Category: Parenting Written by Amber Bogins
Generation after generation, parents have taught their children to prepare for college now, which often means in elementary school or even earlier.
These days, financial experts like John McDonough are giving parents the same advice.
"Can you afford the college that will give them the best chance in life? Will paying for their education force you to have to work well into your golden years? These are the questions I ask parents every day," says McDonough, CEO of Studemont Group College Funding Solutions, CollegeFundingFreedom.com, which offers advice for parents worrying about how to pay for their child's education.
"Many parents really don't know how to begin answering these questions; they are afraid of walking into a financial situation that they won't be able to safely walk out of. But the alternative – saddling their children with debt well into their 30s and 40s – is not an appealing alternative."
McDonough reviews four disturbing trends in the challenge of paying for a college education:
• The net worth of today's 30-somethings: Adults in their 30s have 21 percent less net worth than 30-somethings 30 years ago, according to a new Urban Institute report. Why? Much of it has to do with high-interest student loans and credit card debt. The return on investment of a college education is excellent – college grads earn 84 percent more than those with only a high school diploma, according to Georgetown's Center on Education and the Workforce. But paying off that investment without outside help is exceedingly burdensome for a graduate.
• Student loan debt is even greater than credit card debt: That's right – topping all Americans who have made poor decisions with their credit cards are ambitious high school graduates, whose collective student load debt shoots past $1 trillion! More important than this being a crucial social epidemic, it's potentially a very real problem for your child. President Obama scored some political points in identifying with most Americans when he said his student load debt was paid off only after he was elected to the U.S. Senate. Two-thirds of students leave college with some form of debt, according to the Federal Reserve Bank.
• Fluctuating interest rates: Recent controversy over federal Stafford loans interest rates adds to the insecurity of borrowing as a college financing strategy. Given the unpredictability of Congress, which allowed the U.S, credit rating to drop while standing on political principles, one can't reliably predict whether interest rates will rise or fall.
• Your children cannot refinance their loans: While a borrower who has racked up tens of thousands of dollars in gambling debt can refinance their payments, student loans remain at fixed rates. In collecting money on student loans, there is no statute of limitation, and today it's very common – the norm, actually – for student loan holders to take nearly two decades to pay off their debt. With the annual average cost of public universities exceeding $22,000 per year, and the same often surpassing $50,000 at private universities, it's no surprise.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 July 2013 11:07
Category: Parenting Written by Ashley Killough, CNN
Parents often dream about their child's future, but a career in politics seems more like a nightmare to many.
Nearly two-thirds–64%–of Americans would not like their child to pursue a political career, compared to 31% who think that would be a good path, according to a Gallup survey released Friday.
That number has remained relatively consistent since Gallup began asking about sons and daughters in 1993. Those who approved of a career in politics for their child have fluctuated between 61% and 71%.
With the country recovering from a bitter presidential campaign and with the approval ratings of Congress hovering just above 10%, it's no surprise that parents want their children to avoid one of the least-liked professions among Americans.
A Gallup survey released last month showed Congress ranking last among 16 society institutions in terms of confidence levels from the American people. The military placed first, small business came in second, church and organized religion came in third and the presidency came in fourth.
Breaking it down by demographics, nonwhites are much more likely than whites to say they would like to see their child go into politics, according to Gallup. By a margin of 42% to 26%, nonwhites say they'd like their son to have a political career, and 45% to 25% say they'd like their daughter to do the same.
There is little difference between ideologies, though Democrats and independents are slightly more likely than Republicans to want their child to go into politics. Men are also a little bit more likely than women to want their sons and daughters to choose a politically-related career.
Interestingly, the numbers significantly change according to the order of the questions. Americans are much more likely to say they want their daughter or son to go into politics when they're asked about a daughter first. Thirty-seven percent say they'd like to see their daughter go into politics; when followed up with a question about a son going into politics, an equal amount say they would like that kind of future for their son.
However, when Gallup switched up the order and asked about a son first, the number of those wanting to see a son go into politics drops 12 percentage points to 25%. When asked about a daughter next, 26% said they would like their daughter to go into politics–also a sharp decrease.
Thirty-one percent marks the average of both genders when considering the order of the questions. Gallup says the answering trend has been consistent in the past.
"This suggests that Americans may be interpreting the question as one about gender equality when asked about a daughter first, and therefore that makes them more likely to favor a political career for their children of either sex," read a release that came with the poll. "When asked about a son first, Americans may interpret the question as more straightforward one about the desirability of a political career and are less likely to favor it for either a son or daughter in that circumstance."
While Gallup started asking about daughters in 1993, the polling institution has been questioning Americans about sons since 1944. Curiously, the number of those wanting to see their son go into politics has changed little since then, when it stood at 21%. The highest point ever was in 1965, when 36% said they wanted to see their son go into politics. This was a time when "Americans were still rallying around President Johnson after he took office following the death of John F. Kennedy," the release stated.
Gallup surveyed 2,048 American adults by telephone from June 20-24, with a sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.
Last Updated on Friday, 05 July 2013 16:18
Category: Parenting Written by Michigan Chronicle Staff
More than more 72% of African American children grow up without a father in their household according to a study conducted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. A group of Charlotte filmmakers are on a mission to change that sobering statistic.
One Day in June is an independently financed feature film about one father's journey to find and reconnect with the children he abandoned. Charlotte film director Narcel Reedus and producers Charles Easley, Angela Washington plan to begin production by the end of 2013 and release the movie on Father's Day 2014.
"We are committed to changing the perception of fathers particularly in the African American community by showing a man stepping up to establish an ongoing relationship with his kids", says producer, writer and educator Charles Easley. "This is going to be more just a than a movie. This is a movement."
The story of One Day in June focuses on the character Russ, an old man content in his simple world. One day he decides to find the children he fathered but did not raise. His journey takes him to Chris, his youngest son, who is an addict but more afraid that his partner has moved on. Russ finds Lisa his single and childless daughter who is consumed with books and paranoid about her job. Russ and Lisa visit his oldest son Jamal in prison. Jamal is the spitting image of Russ and has come to terms with the bad decisions he's made in the past by vowing to live a life free of negativity and stress. He carries this annoying philosophy on his sleeve, which causes more stress and negativity around him. Finally there is Keisha, Russ' oldest daughter. Keisha (aka K.L.) is a successful Black Republican who bullies her two children, husband and anyone that attempts to get her in way. She becomes completely unhinged when Russ arrives at her doorstep on Thanksgiving Day with the family she never knew.
The filmmakers have set up office space at the Garage at Packard Place, a small business hub for entrepreneurship and innovation in Uptown Charlotte. They are currently seeking funding for the $1.5M budget to begin production and are using the crowdsourcing portal Kickstarter to raise $10,000 for pre-production.
The One Day in June producers are using the strategy of launching a Kickstarter campaign (www.kickstarter.com/projects/1048081911/one-day-in-june) and social media to connect with their target audience before the film is even made. This new trend in film distribution, starting the marketing of a film before production begins, is actually an old strategy taken from the playbook of legendary Black filmmaker Oscar Micheaux whose early silent films featured an all Black cast and relied on financial support from the African American community. Many independent filmmakers today are finding this model for film marketing and distribution critical to compete in a market place dominated by Hollywood blockbusters.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 July 2013 15:20
Category: Parenting Written by Myeisha Essex, Hello Beautiful
Jay-Z reveals one of his biggest fears in the new promo video for his upcoming album, Magna Carta Holy Grail.
The hip-hop mogul, who grew up in a single-parent household, said he worries about his ability to be a great father to his 16-month-old daughter, Blue Ivy Carter.
"My pop left when I was young. He didn't teach me how to be a man nor how to raise a child — or treat a woman," he says to record producer Rick Rubin. "So, of course, my karma, the two things I need, I don't have, right, and I have a daughter. It's the paranoia of not being a great dad."
He goes on to say that sometimes he and his wife Beyonce stare at Blue in awe.
"[She's] something that we both created," he says. "We still marvel at her."
Jay details his unconditional love for Blue Ivy on two tracks on his new album, "Heaven" and "Jay-Z Blue."
In "Heaven" he raps, "For me, my idea is, heaven is in your daughter's laughter. Hell could be if your child was missing for three minutes, you're in three minutes of hell."
Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 July 2013 14:45
Category: Parenting Written by Amber Bogins
Jupiter Strong and The Lunch Lion, by Frank Edwards and Kelly A. Abel, is the story of 5-year old Jupiter Strong's first day of "kinneygarden". Awash with excitement, she can hardly wait to begin her day! However, Jupiter's older brother has mischievous plans! He convinces Jupiter that she is in imminent danger by way of "The Lunch Lion" who lurks in the cafeteria, waiting for unsuspecting kindergarteners.
Jupiter uses critical thinking, a sense of self worth and deductive reasoning to unravel the mystery! The storytelling style is modern, easy to read and perfect for family story time! The artwork is captivating and reminiscent of gallery ready portraits. With each turn of the page, readers of all ages are invited a bit closer to connect with and get to know the Strong Family.
Author Frank Edwards, comments, "You must be the change you want to see in the world. It was from that mindset the Jupiter Strong series was born. The goal is to create marketplace viable content, that children will love and parents will appreciate. Our focus with this series was to showcase images of African people in dignifying terms. The world of Jupiter Strong is our contribution to the rebuilding of the global African. From our series, children will learn critical thinking skills, self love, communal responsibility and have fun doing it!"
Each story is socially relevant, and pointed. The ongoing theme is Black love, Black family Pan-Africanism and the destruction of negativity.
He adds: "Conceived of love, carried with love and delivered with love: Jupiter Strong."
Last Updated on Monday, 01 July 2013 14:23
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