My daughter and I had an interesting conversation the other day - of all things, it was about finances.
Apparently, my 14 year old is already worried about how we are going to be able to pay for her college! When we began talking about college a few years ago, I assured her that we would pay for her first four years. Our plan was to start saving and to take out student loans for whatever we weren't able to save.
Then I left the workforce and became a housewife...so you can imagine what our college savings account looks like right now.
It has $10.12 in it.
I have always been the financial planner in the family, and used to contribute regularly to our savings account and had my own 401(k) plan. Between buying our first home in 2009 and my husband finishing his bachelor's degree in 2010, both were depleted. We are just now getting back to the point where I am thinking about our long term financial stability. My husband opened a 401(k) when he began his new job last year, and we are paying down our - mostly my - debts one by one, as extra income comes in.
We aren't getting any younger, and it occurred to me recently that if we want to actually be able to afford my daughter's college education in 4 years, and still be able to retire before we're too old to enjoy it, we need to make some changes. Like, right now.
With careful budgeting, we should be able to pay off the remainder of our debt within a year. Now that I am bringing in sporadic income from blogging, it's time I opened up an IRA for myself, since I do not have a 401(k).
And of course, once the debts are paid off, it's time to look into financial investments for my family. There are so many different avenues to pursue for investing! With the current state of the economy, I have a fear of trusting the stock market. I've seen what can happen to investments in stocks firsthand - when the market falls, they do too!
My father has always been into nontraditional financial investments, like buying gold bullion and silver. For my high school graduation, he gave me a gorgeous ½ pound lady liberty silver piece. I still have it! He is always encouraging me to invest in silver, like the walking liberty half dollar, because there are two things that never lose their value: silver and gold. And silver is much more affordable to invest in than gold, especially with the price of gold in today's market!
I would check out a company like ILB for guidance before I made decisions on purchases because there are so many different options out there when it comes to buying silver and gold. Between buying coins, bullion or special collector's pieces, I simply do not have enough knowledge to make an educated decision about which would be the best investment for my family.
Do you invest? If so, do you stick to playing the stock market, buying real estate, or do you purchase gold and silver?