Boy do I wish I could start this life's journey all over since I am finally beginning to understand. It has only taken about 4 decades, not counting the 2 decades I needed to figure out the basics. What didn't they tell us? It depends on how many days you intend to devote to the answer. I will give you the big one first: What is it like to be a parent? We can start with the word worry and go from there. From the first breath your child takes to the last breath you take, it's there, lurking in the background waiting for a chance to explode into full consciousness. As parents we understand it, I just wonder how many wouldn't opt for parenthood if they knew in advance.
There are certainly other things they forgot to mention, especially growing older. I have a poster in my office showing an older man with the amazing body of a 30 year old, and the inscription "Growing Old Isn't for Sissy's". Forget the mental aspect of aging – those wonderful senior moments when you can't remember the same phone number you’ve called everyday for the last five years. Just concentrate on the little pains that come out of nowhere. The joke among my friends begins with the greeting "Hi, what hurts today?” I do not feel one bit older than I did 25 years ago, except when I greet the dawn, and my body greets me in oh so many different ways. It generally takes a short while, and everything seems to be back in place. You go through the day, and tomorrow you get to do it again.
I am not sure I would have changed my athletic experiences in high school and college because of what I am going through now, but I wouldn't have minded knowing that I was probably going to have back and knee problems. I guess they forgot to mention it, or just maybe their mornings were still okay.
What really bothers me is the lack of preparedness from the schools for the things that really matter most in my life, and probably yours. I went to a renowned public high school (one that garnered it's own TV series), a junior college, a top 50 public university, and a very well known private university where I received my MBA. And yes, I was unprepared for life, certainly in a financial way. Here’s what I didn't learn:
1. The importance of good credit.
2. The danger of credit cards.
3. How and why I should buy a house, and how to finance it.
4. The difference between investing and gambling.
5. What I should become: doctor, lawyer, accountant, or pilot. Everyone had an opinion, no one had any reasons.
6. Why I should save money. My father told me to, but never told me why. Neither did anyone else.
7. Why I needed insurance.
8. The difference between cheap and inexpensive.
9. How to act on financial matters, not react.
Roger Schlesinger's Mortgage Minute is heard on hundreds of radio stations and daily on the Hugh Hewitt radio show and Michael Medved shows. Roger interacts with his hosts and explores the complicated financial markets in order to enlighten his listeners and direct them along their own unique road to financial freedom.
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