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Posted: 10:21 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010

Clark Smart Kids

Encourage kids to invest and save from a young age



Is there a young investor in your household? Can you convince your teen or young child to start saving money now for retirement? There are a few avenues to entice them into a consistent savings program:

  • USAA.com - There are no monthly fees, but a $25 opening balance is required. Call 1-800-322-5482 to get started.  
  • YACenter.org - This site from the Young Americans Center offers a marriage of a bank for kids (called Young Americans Bank) with education about how to handle money.
    • Upromise.com - This site offers a type of semi-free lunch program to help you finance your child's college education. The method is similar to airline frequent flyer programs with member merchants and companies contributing credits to your personal saving for college account when you use services or purchase products. Site registration is free. Clark can't find a downside to the plan  (unless you will end up spending more with member merchants than you would elsewhere just to get the account contribution. ) Look at the site as a win-win, and shop wisely to receive the ultimate benefit.
    • Tuitionpay.com - This site offers an interest-free 10-month tuition repayment plan for a $50 annual fee. Clark suggests that you talk with your son or daughter about attending a 2-year community college program and taking an additional 3 years to complete the remaining two years while working part-time. Attending a community college cuts the cost of a 4-year degree almost in half. Stretching out the remaining two years to work also provides savings benefits. Another way to save is to complete a 4-year degree in just three years. 

       


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