Both of my kids asked me this same question to me in a different way at a different time. The question was this: “Do you make more money than (insert friend’s name here) Dad?”
Don’t you have to love teenagers for their directness? They don’t waste any time if in their attempt to find out exactly what they want to know.
I had to be very careful with my answer to this question. I did not want to overwhelm my kids with facts that I think to be true, but don’t know to be true.
I have dozens of Minnesota company executives, doctors, lawyers, and small business owners who are clients. I have detailed financial compensation levels for wide range of industries and careers.
I explained to my kids that how much a person makes in annual income has a great deal to do with the education level and career choices that they make early in life.
In our economy, the most highly-educated professionals make the most money on an annual basis. There are a few exceptions, but not many when you consider all the possible careers available to young people today.
The money that parents choose to invest in their kid’s education is intended to give the kids as many education options as possible later in life. Education is first, and experience is second as a young worker moves through his or her career.
I told my kids it was too early in their lives to play the game of “what do I want to be when I grow up.” They still have too many years left to be kids.
I ended this discussion with my kids with a question for them. I asked, “How much responsibility do you want to take to educate yourself and develop your God-given ability? How you answer that question, and when you answer that question, will probably determine how much money you will make every year.”
If you want to have the potential to make better-than-average money every year, you need to invest in a better education. My kids seemed to understand the connection and the reality that the world today places a premium on a great education.
A great education starts early, costs a lot of money, and requires the entire family to make it a priority.