What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

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ChipShot
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What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by ChipShot »

The Bogleheads community has an incredible amount of experience and wisdom, clearly when it comes to providing actionable investing advice.

For those who have spent time/money investing in a child's life, what has been the single best investment you have made? Was it years of 529 contributions that snowballed into a paid-for college education? Was it time you devoted to coaching soccer? Was it instruction that led them to develop their own financial education? Was it a direct financial gift that allowed a child to take on a new hobby? What are you most proud of?

Would love to get your perspectives so we aren't saying "in hindsight, I wish we had only..."
brad.clarkston
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by brad.clarkston »

The 529 was the best thing the wife started. It's payed for his BA and will probably pay 80% of a masters.
Life Is Good
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by Life Is Good »

Homeschooling.
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Montessori.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.
Lalamimi
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by Lalamimi »

our time. And we moved to a better school district after then one we had grown up in started "dummying down" in the mid 80s.
Last edited by Lalamimi on Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Normchad
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by Normchad »

I’m not exactly sure what it was. It wasn’t anything financial.

Maybe it was just our time. Or being really attuned to what they needed to keep developing, and trying to support those things......

Just not sure. A big part of me thinks we just got lucky, and we didn’t actually have very much influence in the good outcome.....

As Freakonomics says “It doesn’t matter if you take the kids to a museum, it only matters that you are the kind of people that would think about taking your kids to a museum”. Or something like that
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Stinky
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by Stinky »

Paying up for a house in a much better school system.

That was a lot cheaper than private school for 3 kids.
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runner3081
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by runner3081 »

Lalamimi wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:18 pmour time.
Bingo, spending time with our daughter.

Also helps to stay married and avoid the shuffle (though, not always unavoidable).
rich126
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by rich126 »

Lalamimi wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:18 pmour time.
I never had kids but thinking back when I was a kid, I have to agree. My father tended to work a lot but my mother was always there for us and those memories are priceless, especially since she passed away a while ago.
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ChipShot
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by ChipShot »

These are great suggestions so far, thank you all for your contributions. The time and schooling/education suggestions (529s, private school, better public school system, etc) are all very important.

Also, love the Freakanomics quote about being the kind of people to think about taking your kid to a museum, as well as the honesty about not being sure about what it was that was the most beneficial.

I haven't read Freakanomics in a long time, looks like it is due for a re-reading.
NotWhoYouThink
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

Cooking. Letting them help with meals. Having them prepare a few without my help.

They can both cook, one is a much better cook than I am. But it was a way to spend time together when both parents were working tough jobs, and it gave them a great life skill. Life is a lot cheaper when you can turn rice and beans into 4 nights of meals and enjoy eating them.
Lalamimi
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by Lalamimi »

runner3081 wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:25 pm
Lalamimi wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:18 pmour time.
Bingo, spending time with our daughter.

Also helps to stay married and avoid the shuffle (though, not always unavoidable).
indeed. We have been married 45 yrs. Daughter married 6 (late start). Unfortunately our son is "just with" the same someone, on and off, over 20 yrs.
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

Our best investment for benefit of our daughters was paying for their college education, including graduate degrees.

They had zero debt to whittle down when they graduated, and have thrived in their careers.

It could be said a stable home life is just as important, but I don't think that is an investment, other than the time spent with them as they were growing up. One would hope all children grow up in a stable home, with good role models; sadly, we know that is not the case. DW provided by way of example a moral upbringing, and showed them how to be confident, strong young women. I'm proud to say our daughters are doing the same for their daughters.

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otinkyad
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by otinkyad »

The same as in my own life: reading, schooling, and traveling. They’re synergistic, and hard to pick apart, but travel is the rarest, if I had to pick just one. At 17, DS has been to 21 states and 8 foreign countries, and it has clearly affected both his reading and his schooling, and the way he thinks about the world. Seeing the Tower of London and Napoleon’s Tomb at age six really made history visceral, and it made all the things he hadn’t been to seem more real as well.
fullplay2024
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by fullplay2024 »

brad.clarkston wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:13 pm The 529.
+1
Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

1) time
2) stable household including not moving frequently.
3) 529 plan.
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rvfigs
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by rvfigs »

Excellent question.

The best investment we ever made in our children's lives was TIME.

1. Made it a priority to place family over career ambitions
2. Used our sick time to attend school functions
3. Kept sacred family dinner time
4. Made it a priority to create long lasting memories with road trips in the summer
5. Never purchased new cars...used the money instead for enrichment education, music lessons, etc.
6. Reminded our kids to work hard, to be tolerant, to be kind & respectful, to love family, to find passion, to help others, etc.

Regardless of any life challenges that surfaced in the family, we ALWAYS made TIME for the above.
asif408
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by asif408 »

To me its time and emotional development. Because what's the point of saving money for a kid if they are not prepared for life emotionally? No amount of money can fix that or make up for that down the road.
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Investors Mind Money
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by Investors Mind Money »

Besides supporting her academics, extra curricular activities and funding 529 plans, the best investment we made in our child's life is by teaching her about investing and compounding effect. We involved her in opening a Roth IRA and investing money in broad based US Index Fund (VTSAX) from her summer job. We also let her fill out her tax return.
furnace
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by furnace »

Have multiple children. It's very lonely being a solo child.
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alpenglow
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by alpenglow »

By far the best investment was my wife staying at home with the kids. They would never be the people they are now without her.
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

furnace wrote: Wed Sep 30, 2020 4:17 pm Have multiple children. It's very lonely being a solo child.
Not everyone is lonely.
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Sandi_k
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by Sandi_k »

Continuous medical coverage.

We would have bankrupted my family if we hadn't had it. Me especially - born with a significant birth defect that required immediate surgery and months of hospitalization.
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nisiprius
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by nisiprius »

We didn't exactly plan it that way, but the allowance we gave him, together with what he earned on a paper route, was not enough for him to buy the freestyle bike he wanted--but it was enough for him to buy separate parts--the frame, the wheels one at a time, the seat, I don't remember what-all. So he not only learned about saving up, he also became a decent amateur bicycle mechanic. The bike he decided to assemble from parts was, incidentally, all from different manufacturers and mismatched in color, etc.

I don't know if that's the best investment we ever made, but it was a good one.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.
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dogagility
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by dogagility »

Our time... especially having one of us be with them consistently during their formative years.
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bigskyguy
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by bigskyguy »

Education savings, first in after tax accounts, later in 529s. We’ve allowed three daughters to finish undergraduate, one a masters, and provide four grandsons with funds to cover a significant percentage of tuition expenses (one is a college freshman, with three more starting in the next three years).

Our daughters carries no debt after graduation, making transition into adulthood and independence free of one great obstacle. We are very adverse to personal debt, having seen distant relatives’ lives more than challenged by debt. All four of our parents survived the Great Depression as first generation immigrants in NYC, Appalachia, and on farms in North Dakota. They enforced upon us thrift and responsibility - debt was in their minds to be avoided at all costs.
Wish that lesson was more universally understood today.
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leeks
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by leeks »

+1 on time:
  • a parent at home during early years and most of the days/hours when the children are not in school
  • both parents home for the majority of mornings, evenings and weekends
providing a sibling we also hope will provide dividends into old age
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Re: What is the best investment you made in your children's/a child's life?

Post by Flyer24 »

Topic has drifted into parenting/family life. This subforum is for your personal investments.
This subforum is for all questions about your (or your friend's or family's) actual investments or investment planning. This includes retirement plan accounts and taxable accounts. If you have a question about what to buy, what to hold, what to sell or how to set up an asset allocation plan, ask it here.
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