As someone who is (cough, cough) approaching the (ahem...) latter part of my career, more and more I find myself thinking about how I will afford to live in my "golden years." Honestly, at the rate I am going it may be something more like my tinfoil years. Why you ask? Because I have two young boys.
For the past fifty years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been tracking how much American's spend on their children, and the numbers are staggering. Yep, from birth to eighteen the U.S.D.A. estimates that, for a child born in 2009, an "average family" will spend $241,452 raising him, and that doesn't include in-app purchases (which based on my children would significantly raise that figure).
I've spent almost a quarter million on each kid? Right now, one is running around naked doing the "bootie dance" while the other is perfecting his well documented "eye rolling technique." Seriously, if there were Olympic events in attitude and ambivalence, my kids would be headed for Rio next week! Where's the value? Where's the ROI? I would have been better giving my money to Bernie Madoff than to my kids.
Honestly, no one can argue that the investment in my children represents a considerable sum that I would be wise to watch and protect. After all, the money spent on my boys far outweighs my 401K!
As my eldest approaches middle school, I find myself worrying more and more about what lies ahead: drugs, alcohol, dating, driving, and increased academic rigor. Stuff is starting to get real! For the first time, I am coming face to face with possibilities that I didn't fear when I taught teenagers, because... Well, I was always around the music kids!
I am scared and genuinely want to protect my greatest assets, my boys, Brayden and Evan. And music represents my best hope at:
- keeping them away from drugs and alcohol
- keeping them from being bullied
- having them be in a safe space
- helping them find academic success
But more than that, music also represents:
- more laughter
- more friends
- more memories
- more meaningful experiences
- more influential adults in their lives
- In short, music represents my best hopes for them!
Getting older means worrying about the future. So yes, more so than ever, I will be checking not on my 401K. But not my two biggest investments, they will be in music, so they will be 401 OK!
Hope you enjoyed this. Have a great week!