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The advice your parents gave you might be outdated.
posted in: Financial Wellness
by Christy McFarland

Outdated Advice

The advice your parents gave you growing up might not hold up in today’s world. Joe Buhrmann, from the Financial Security area of COUNTRY Financial, debunks some common pieces of “outdated” advice. 

Outdated advice #1: Marry a good man or woman and you’ll be set for life 

Joe: Maybe, maybe not. How many people do we know whose lives have been shattered by a breakup, both emotionally and financially? And it’s not just “young people.” How many times have you seen individuals over the age of 50 who get divorced – just when you’ve finally got the kids through college and things are supposed to be going great? The only person who can truly be in control of your lifelong financial security, is you.

Outdated advice #2: Find a good company and your career will be solid

Joe: With today’s mobile workforce, it’s unlikely you’ll work for one, or even two, companies during your career. Statistics show you’ll likely make seven to eight moves during your career – and that’s just the average. Make sure to stay-up-to-date on your skills and always be relevant. 

Outdated advice #3: Buy the biggest house you can afford

Joe: Not. How many individuals do you know who are “house rich and cash poor?” And what happens when the unforeseen occurs?  A job loss?  Disability or illness? A housing market crash? Instead, focus on living a little below your means, giving you the flexibility to stay nimble.

Outdated advice #4: Debit cards are safer than credit cards

Joe:  Consumer protection laws treat debit cards and credit cards differently. In the event of fraudulent charges on a credit card, you usually won’t have to pay more than double digits. However, if fraudulent activity occurs with a debit card, you could be personally liable for much more, depending on how soon you report it.

Outdated advice #5: A college degree guarantees success

Joe: While a college degree can certainly help, it’s more important to make sure your skills are relevant to what employers are seeking.  Always be learning and continue to brush up on the latest technology or relevant trade journals. 

In addition, don’t discount the trades. While a college degree may open some doors, so will possessing relevant hands-on skills that can’t be outsourced to technology, such as the building, plumbing and electrical trades – all of which are still relevant in today’s economy.  It’s also important to stay connected to those within and outside your industry. The key to that new job might be more of who you know, than what you know.

We’d love to hear from you!  

Are there other pieces of advice you’ve heard that you think is outdated? Tell us below in the comments!

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