Podcast – Episode 76 – My 4-Year-Old is Already a Millionaire
Hello, passive traders. This is Allen coming to you with another episode of the Option Genius Podcast. Today, I am a proud papa. Not because of something my kids did, but something I did for them. See, what I’ve already done is, I hope to be, something that will set them up for a very cushy retirement, or a very happy life. Let me tell you what that is.
Now, I have three children, nine-year-old boy, another eight-year-old boy, and then a four-year-old daughter. And I don’t want to happen to them what happened to me. See when I graduated high school, things financially were not really good for our family. And I was the only child, so going to college was kind of a no-brainer, you were just going to go. And my kids, they’re going to go. They don’t have choice, they’re going. With all the high competition for the job market and everything, you just need to go and you need to learn and get out there and be on your own.
And so, when it was time for me to go to college, I applied for several schools. I got into some private schools, but they did not offer me the financial aid package that I needed to go there because basically I needed them to pay for everything. The one school that did though was Florida State. And Florida State gave me a financial aid package where, I believe at the time I do not remember exactly, but I believe it was costing somewhere around $8,000 a year to go there, that included room and board, for two semesters. And they were giving me $9,000 as part of the package. Now, part of that, a couple thousand, that was loan under my name, but still they were actually giving me more money than I needed to go there. So I was going to have everything paid for, and I was going to have a little bit of cash in my hand, in the bank, so that I could spend it on candy or trips or to the beach or whatever. So, that was my only option. Now I’m going to Florida State.
Wasn’t my first choice and I did not enjoy it there. Nothing against the school, it just, for me emotionally, mentally, I was just not in the right frame of mind to enjoy it and take advantage of it, which I do regret to this day. But, I wasn’t there very long because, at the end of the first year I had to drop out and come back home. My dad had just started a new business that he had no knowledge of how to run because it was all computerized, and so he’d basically told me I needed to stay home and work with him in the business, which is what I did. Okay. No worries. I’m not bitter about it, that much.
But the point was that we did not have the money for me to afford the schools that I wanted to really go to. And if I had gone to one of the schools that I actually got into, things would have been way different in my life. Now, I’m not complaining because I love my life, so everything I guess happened for the best. But for my children, I would like them to be able to go to the best school that they get into, whichever school they want to go to. Whether it be around the block or across the country. I don’t want finances or money or lack of money to be the reason why they don’t go to the best school and get the best education that is possible.
And so, I don’t know what school they’re going to go to, but my oldest he asked me one day, he goes, “Hey dad, what’s the best school in the country? What’s the best college in the country?” I’m like, “Well, probably Harvard.” He goes, “Okay, then I want to go to Harvard.” And that was it. Since then, anybody asks him, “Hey, where are you going to go to college?” He goes, “Harvard.” He’s like, it’s no big deal. He doesn’t know how competitive it is. “Hey, I’m going to Harvard.” I love that confidence in him. I told him, “It’s going to be hard.” He goes, “Yeah, no problem.” That’s a nine-year-old. Awesome. I love it.
So as dad, as the finance guy in the family, my wife doesn’t really worry about the finances, I do, so I need to figure out how we’re going to pay for Harvard. Which when he gets there, it’s probably going to be, I don’t know, $300,000 a year? And plus now, I have three of them. So, you know it’s going to be close to a million dollars that I’m going to be paying for college. So how am I going to do that? Geez, that’s a lot of money.
I started looking into college savings plans. What are the different options out there? You got the 529, you got the Coverdell, you got some other stuff. Doing my research, and I came to the conclusion that, I think that the best thing that I could do for them is to open up Roth IRAs. Now that might be sounding a little weird, right? A Roth IRA for a kid? How do you do that? They have to have income? Right. They have to. They do have to have income. They have to have a job. So that was an obstacle that we had to overcome. Okay, what job can we give them?
Well, lucky for me, my wife has another business, which is a daycare. And on the daycare, we have to have pictures of happy children on the website, in the marketing materials, the brochures, the pamphlets, that things we hand out. And so, why not instead of paying other kids for their pictures or stock pictures or whatever, why not we pay our own children? Take their pictures professionally, and have that in our marketing materials? So that is what we did. So, we had professional pictures taken. We do it every year, and we have those pictures as part of our marketing plan. And so the kids get paid for this.
Now, currently the tax law says that if your child is working for you or if your child was working anywhere really, they can get paid up to $12,000 a year without having to pay any income tax. Now, going to give you a disclaimer here, check with your accountant on this. Talk to your accountant, and talk to your tax professional, whatever, make sure this is correct. This is what I been told. And so you can do $12,000 a year without paying any income taxes. And, if you’re earning money, you can put $6,000 a year into an IRA, whether it’s a Roth or a regular IRA.
Now for them, obviously I chose the Roth IRA because they’re not paying any taxes on the income anyway. And so the money is paid to them tax-free. It goes into the Roth IRA, and there’s no tax there. And then later on, when it actually comes out, after they retire or whatever age, 65, they take the money out of, it should come out of their tax-free as well. So you kind of get like a triple whammy here. So I really love this idea. I think it’s one of my better ideas I’ve ever had.
And so one of the ways that you can actually pay for college is that you can withdraw the money that you put in the IRA for college. In fact, if you look at the rules of how the Roth IRA works, any money that you put in, any deposit that you put in, you can withdraw that money at any time. So let’s say you put $5,000 into it. You can take that $5,000 back. The gains, if that $5,000 goes to $6,000, you cannot take that extra $1,000 out. If you do, you have to be taxes and you have to pay fees. So that you don’t want to, because you don’t want to pay the fees and taxes until you can at whatever the age is, I believe it’s 65, when you could start taking money out of your Roth IRA. Or 59 and a half or whatever the number is.
You find a way to get your child paid for work that they’re actually doing. And in my case, they’re models. If you have your own business, they could work in your business doing accounting, bookkeeping, maintenance, anything. And that money that they get paid, you don’t have to pay income tax on it, and it goes straight into the Roth IRA. And then if you need to, and I’m hoping that I will not need to do this, because I’m also investing in 529s for the children, and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to use the 529s and whatever money I have at that time to pay for it so we don’t have to touch the IRA. But I’m investing in the IRA first. And then once I do that for all three of them, then I put money in 529s every year for two of the children.
So, I put about $5,000 each, for each child. So currently each child has $20,000 in their IRA. I’ve been doing it for four years. The accounts haven’t really gone up very much in the last four years. They’re going up, they went down, maybe I’m picking the wrong stocks. I don’t know. But for whatever reason, they’re roughly based on where they started. And even this year, we had a 35% bear market. It’s still about the same.
Now, one thing I briefly mentioned earlier, you can take money out of an IRA that you deposited. So when it comes times to college, we’re going to use the 529 funds first. Use up all that money, because that 529 can only be used for educational expenses. And that’s why I only have two of them. So, the older kid, he’s got his account. And the middle kid, the eight-year-old, he has his account. For the baby, I’m not putting in yet, just in case. I don’t want to have too much money in the 529. Because if the three of them don’t use it up, then we have to take it out and pay fees on that and all that stuff. So I don’t want to bother with that. So I’m going to use the 529 money up first. Then my own money. And then if that’s not there for whatever reason, then we’ll tap into the IRAs and take money out of there. My hope is, we never have to, and this money just sits there and it grows and grows and grows until age 65.
Over the weekend, I got to thinking, I said, “You know, $20,000, that’s a lot of money. I wonder how much it can going to be?” So I went to one of my favorite sites, investor.gov, and they have this wonderful, easy-to-use compound interest calculator, investment calculator, whatever you want to call it. And so, I wanted to see what their results would be. And I plugged up the numbers and I said, “All right. For my oldest, he’s nine years old, he’s got 50, what, 56 years left, until he’s 65.” So I typed it in, beginning balance $20,000. Monthly contribution, zero. If I don’t put in another penny into his account, he’s got $20,000 now. If he gets nothing, and since it’s invested in the stock market, I think it’s going to get about 8% average return for the year. If we don’t invest any more money, if he only gets 8%, not more or less, but averages 8%, when he turns 65, he is going to have an account worth about $1.5 million. Without doing anything. The money’s in there. It’s been put away. It’s just going to compound the way the stock market has been compounding for the last couple hundred years, and he should be worth $1.5 million at age 65.
And that blew me away. I was like, “Holy cow. That’s awesome. My kid’s a millionaire. He’s nine years old. He’s a millionaire. That’s going to be, oh, I’m so happy.” I’m so proud of for myself that I’ve been able to do this. So [inaudible 00:10:38] what about the four-year-old? She’s going to have even more time to compound. So I added her numbers, and she’s going to have over $2.1 million when she turns 65. $2.1 million. Oh my God, that’s incredible. Never in my wildest dreams, did I think I would be able to do this for my kids.
And by that time, by the time they’re 65, is another 60 years from now for her. 61 years from now, life expectancy is not going to be around 80-85 where it is now. It’s probably going to be like 120-130 years. That’s life expectancy at that time. So, she’s just going to be getting to her mid-life crisis. She’s got half her life ahead of her, and she’s got over $2.1 million in the bank just sitting there that she can use. I hope these three kids, I hope they don’t blow it on some fancy, flying sports car or something. Their fancy, flying Lamborghinis or whatever they’re going to have at that time. That’d be insane if you waste it. But I’m so excited. I’m so happy.
And if I keep adding to the account as I plan to, the results are going to be much, much better. Who knows? For another few years, still add money in. Maybe it’s $40,000 that I put in there. They could have close to 5, 8, $10 million. Jeez. And if I trade options for them, which I’m not doing now. Right now, I’m just putting it in certain stocks and ETFs. But if I trade options with them, the results are going to be even much better. Much, much better. But my plan is to use the accounts to teach them how to choose their own stocks and how to trade options on their own. So they’re going to have their own net worth. They’re going to not ever have that feeling of being poor. They’re going to have money.
Now, I’m not sure of … I’m going to have to structure it in a way that they don’t get access to it right away. I’m going to have to talk to my attorney about that. Because I don’t want them to become 18 years old and be like, “Oh, I got all this money in my IRA. I could just take it out and go blow it.” Go get married to some girl and live it up in Vegas or something. I don’t know. Hopefully that never happens, but we’ll have to figure out a way that they don’t access it like that.
But the plan is to teach them how to use this money so that they can trade for themselves, and then that way they never have to work for money. They can go to college, whichever college they want to go to. They can study whatever field that they want to go to. And they can get whatever job that makes them happy and not have to worry about having to pick a job for the money. Because there’s too many kids out there right now, they don’t know what to do. The markets and everything are, in the future, in AI and computers and everything. Robotics is just making everybody go nuts. Nobody knows what’s going on.
Nobody knows what the future is going to be. And so people are scared and they’re full of anxiety, especially college kids. And so I would like to give this skill to my children so that whatever future comes, they know they can go in and they have a skill where they can constantly generate income without having to work for it and without having to go to school for it. So that’s the thing that I’m planning on teaching them. But for right now, I’m proud papa. I am happy. I’m excited that my kids are going to have this much money.
Originally I was thinking that I was going to get life insurance in large amounts. If anything happens to me right now, I want my kids to have at least a million dollars. So I was thinking, “All right, I’m going to go get a $3 million life insurance added to whatever I have already.” And be like, “Okay, it’ll go to my wife. But then my wife will know that each kid gets a million bucks, because that’s the gift that I want to give them. But then I realized, “Whoa, I’ve already given them the gift. I’ve already given them over a million dollars. Each of them.” And so, that’s something that I’m really excited about, really happy.
If you have a young child, you can do the same thing. Maybe you can’t do it in a Roth IRA. That’s fine. Start with the 529 plan if you have to. Or fill up your own Roth IRA first, and then if you have to, you can give that Roth IRA as, when you pass away, that money can go to them. There are different ways to do it. Talk to your accountant about it, or talk to a tax professional about how to doing it. But time is of the essence. The sooner you start, the more the money compounds. The sooner you learn to trade, the more money you have to do this. And so, I just wanted to share that success story with you. One of the things that they wanted, I told them I was going to do this podcast about them, and they always get excited when I talk about them in the podcast. But I told him I was going to say this stuff, and they told me to make sure that I tell you guys how I picked a stock.
So I invest in different ETFs and stocks for them. But now that they’re a little bit older, the eight-year-old and the nine-year-old this year, they got to choose what stocks that they wanted. So the nine-year-old, he picked Facebook. And the eight-year-old, he picked Google, because he’s really big into YouTube. He loves YouTube. The older one, he’s more logical. And so they don’t use Facebook yet, but he thinks that Facebook is growing. And so, hears a lot all over the news and everywhere. So he’s like, “Facebook is good and I want to buy Facebook.”
And the nine-year-old, he actually looked at the stock charts. He’s actually looking at stock charts. When I watch the financial news on TV sometimes at home, he’ll be sitting there watching with me and he’ll look at the tickers on the bottom and he’ll be like, “Oh, this stock went up and this went down. This went up. This went down.” He logged into my Thinkorswim and he looked at different stock charts. And he was the one that picked Facebook because of the chart. And for my four-year-old, I bought some Disney because she is, right now, she’s an Elsa fanatic. She’s a Frozen fanatic. All day long, every day, she just singing and singing and singing and is driving me nuts. But she is crazy about Frozen, and so Disney is a big thing. So I bought her some Disney, but I also have added some ETFs. Some index ETFs like SBY and IWM to balance it out and we’ll see how it goes.
But, this is what I’m doing. I just wanted to share it with you and say, “Hey, if this is something you can do, do it.” Talk to your accountant. Talk to your tax person. If you have a financial planner, ask them if this makes sense. For most people that are planning for college, it does. You have to be able to have the money put aside in the Roth IRA. The kids have to earn it. But if you could figure out a way to earn it, maybe you know somebody that has a company. Maybe you own a company. Or maybe you even start a part-time company, just so you can do this. It doesn’t take a lot of money to start a company. It’s not very hard.
So I think the rewards of having tax-free money put into a Roth IRA so it grows for 60 years or whatever tax-free, and then you take it out tax-free, you never have to pay taxes on that money or the growth of it, I think is definitely worth it. I think it’s one of the biggest loopholes that, for some reason, it’s not talked about. Some people know about it. I know definitely the rich people know about it. And so hopefully you can take advantage of it as well.
All right, folks. So take care. Trade with the odds in your favor.
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