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Graduation and Retirement

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 10:24 AM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) -

While most high school seniors have their eye on graduation day, some have their sights set further in the future. Brian Bouchard talks with one soon to be graduate who’s already started saving for retirement.

Excitement is in the air, as the class of 2022 prepares to enter a new chapter in their lives. For some, its enjoying one last summer vacation before college, but for Clay Gregg, a Senior in Mr. Blanchard’s Personal Finance class at Presque Isle Tech Center, it’s all about planning for the future.

“I just like, have always been a little intrigued by money and then I wanted to learn how to like manage money better”

Gregg went on to say he had heard about retirement accounts before, but hadn’t considered opening one until it was brought up in class.

“When I took this class Mr. Blanchard kept talking about it and we kept on learning about it and Mr. Blanchard had mentioned, like, how well they were and that’s when I realized I should probably get one of those”

“I know that the students had a lot of interest in learning about the compound growth that can happen when you open up a retirement account especially early, that’s something that we emphasized in class, they have an advantage over someone like me, they’ve got a longer timeline so that they can take advantage of the compound growth and that seemed to light a spark in some of them.”

Blanchard says he was surprised to learn that not just Gregg, but other students had opened accounts as well.  He says he’s proud they are applying what they learned in class.

“I think probably the biggest benefit is being in charge of their own lives. If they can jump on that early and take advantage of that amount of time they have to be able to take advantage of compound interest, they’ll be golden by the time they reach those golden years”

Ben Shaw, Chief Operating Officer for Thompson Financial Group says not only do young investors have the benefit of time, they also can learn important lessons on budgeting and priorities.

“When you’re in this stage of life, you’re graduating high school, you’re getting out, you’re probably going to college, or you probably have a part time job, you know it’s before some of the more heavy sort of bills start to come. Getting this sort of thing started and just getting used to have the ability to invest in yourself versus using all that money for bills and things like that really helps set the stage that you’ll be able to do that continually”

And as Gregg looks to the future, with goals of graduating college and staying out of debt, he has this advice for any of his peers thinking of investing in their own retirements.

“It’s better to start now than later, I feel like when you’re like 35, if you haven’t started one you’re going to be like “Man I wish I started one when I was 18″”

Brian Bouchard, NewsSource8

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