First, I hope you all enjoyed your Memorial Day weekends. I will steer clear of Memorial Day as a topic this year, as I am fairly sure that’s what I wrote about last year at this time!
This past Friday, I took my second turn volunteering at my kids’ school via the Watch D.O.G.S. program. The D.O.G.S. part stands for Dads Of Great Students, and it’s a nationally recognized program that encourages dads (or step-dads, grandfathers, etc.) to be more involved in their child’s school. I think it is a great program, because I think most of us dads will admit to not being as involved as we should sometimes (guilty!).
Many times, our assumption as parents is that the schools will take care of our children for us, and that we really don’t need to be that involved. I think that is mostly the case, as we are very fortunate to have great schools in our area. However, I was surprised at the positive reaction that I received from both students and teachers during my volunteer days. I will not claim to have benefitted either students or teachers from a learning standpoint, but it was very helpful for me as a parent to understand what my kids are dealing with in school now and what to expect in the future. And, I do believe that it is somewhat beneficial for the students to see/interact with a “fatherly presence” in an often female-dominated school system.
Note that I am not suggesting anything needs to change with regard to our teachers, but I think the point of the program is to allow kids to witness dads (and father figures) in the hallways and in the classroom. And in my limited experience with elementary-school aged kids, the teachers have been predominately female.
I think that many of us make the same mistakes with investing. Assuming your company is paying attention to the assets in your retirement plan can be a dangerous approach. Assuming your financial advisor is paying attention to your portfolio can also be dangerous. And assuming your heirs will figure out how to divide your assets without a good estate plan in place can most definitely be dangerous.
Take a “volunteer” day or two to address your financial picture and plan. I can assure you it will be well worth your time. If you have any time leftover, look into the Watch D.O.G.S. program (or similar) at your kid’s or grandkid’s school; it too will be well worth your time. At the very least, it will give you a greater appreciation for the wonderful things our teachers and administrators are doing for our kids on a daily basis. I will stick to my regular job, thank you very much!