GREENSBORO, NC -- This is fact or fiction for college graduates as they enter the workforce. Certified Financial Planner Matt Logan of Matt Logan, Inc. put together this list:
Fact or fiction: You will be at your first job for the rest of your life.
Fiction: Many graduates put so much stress and emphasis on their first job, expecting it to be their end all be all. This is simply not the case. A study commissioned by Devry University's Career Advisory Board and conducted by Harris Interactive showed that Millennials will more likely have 12 to 15 jobs during their working years. That being said, look for a first job that may be a good stepping stone to your eventual career goal. Gain experiences and skills to prepare you for your ultimate dream job. Treat your early working years as resume building years and do not stress if you do not find your dream job or land in a field that is not your dream field right out of school.
Fact or Fiction: I should put off retirement savings until later in my career.
Fiction: Whether your first job out of college has a retirement plan or you have to start one on your own, you should begin saving as early as possible. If you make it part of your routine, it will help you for years to come. A Fidelity study compared the difference between investing $5000 a year in your IRA at the beginning of every year with a hypothetical return of 7%. If you were to start at age 25 you would have $1,641,122 at the age of 70. If you waited 10 years and started at age 35, you would have $796,687 at age 70. Lesson here, start young and invest regularly. Use the power of compounding early. That money will last a lot longer than the new car, new clothes or expensive vacation that you think you need.
Fact or Fiction: I need to have health insurance.
Fact: You are now officially an adult and on your own. It is no longer your parents responsibility, you need to make sure that you have health insurance coverage on yourself. I know you may not have been to the doctor in years and are the epitome of health. I get that. Nobody plans on needing medical attention in their 20s. You need to be sure you are prepared because a medical catastrophe can harness you with insurmountable debt.
Fact or Fiction: I need to buy a house.
Fiction: You are just out of school. Enjoy it. Home ownership comes with a lot of responsibility and is also something that will tie you down. One of your competitive advantages in the work world is your flexibility and that includes location. Most probably you do not have a family of your own yet. Put that off a bit until you have furthered your career. While owning a home is important, do not rush into it.
Fact or Fiction: I deserve to be in management.
Fiction: You deserve nothing. Employers main gripe with the Millennial Generation is the sense of entitlement. Prove them wrong. Tell prospective employers you want to earn a place in their company. Employers are saying that Millennials expect to go straight from college to the executive suite. That simply does not happen. Your career is more like a marathon than a sprint.
Fact or Fiction: Moving back in with mom and dad is a smart financial decision.
Fact: While it may not sound sexy, moving in with mom and dad after college can be a very wise decision. It may sound way more appealing to risk it all and move to New York City and try to live on credit cards and ramen noodles until you land your dream job, but moving home with the parents is not always a bad thing. Even if your parents require you to pay a nominal rent, moving home to pay off college debt and begin your working career is not always a bad thing. Chances are you have some connections in your hometown that could give you a leg up on landing your first job. I know you parents out there may cringe to hear that. Your job is to make sure you do not make life to comfortable at home, so when they are on their feet both job wise and financially, be sure to edge them out of the nest.
Fact or Fiction: Education debt is always good debt.
Fiction: The old saying is to always invest in your education. This is most of the time true but not always. Be sure that you know what you are getting into ahead of time when it comes to your education debt load. If you are going back to school for a graduate degree or further higher education, you should look hard at the information on graduates of that program. How many land careers in their field and what is the average pay? While it is rare, you can set yourself up for financial disaster by furthering your education into a career that cannot pay for your education debt.
You can also go to my website www.mattloganinc.com for more information on financial topics you may find helpful.
Matt Logan is a Representative with Matt Logan Inc and Summit Brokerage and may be reached at www.mattloganinc.com, 336-808-0126 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt Logan Inc is an independent firm with Securities offered through Summit Brokerage Services, Inc., Member FIRNA, SIPC. Advisory services offered through Summit Financial Group Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor.