5 things you wish your parents had told you

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They say ‘mother knows best’ and no doubt yours has passed on some pearls of wisdom over the years. But are there some things that with hindsight you could have done with your parents telling you about?

1. Having children costs

They may have talked to you about the birds and bees and you might even have heard them muttering “Kids! Who’d have ‘em?” from time to time, but they probably didn’t tell you that raising a family costs serious money.

The average cost of raising just one child to the age of 18 is now over £75,000, it doesn’t necessarily stop there. (Liverpool Victoria, 2019)

Over half of parents surveyed by one research group said their adult children have relied on the generosity of the Bank of Mum and Dad on average four times since they were supposedly ‘financially independent’. And it’s not small sums we’re talking either, but a total of £6,000 per adult child on average.

2. Retirement comes around sooner than you think

It feels like one minute you’re celebrating getting your first job, the next you’re wondering where the past 30 years went and looking forward to your retirement years.

Over a quarter of those aged over 65 have admitted their biggest financial regret is not starting to save earlier in life, according to new research from The Share Centre.

Despite many having generous ‘gold plated’ final salary pension schemes in place, 26% of those aged 65-74 said they wished they had started putting money aside while they still could. The responses highlight that those who are older and wiser are now looking back on the financial decisions they made in their youth, having realised just how soon they should have starting preparing for the future.

3. You have to look after number 1

Whether it’s pension planning, life insurance or health care, it pays to look after yourself rather than rely on anyone else to do it for you.

It's essential that you start putting money aside into your own pension fund as soon as you can. And it’s not only traditional pensions that are worth saving into (although the tax perks certainly make this a good starting point). ISAs, alternative investments and property can also all make up part of your retirement portfolio.

4. That every penny you could have saved at 20 would be worth double anything you save at 50

And it’s all down to the magic of compounding, which is where it isn’t just your money that’s earning you interest, but the interest you’ve already earned is earning interest for you too.

According to Fidelity, an investor putting £100 a month into the stock market, who chose to take out the income they earned out as they went along would have a portfolio worth £65,723.41 after 30 years.

However, someone who chose to reinvest the income they earned on that £100 a month would be worth a whopping £132,368.12 – over double the return on exactly the same investment.

5. That your old toys/comics would have been worth a small fortune today

Whether you were an avid Star Wars toys collector or an early gamer with a collection of retro consoles, you might want to see if any of your prized possessions are still hiding away in the loft, because some old toys and games are worth big bucks today.

Take vintage Star Wars action figures, posters, games and cards which adorned the bedrooms of children in the 1970s and 1980s. A generation of new fans has pushed prices for these old collectibles through the roof. According to one home insurer, the majority of collections average around £400 with miniatures (£659), train sets/working models (£597) and retro video games and consoles (£503) topping the list of the most valuable items. And for one in 10 enthusiasts their collections are valued in the thousands. Kathy Taylor, of Vectis Auctions, said even old toys, which have long lost their original box, could be worth hundreds of pounds. Time to take a look in the loft, I think.