As a personal credit assessment planner I come into contact with all ages of individuals facing daily challenges involving debt, credit and home ownership issues including foreclosure. What I find interesting is how the different age groups hold different values or rather priorities. Understanding those differences can be very valuable in itself.
As a senior I reflect back to my teenage years when I thought I knew it all. With a new driver’s license, my cousin only a year older than myself and her friend and I started out on a road trip from Indiana to Florida to visit our grandparents in Florida’s panhandle. Our grandparents were farmers who lived about 15 miles from town. A self sufficient home with only one television with maybe two snowy channels and a radio to entertain us. We had only one horse to share rides, a small nearby creek to swim in, and miles of sand roads to walk while picking black berries for a cobbler come supper time. My grandparents did not take out to eat, our treat was a home grown water melon cut under the shade of a big pecan tree in the front yard. No trip to town or the movies, their contribution to our entertainment was their time and conversation. In their wisdom, they enriched our lives with possibilities that existed within our own imaginations. Stimulating and motivating us to discover what was exciting within our current surroundings, not what was in town. Values of time, lives and money are taught by someone who cares.
How things change, my sixteen year old grandson has visited for a week. He brought with him his personal computer and preferred computer games. Conversation is almost a impossibility and he leaves the computer only to come to the table to eat, sleeping from early hours of the morning to late morning. I see no imagination, nor motivation to interact with others. Sadly he seems to only hold value in the world of cyber space and artificial entities.
I have other grandchildren, and I know all teens are not like this. What concerns me is a whole generation of our youth seemingly has missed the lessons in equating realistic value of life, time and money. Every loss has a cost. Those values, a basis for decision making, are essential life’s lessons that can be learned from the older generation if a bridge could be built.
When I hold classes for late teens and early twenty year olds I see the bewildering look on their faces. I hear their questions on basic necessary components in managing money. Our most basic perception of money is discovered at an early age around the time we learn to recognize what money is and what it can do for us. Without direction that perception can become very distorted with serious outcomes.
The thirty and forty year olds who have been on their own have learned value lessons from their mistakes. Sadly they too still have many questions. If there were some way to set up a mentoring program with seniors who have experienced the last great depression with some basic HOW TO’s that got them through those rough times. Yes, times are different, however, there are some of life’s lessons that are ageless.
The young could teach the seniors about the new world of credit, today’s language and the many forms of communication. The thirty something group going through foreclosure could share their experience with the ugly games banks and creditors play. How creative financing when purchasing a home is just a new label put on an old bottle of ‘snake oil’ and sold to the unsuspected.
Each generation has something to learn from the others. Before the dust settles on this economic turmoil, perhaps as in other times of great need, all generations will come together, pool their knowledge and resources and take us to a time of realization that the most important thing we have is time, and that glitters is not gold.
Help us help others, pass on this info. Spectrum Resources offers counseling in debt, credit and home ownership to those seeking financial self sufficiency. Come back to learn more, or contact us at (863) 967-0660 / email: SpectrumResources@tampabay.rr.com.
As a fund raiser we have the opportunity to offer, ” HEY! WHERE’S MY MONEY ?” a little 128 page book filled with big insight into daily money management written by local author Janet Shore. “HEY! WHERE’S MY MONEY ?” regularly sells for $12.95, but as a fund raiser Spectrum Resources offers it with a tax exempt donation of $10.00 including shipping, in the form of a money order mailed to Spectrum Resources 2014 Brentwood Dr. Auburndale, FL. 33823 or through www.Checkman.com/pay4it/12985 a online checking payment service.
Ms. Shore’s book “HEY ! WHERE’S MY MONEY ?” is an easy to read and easy to follow instructional and motivational book. This could be a great gift for a young adult entering the responsibility world of debt and credit, and at the same time supporting our educational efforts. Please help us help others in providing financial literacy, all tax exempt donations are welcomed and greatly appreciated.