Tags:Finances for New Grads,college,finance,graduates,new,universities
Grab video code:
Kevin McCormally: I am Kevin McCormally of Kiplinger's. I am here with Janet Bodnar, the Deputy Editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, to talk about financial advice for new college grads. Janet, what kind of financial advice can parents give their new grads to get them off on the right foot financially.
Janet Bodnar: Well, I think one thing parents have to realize is the kids will actually listen to them, so they can give them almost any kind of financial advice. Parents think that the kids won't listen but it's really interesting, a study that I recently saw showed that 70% of Gen-Xers and Gen-Yers look to their parents for financial advice. I mean you think of it Kevin, who else are they going to go to, to ask about their 401(k) contributions or how to set up a Roth IRA.
Kevin McCormally: You really think 20 somethings are going to put money into retirement account.
Janet Bodnar: Well, it's certainly unrealistic to think that they are going to put 8% of their income into a retirement account but even small amounts are going to build up over time if kids start at this early age and that's specially true if their own employer is going to be matching the contribution. And also, you can give them the seed money for, say, a Roth IRA as a graduation gift.
Kevin McCormally: Another issue that comes up when kids graduate from college, it is often when they go off their parents' health insurance plan, big issue.
Janet Bodnar: Yeah, it is a big issue. I think parents are more concerned about this sometimes than the kids are. But parents need to know that first of all, they can keep their kids on their own insurance for another and additional 36 months under the Federal COBRA provision which is a good idea if the kids have a preexisting medical condition. If the kids don't have a preexisting condition, they can probably buy a high deductible insurance policy or a short-term policy for a very affordable premium, may be as low as $50-150 a month.
Kevin McCormally: Okay, a lot of these kids are getting out of school with a boat loaded debt. What advice should parents have on that score?
Janet Bodnar: Well, as far as students loans are concerned, kids need to know they can't blow these things off because paying these things on time is what's going to help them build a good credit ratings. They have to be responsible about it. Now, if they are experiencing some economic hardship, either they don't have a job, for example, federal loans come with very lenient repayment terms, so they can actually deffer repayment of those loans and sometimes it's the parent who's going to have to remind the kids of this.
Kevin McCormally: What about top line tax advice for new graduates?
Janet Bodnar: There are lot of tax breaks that are available to 20 something. So, for example, if you take your first job away from home at a location that's more than 50 miles away from home, you can deduct your moving expenses. Also, you may be entitled to a saver's credit depending on your income, you may be entitled to a saver's credit if you do contribute to a retirement account and then, of course, you can deduct up to $2,500 in student loan interest even if you don't itemize your deductions.