In honor of Father’s Day, we asked Jack Tunge, CFP®, and proud “girl dad” to three-year-old Charlie, for his thoughts on fatherhood and financial advice.
A lot changes when you become a dad, including finances. Do you have any tips for new or expecting dads?
First and foremost, there is nothing more special than becoming a father and a husband. My biggest piece of advice for new parents is something my wife told me. No matter the day, the situation, or how difficult your child may be behaving/acting, imagine you are 90 years old and looking back on that very moment. It is easy to get caught up in the moment, but perspective is everything, and you’d give the world to live that moment again later in life. Keep that perspective and embrace each and every moment with your child and remember how precious those days are.
When should you start saving for a child’s education?
I am a firm believer in beginning to save for education and other expenses (e.g., wedding or home purchase) as soon as your child is born. Compounding interest is a beautiful thing, and the sooner you save, the more you will have available to help down the road.
Do you have to choose between saving for retirement and a child’s education?
You do not necessarily have to choose one or the other, but you may have to prioritize depending on your circumstances. It is important to save for retirement, and I don’t think anyone should ever stop saving until that day comes. I’d encourage everyone to save based on their personal values and goals. Some may not want to pay for their kid’s college, while others may want to cover some or all of it. It all comes down to setting priorities and goals, which will dictate how much and where you should save.
Nearly 80% of young people report getting financial advice from social media outlets. Since this trend will likely continue, do you have any “fatherly” tips on what to look for and any red flags to avoid while browsing social media platforms?
I think anything in life should require you to do some due diligence, whether that is finding reputable sources for listening to financial advice, traveling, learning sports, etc. Everyone has their own opinion on things, but it is essential to do some of your own research and find reputable sources you align with.
A recent survey found that most parents rarely, if ever, talk to their kids about money. Do you plan on talking to Charlie about it? If so, why?
Absolutely! I think it’s a huge mistake for families to avoid talking about money. One simple, powerful word can solve most people’s money problems: communication.
Money is a powerful resource, and it is important for us as parents to help our kids understand ways to utilize it. As Charlie gets older, we will talk to her about ways to earn money and how to prioritize saving, spending, and donating. Good financial habits begin with us as parents instilling those behaviors in them at a young age and teaching them about money.
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Disclosure: Please note that you are advised to consult your tax professional for your individual tax situation. This information is designed to provide general information on the subject(s) covered and is not intended to be tax advice. This information cannot be used to avoid tax penalties or provide recommendations for any tax plan or arrangement.