Tampa Bay expert takes mystery out of money - WFLA News Channel 8

Tampa Bay expert takes mystery out of money

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Cary Siegel Cary Siegel
TARPON SPRINGS, FL (WFLA) -

As DJ Hall pushes his 2-year-old on the swings in St. Petersburg, he's not worrying about her financial future. He admits, though, that it's never too early to start planning.

"I think it's really important for kids to learn about money," Hall said. "Teach them that you can't get something every time you go to the store."

Hall plans to start small with his two young daughters, and first teach them that their toys and clothes have value.

"There were no finance classes offered where I went to school," Hall said. "You basically just trust an advisor to say 'oh I want something that's not high risk not low risk.'"

Cary Siegel, a retired business executive, and father of five in Tarpon Springs, says Hall is on the right track. Siegel wrote the book "Why Didn't They Teach Me This In School?" when he realized his children wouldn't be prepared to make financial decisions unless he taught them.

"If they don't learn it and they go out in to the world they can get into real trouble right away," Siegel said.

According to the Employees Benefit Research Institute, more Americans than ever have no confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement.

Siegel says understanding finances doesn't have to be like learning a foreign language. He recommends starting by teaching your kids these three things:

  • Always live below your means. Don't live poorly but stay ahead of the game.
  • Develop, plan, track, and analyze a budget.
  • Once you start working take 50% of every salary increase, and save, and invest that.

Hall says his little ones aren't quite ready to learn about stocks and salaries, but he will start helping them unveil the mystery of money.

"I think it's important to talk to her about college and loans," Siegel said. "I have loans from medical school and it's important to think about how that plays out."

 

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