Professional single moms make big money mistake (my Forbes debut)


I’m thrilled to announce my paid contributor position with Forbes. Please follow me there. One more place to keep the conversation going. Thanks!  

First the good news: Professional single moms are doing pretty well, financially speaking. According to a recent Allianz survey, on average we earn nearly $80,000, and most of us do not get any child support. Yay us!

Bad news: We feel guilty about our situations and hold dumb financial beliefs as a result. Namely, that we should invest in our kids’ colleges before our own retirement. This bad, but the reason why is worse: Guilt.

Check out my Forbes post on this study, why we are such a mess and what to do about it.


2 thoughts on “Professional single moms make big money mistake (my Forbes debut)

  1. Interesting. I’ll check it out.

    Many of the parents I work with are not contributing any, or as much, to our 401K, and often one of their reason is “I have to put aside money for my children’s college”. To which I tell them, “Don’t feel that paying for your kids college is a requirement. Me, and two of my three siblings, worked full-time while paying for our own college.” Granted, as long as we were working and getting educated (and adhering to some home rules), our parents allowed us to live at home until we completed college and got a job.

    And nowadays kids have more options. Our local public school offers free tuition to students who go on to community college depending upon the county where you live. That same community college offers coursework at the high schools where students can get both high school and college credit, get a lot of it paid for, and graduate high school up to 24 hours ahead in pursuing a degree. Also, the high school students can go to tech school and learn a trade or AAS degree, so if they want a better paying job while they pay for college there is that option. Finally, a lot of companies provide some form of tuition reimbursement, and the place I work does hire young people who could benefit from up to $5,000 a year is paid tuition.

    Not to mention the responsibility and work ethic a young person can learn in early years that can benefit them in the future. A friend’s stepdaughter is working full-time doing sales and marketing, and now about halfway through her degree pursuit. You can see she is getting proficient with skills of professionalism at just age 20, and she’s gotten a couple promotions where she is. She’ll come out ahead of many of her peers I suspect, just from working towards her own college.

    And of course, leaving college without debt is a great thing.

    Parents spend too much effort keeping their kids from dealing with pain, discomfort, and true work. Many parents give their kids too much, and the kids have to put in little effort to get goodies they don’t deserve from mommy and daddy. Putting away money for college – and not into retirement – is often also accompanied by spoiling Johnny and Janey by paying their phone bills, buying cars and the latest fashions.

    Bottom line, no parent should feel guilty if their kid has to pay their own way through college. College is for the kiddos’ futures, and they can build their own. In my experience, it was challenging going to school full-time and working full-time. I also, often worked a part-time job as well. Still, it was the best years of my life, and it can pay off times over.

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