. Others try to restructure their debts. And still others try to borrow money from friends or relatives. If you’ve ever been in this situation–either as the borrower or the lender–you won’t want to miss this guest post by Briana Fabbri.

Do you have friends or relatives who are having trouble getting a loan?  Have you considered co-signing a loan for them?

While you may have both good credit and the best intentions, you should carefully consider the ramifications before you agree to co-sign a loan:

  • First and foremost, lenders will treat this loan as if it were made directly to you.  If the borrower fails to make the loan payments in a timely manner, your credit rating could be affected.  The missed payment could be reported to your credit report, and would potentially reduce your credit score.  [Read more...]
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