Financial Planning Tips for Recent Graduates

Financial Planning Tips for Recent Graduates

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As proud families celebrate and relieved graduates get ready to enter the workplace, new financial concerns take precedence.  Now it’s no longer about how to pay for their education, it’s whether they’ll get a job and how they’ll manage on their own. 

Now is the time to have a conversation about financial planning and the future. Here are some areas to cover:

  1. The virtue and necessity of saving. Getting that first paycheck can be a rush. It’s very tempting to go out and spend it all. Show them real examples of what happens if you start saving in your 20s rather than waiting till you’re in your 30s or worse, your 40s. Let them see what that will cost them in terms of lost income from compound interest. 
  2. Retirement planning. It may seem very far away, but now is the time to start your retirement fund. If you have a job that offers a 401k, contribute enough to get the maximum employer match. If not, start your own IRA.
  3. The need for an emergency fund. Most Americans would not be able to find $1000 for an emergency such as for unexpected medical costs or a major repair bill. This can happen to anyone, and without an emergency fund it can be devastating financially. Aim to keep an amount equal to three month’s salary in this fund, so you can cover any emergency or loss of income.
  4. Make a plan to pay off student loans. Millions of Americans are saddled with student loan debt (more than $1.2 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York). This can lead to derailing other goals such as buying a house. Pay the loans with the highest interest rate first.
  5. Be wise with credit. Credit cards can get out of hand very fast. Then you’re on the never-ending payment and interest cycle. Show your kids how it works and just how much they’ll end up paying if they buy something on a card and only pay the minimum payment each month. Make them aware of how credit scores work and what improves it and what makes it worse.

Now that they’ve graduated, one phase is over but another begins. They’re just starting out on the road of life, and these lessons can help them make it a smooth transition.



Material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to be used in connection with the evaluation of any investments offered by David Lerner Associates, Inc. This material does not constitute an offer or recommendation to buy or sell securities and should not be considered in connection with the purchase or sale of securities. 

To the extent that this material concerns tax matters, it is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by a taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed by law. Each taxpayer should seek independent advice from a tax professional based on his or her individual circumstances.

These materials are provided for general information and educational purposes based upon publicly available information from sources believed to be reliable-- we cannot assure the accuracy or completeness of these materials. The information in these materials may change at any time and without notice.

David Lerner Associates does not provide tax or legal advice. The information presented here is not specific to any individual's personal circumstances. Member FINRA & SIPC


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Founded in 1976, David Lerner Associates is a privately-held broker/dealer with headquarters in Syosset, New York and branch offices in Westport, CT; Boca Raton, FL; Teaneck and Princeton, NJ; and White Plains, NY. For more information contact David Lerner Associates Call 516-921-4200 Visit our website:

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Jake Mendlinger
Account Manager
516.829.8374 X 232

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