Monthly Archives: October 2011

What spooks you about finances?

(Originally posted on USAA’s Inside the Mission blog)

At some level, we probably all have fears about finances.  As Halloween approaches, I’m wondering what spooks people the most about money. Are you afraid of looking at your bills each month?  Do you dread talking to your spouse about spending?  Are you worried about what the continued sagging economy means to your family? Here are my top 3 concerns about finances.  What are yours?

  1. Will I have enough for retirement?  Although USAA has a great employee 401k plan, it seems that maintaining even a modest lifestyle in retirement will require more than I could ever realistically sock away.
  2. Will my children have enough saved to go to college?  When each of our kids were born, we started 529 savings plansfor them, but the costs of education continue to skyrocket (maybe that’s why they call it “higher education”?).
  3. Will I need to provide for parents or other family members as well as my own family? I’m officially in the “sandwich generation” – so will caring for aging relatives prevent me from reaching my own financial goals?

While financial fears can be quite real, it’s good to know that USAA has tons of money advice, planning tools and other resources, right here on this site. Use the comment space below to post your own top 3 list, as well as what you do to overcome your fears.


Posted by on October 27, 2011 in Family, Thoughts, Work


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Retirement beats college savings

(Originally posted on USAA’s Inside the Mission blog)

Never did I realize the double-whammy of parenthood more so than when my wife and I had twin babies. I’m not talking about the middle-of-the-night feedings or the boxes of diapers that we go through at a lightning pace (I knew I should have bought stock in Pampers!). The real question for us is how to make it work financially. Specifically, given a choice between saving for our retirement or college funds for the kids, which one wins?

As a parent, you want to do everything you can for your kids. My parents showed me the importance of making things better for their children than they were for themselves, through their hard work. College costs are skyrocketing, but we certainly don’t want to deprive our kids of getting the best education possible. Yet we know we’ll have to stop working at some point, and will need a significant amount in savings in order to enjoy even a modest retirement. So how do parents these days balance these two seemingly competing interests?

As Scott Halliwell shows in this video, saving for retirement is more important for most people for three big reasons. Check out the video:

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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Family, Work


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