I have to preface this post with two unrelated notices, the first one sad: The company for which I work has recently laid off a number of workers, including a regular reader of this blog. Hang in there, You-know-who-you-are! Say your prayers; you’ll be fine. (I have not been laid off yet.) And secondly, if you’re averse to people bragging about their kids, quit reading now.
In this economy, it’s hard to know how you’ll be able to afford retirement in a couple of decades. Of course, at this rate I am not convinced that 401(k)s, Social Security, or any other traditional method will be worth anything when I reach that age, no matter how carefully I’ve squirreled away my buckage. What’s our secret? Our kids.
What you see here are two U.S. Savings Bonds, each won by one of our older children in a regional essay contest called “Patriot Pen.” Emma won hers last year; Becca’s just arrived recently. They win writing contests, art contests, Prettiest Red-Haired Student contests, I don’t know what all. Emma has over $500 in her savings account, most of it from contests she’s won. It’s like that wonderful little book called “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio,” except our circumstances are not nearly as bad as theirs.
Keep doing that, kids, and you’ll be supporting us in our dotage. (Of course, the way things are going, that may happen anyway.)
People look at our family and gasp, “How will you pay all that college tuition?” or (my favorite) “How will you pay for all those weddings?” We won’t. Our kids can pay their own way, like we did; and we’ll help them however we can. Of course, it helps that they can win a contest occasionally.