Reuters Money

Want to put your kid on road to Millionaire Row by 21? Here’s how

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While some youngsters long to become rock stars or Hollywood heavyweights, others now gravitate towards another stripe of pop-cultural celebrity: the whiz kid who becomes a millionaire before age 21.

That’s not hard to fathom now, given the likes of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and other tech hotshots. But for Susan Beacham — founder of Money Savvy Generation — steady strokes and ingrained habits set kids on the course to riches. And Beacham should know: She practices what she preaches with her two teenage daughters, Allison, 19, and Amanda, 17.

“If you know how to behave like a millionaire by the time you’re 21, you may not have the cool million in hand, but you’ll be on your way,” says Beacham, whose Chicago-area company develops products that teach basic personal finance skills to school-age children. “You’ll have the seed money and have established the good behaviors.”

What follows are five key tips from Beacham, wealth management experts and at least one tyke tycoon who made his first million as a teen. Follow them and chances are excellent your child will have the tools he or she needs to make a million — along with a good chunk of starter funds to boot.

Passion or obsession? Collecting can add up to serious dollars

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You could say that Jay Pomerantz is a fan of the New York Jets.

You might suspect that from the room in his Long Island house, decorated wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling with memorabilia from the NFL team – game-worn cleats, bloodied jerseys from the 1960s, old playbooks and even Super Bowl rings. Some of the items are so rare and valuable that the team itself displays some of Pomerantz’s collection in its front office.

He’s spent about $200,000 over 20 years as he’s amassed over 1,000 Jets-related items –

Budget wars: The middle class loses big time

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President Barack Obama talks about the budget in the White House press briefing room in Washington, April 5, 2011.   REUTERS/Larry Downing Now that federal government shutdown has been averted, it’s a good time to examine what’s at stake for most of America in the crucial next round of budget talks.

Not doing anything to reduce the size of government debt will be catastrophic. Not much quibble there. But acting hastily and cutting the wrong things can be even more costly to social and economic welfare.

IRS commissioner: My taxes are done. Where are yours?

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Commissioner of Internal Revenue Doug Shulman speaks to Reuters during an interview at his office in Washington, October 8, 2009. REUTERS/Hyungwon Kang   A threatened government shutdown won’t stop Internal Revenue Service commissioner Douglas Shulman from filing his own taxes on time; they’re already done. “I make sure it gets done on time,” he told Reuters. “I just have to look it over.” He said that taxpayers should follow that example and not expect to get any extra filing time if there is a temporary federal work stoppage.

“The IRS will be accepting tax returns,” he told the National Press Club in a luncheon speech on April 6. “The American people should file their taxes and they are required to file by April 18.”

Social Security cuts annual statement mailings

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A woman sorts paperwork at her home in Concord, North Carolina on November 17, 2010. REUTERS/Chris Keane Here’s a chicken-or-egg question for you: is Social Security’s future really imperiled, or do Americans just think it’s falling apart because Washington keeps shooting the program in the foot?

Consider the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) decision to stop sending out the annual benefit statement we all get in the mail. The agency plans to save $30 million by suspending mailings for the remainder of the current fiscal year, which ends in September, and an additional $60 million next year by restricting mailings to workers 60 and older.

What if you can’t pay your taxes?

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A person fills out tax forms in this file photo. REUTERS/Jill KitchenerGetting to the end of your 1040 form and finding a balance due isn’t fun, though at least you can pat yourself on the back for not having made a free loan to the U.S. Treasury. But knowing that you don’t have the money to pay that bill can make you really miserable.

Here’s are seven ways to keep the payments — and the misery — to a minimum.

Can you pass a high school financial literacy test?

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A student reads in New York, October 5, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Segar  When it comes to money, are you smarter than a high school student? Now’s your chance to find out.

Students across the country are taking part in the National Financial Capability Challenge, a voluntary test running from March 7 to April 8 aimed at ramping up knowledge in basic financial matters such as spending, savings and investing.

Meet the “Tiger Mom” of financial education

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Cook Family Tahoe“How can you do that to your kids?”

That’s the question Sacramento’s Sarah Cook hears all the time. And rather than making her feel embarrassed or guilty, she revels in the scorn. Because it tells her she’s on exactly the right track.

To be clear, Cook isn’t quite the Tiger Mom made famous by author Amy Chua, whose drill-sergeant approach to parenting has lit up message boards all over the Web. She doesn’t loom over her three kids during their piano lessons, or fire thousands of math problems at them until they achieve absolute perfection.

Tax reform in an era of deficits

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Eric Toder is an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute and co-director of the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center. The opinions expressed are his own.

This post is part of an ongoing series on tax reform ideas. Where do you stand? Come back regularly to be a part of the national debate.

The Obama budget: What’s NOT in it for you

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President Barack Obama speaks about the budget during his visit to Parkville Middle School and Center of Technology in Parkville, Maryland February 14, 2011.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque President Obama’s proposal for the fiscal year 2012 federal budget is just that: A proposal that would have to wind its way through a Republican-controlled House and a divided Senate to become law. So there’s no sense in panicking about what’s in it and what isn’t.

But here is why you need to pay attention: The wish list, released on Feb. 14, is indicative of the themes that will dominate the remainder of this presidential term and the 112th Congress. Individual taxpayers will find a tight budget. Retirees could get an extra break, and students may lose valuable subsidies.