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Bob Doucette: Until we solve the student debt crisis, we can just stow our financial advice | Columnists

A college education is seen as a way to increase earning capacity, but many college students are leaving schools saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt — a fact that leaves them financially disabled compared to previous generations.

Mike Simmons, Tulsa World Profile

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Take a look at your distant past, the time when you sought (or received) advice on what to do with your money.

I can remember receiving tips from my family, friends, and anyone else who might have insight to share.

Save what you can. Invest early and often in stock market mutual funds. Debt repayment. Buy a house.

This is what I used to hear when I was about 20 and working hard barely with two nickels to rub together. I have done my best to turn these tips into reality.

Many years later, I can look back on those early days and see how I checked those boxes. I’m not rich by any means, and who knows if I have enough for retirement. But it could be worse.

Recently, I found myself talking to a friend the same age as when I first opened an IRA, and one year later, I bought my first home. Like the hand of a wise old man, I bothered all those tips, and then, in the middle, stopped myself from the cold.

Everything I told this girl was beyond time.

When my wife and I left college, we had about $10,000 in student debt. The payment schedule was such that we could pay it off in about five years, which we did.

Our overheads were low: inexpensive housing, two paid cars, and nominal consumer debt. Even with as little profit as we did, there was money we could put into things like savings and, eventually, a down payment for a HUD home that would cost us 40k.



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