Norma’s kids skipped college, and the family is richer as a result. The college money went to buy a summer cottage, which has quadrupled in value. She notes that the average college graduate earns $600,000 more in a lifetime than the average high school graduate.
Say we had invested $20,000 (the cost in the mid-80s of a state university education) in the stock market for 45 years, until their retirement age. Would they have that $600,000 to cushion their golden years? No, they’d have $1,604,000 using the conservative figure that over time, stock investments level out at about 10% a year, even factoring in the wild ride of the 90s.
Of course, her children have good jobs they enjoy so they didn’t pay the typical penalty for entering the workforce with only a high school education.