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Your Financial Life

Parents and Children

Middle and High School


Starting your career and family

Preparing for retirement


What's your financial IQ?
Do you practice the best financial behaviors?
Training Near You
Personal Investing (book)





Financial Life Cycle


  Childhood High School and College Starting a career and a family Growing your career Retirement
Education Parents are the main influence in elementary years so training aimed at parents is important.

Children should be taught to resist "buy" messages, to evaluate purchases, and to save. Thrifty parents are one of the strongest indicators of financially competent people.

Middle school is a good time to teach concepts of the time value of money.

Resist "buy" messages.

Differentiate between wants and needs.

Budgeting and record keeping.

Manage and evaluate use of credit cards.

Manage student debt.

Interest rates and duration.

Investments. Risk and return. Asset allocation.

Learn the 16 basic financial literacy actions.

Set financial goals.

Creating a personal budget.

Effective home purchase and trade-up strategies.

Maximize employee benefits.

Purchase insurance for risk management.

Maximize after-tax returns by effective tax planning and use of tax-advantaged instruments such as IRAs, etc.

Estate planning.

Revisit budget with every life change.

Revisit financial goals with each life change (marriage, children, job change, etc.).

Evaluate and monitor asset acquisition for major financial goals.

Continue evaluation of insurance needs and reevaluate providers on a regular basis.

Regular evaluation of use and choice of employee benefits.

Estate planning.

Prior to retirement evaluate payout options.

Manage transition in health care and evaluate and secure options for gaps.

Reevaluate insurance needs with change in job status.

Learn how to preserve savings and manage income.

Estate planning.


Teaching Moments Making a large purchase (video game player) can be a good teaching moment if the child is required to save for it over time, contribute part of savings to college,  and evaluate how to make the best purchase. Saving and investing in a car can be a good learning experience. Students should be taught to evaluate options, purchase insurance and make the best decision.

For college students, seeking financial aid is a key teaching moment on the assumption of major debt.



Purchase of home.

New job orientation.

Arrival of children.


Change in job (Promotion or demotion).

Periods of underemployment.

Periods of self-employment.

Dropping out of the workforce to care for children.

Returning to the workforce.

Taking care of parents.


Post retirement.

Death in family

Actions to teach Incorporate training in middle schools.

Start bank account for college savings.

Hypothetical stock portfolios can be good teaching tools if maximum short-term gain is not the objective.

Incorporate training in high schools.

Workplace training and one-on-one consultations are effective.

Churches or other community groups.

Monitor and reevaluate. Pre-retirement training. Regular training in senior communities and centers.



This website is maintained by Leslie Lum and does not reflect the opinions or position of Bellevue Community College.  Contact if you have any questions.

Last updated: 1/12/07