As you know, Jessica and I are having a baby in a few months, so we've been thinking about how we're going to invest in our kids' futures. Everyone at work is horrified when I tell them that we're not going to pay for our kids' collage. I know such a stance is evil and unAmerican, but hear me out.
1. People line up to loan money to college students; no one will loan Jessica and I money for our retirement. College loans are cheap, easy money with low interest rates and undemanding repayment schedules.
2. Our kids will probably be sick of my meddling by the time they leave the house.
3. There may be more efficient ways to invest in your kids... ways that most people don't think about but that can make an even bigger difference in their lives. For example, Jessica is planning to be a stay-at-home mom; there's an opportunity cost to that decision, and in the long run it will certainly be more expensive than paying college tuition.
When it comes to launching missiles in the Mommy Wars, Sarah Palin has nothing on Christopher Ruhm. On Thursday, the University of North Carolina, Greenboro, economist published a study showing that kids from high-socioeconomic-status families take a long-term hit when their moms work outside the home—at ages 10 and 11, they perform more poorly on cognitive tests and are also more likely to be overweight than those whose high-status mothers leave the workforce. ... "This comes down to a fundamental principle of economics: something has to give. We can't have it all," he says.
That's right. We think having a stay-at-home mom will be a bigger advantage for our kids than a stack of money would be when they turn 18.