Society is changing fast. The major life decisions for young adults are entirely different from what they were just a generation ago. Most students and working people tend to marry much later than they did just a decade ago. Other core questions include choosing college or work immediately after high school, deciding whether to join the military, and selecting a plan for a financially comfortable retirement. Here are pertinent details about some of today’s most critical decisions for young adults.
College or Work
Several generations ago, it was more common for high school grads to begin building a career than attend college. Now, the situation is flipped, with most young adults opting for a four-year degree than full-time work. The college vs work lifestyle choice is a defining one and is among the most critical decisions a person can make. The central issue for most is figuring out how to pay for an education. If you are a prospective student but have no credit history, how can you get approved for education funding without asking your mom and dad to cosign?
Then, what if they refuse to put their names on the application? Does that mean you’ll have to skip college and work for several years to build up a decent credit score? Some youngsters think parents are legally obligated to cosign on school loans, but they are not required to do so. In situations where parents won’t help, students can still apply for loans and possibly get approved, but with much higher interest rates. The other option is to postpone college for a year or two, take a full-time job, and build up a good credit rating.
When & How Much to Save
Learning how to budget your paycheck and overall save money is an enormously important part of building long-term financial stability and security. Even if your income is extremely limited, consider developing a habit of saving by setting aside a small percentage of all income. If you’re in school and make $150 per week from a part-time job, try placing 10%, or $15, of each check into a savings account. The aim is to adjust your behavior, not to build massive wealth.
Military or Civilian Life?
The armed services offer a wealth of opportunities for people between the ages of 18 and 35, whether they want active duty or reserve status positions. The ideal time to decide is immediately after completing high school, while in college, or during the first years of a career. The military branches are an excellent way to learn personal discipline, gain relevant experience in just about any field, earn money, and gain access to substantial discounts on college study after leaving the service.
Consider speaking with a professional career counselor and a military recruiter to review opportunities for which you qualify. Some branches offer college grads the chance to attend officers’ training, get a commission, and launch a full-time military career. Other youngsters discover that it makes sense to enlist in their favorite branch, do a two or three-year stint on active duty, and then enter the civilian job market.