Saving For College Education
My father was a self-made man. He grew up in a very poor family. His condition was so dire that he lived on hand-me downs from his friends and class mates, as he couldn’t pay for his books and school fees himself.
He would borrow books from his classmates after they were done studying, and then study through the night to catchup on that week’s topic in school. He knew he had to score the highest marks in school to qualify for the scholarships. These scholarships then paid the fees which his dad couldn’t afford.
This was his story growing up in school, and even through college. He became a metallurgical engineer and completed his PHD in statistical analysis on his own. He paid for his own education through scholarships throughout his career.
He did not study in the best university growing up, and there were no campus placements or interviews in his time. He had to find a job and start from the bottom of the ladder and work his way up. In the end, the highest position he ever held was ‘General Manager’ in one of the TATA group of companies.
He found it hard to succeed because he hadn't studied in one of the best universities.
When he died in 2007, I cried the most in my life, as I had lost my role model.
What I remember growing up was his constant push to make me better than him. He always stressed a lot on the importance of a good education, and wanted me to have the things and lifestyle that he didn’t get.
In short he wanted me (his son) to be more successful than he ever was. He made sure that I got the best education (he could afford) by cutting down on his own lifestyle and spending.
I still remember him doing his consultancy work after office hours (every day), to earn extra money to send me to university.
In the end, the money he made just enough to pay for my MBA in the Australian University here.
By sending me to a good university, my father had given me the ultimate gift... the gift of a good education.
I believe where I am today, and the level of success I have achieved so far, is mainly because of him.
My son Soham was born 6 months after my father died. Every time I look at Soham, I get reminded of my dad somehow. I feel his spirit has lived on through him.
My daughter Anjali was born 5 years later, and my goal for both of them, is to pass on the ultimate gift to them.
I want to give them a higher platform and opportunities than I ever had, and instill in them the same drive to succeed.
I want them to be more successful than me.
This is one of the reasons why I talk so passionately about ‘Saving For College’ to others. Sure, I don’t know what career they will choose, or what university they may want to study in, but there is one thing I know for sure.
When they reach the age of 18, and say ‘Dad I want to choose this university’, I should be able to afford it. Because, the only other thing I could say is ‘Son, choose another profession as I cannot pay for this one’. That’s not what I want.
Imagine a life where my son goes through life stuck in a dead-end job which he doesn’t like, in a career that wasn’t his first choice.
That would be awful isn’t it? I wouldn’t want my kids to work in a job they don’t love.
After all, it was Steve jobs who said, ‘The only way to do great work, is to love what you do’.
As a financial advisor, I followed this ‘3-Step Process’ to secure their future.
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