Money & Retirement: Thoughts from a Kid's Perspective

May 19, 2014

Last month at Colorado PERA, kids of all ages infiltrated our hallways for the time-honored tradition of Take Your Child to Work Day. Aside from wreaking a little bit of havoc, seeing the sites of downtown Denver from our rooftop, and playing office for a few hours, the kids also participated in activities centered around the day's theme -- financial literacy.

The Dime team thought this was the perfect opportunity to take a peek into the inner workings of the often hilarious mind of a kid. So we asked them a few questions about money -- what they thought it could buy, how much they might need in retirement, and what their earning power will be when they get older. Their answers? While most were not even in the ballpark of accurate (the entertainment factor would have been lacking otherwise), were awesome. In fact, some of them painted a world I would want to live in.

Here they are:

Question 1: What do you think you can buy with $100?

"A pet hermit crab." ~ Ronin, Age 6
"A couple of Skylanders." ~ Ewan, Age 10
"A lot of stuff. A tv, a radio speaker, a store." ~ Eddison, Age 7 1/2
"A motorcycle." ~ Drew, Age 7
"A lot of stuff. I'd probably buy video games...I'm a guy, ok?" ~ Dalton, Age 15
"Candy... It counts as food." ~ Kiera, Age 10
"91 kittens." ~ Lily, Age 6
"A house." ~ Arianna, Age 8
"An electric scooter." ~ Elliott, Age 8
"An animal." ~ Devon, Age 8
"Gold earrings." ~ Dominika, Age 9
"I wouldn't spend it. I'd save it." ~ Joe, Age 12

Question #2: How much money do you think you'll need to save to retire?

"I want another candy..." ~ Ronin, Age 6
"$1,000." ~ Ewan, Age 10
"$1,000." ~ Edison, Age 7 1/2
"80 bucks." ~ Drew, Age 7
"44 million." ~ Dalton, Age 15
"401(k)...whatever that is..." ~ Kiera, Age 10
"$59." ~ Lily, Age 6
"$200,000." ~ Kaila, Age 11
"$300,000." ~ Devon, Age 8
"$50,000." ~ Elliott, Age 8
"$6,400." ~ Arianna, Age 8
"$700,000." ~ Joe, Age 12
"$70,000." ~ Dominika, Age 9

Question 3: What do you want to be when you grow up and how much do you think it will pay per year?

"A scientist, $1." ~ Ronin, Age 6
"Zoologist, $10,000." ~ Ewan, Age 10
"A firefighter, $400." ~Eddison, Age 7 1/2
"A policeman, $1million." ~Drew, 7
"An actor or a police officer. A police officer will make pretty good money, an actor will make really good money." ~ Dalton, Age 15
"A professional soccer player or an accountant. I'll make a bajillion dollars." ~ Kiera, Age 10
"A veterinarian, $19." ~ Lily, Age 6
"A dirt bike rider, $100 a week." ~ Elliott, Age 8
"A lawyer, $70,000." ~ Dominika, Age 9
"A teacher, $600 an hour." ~ Arianna, Age 8
"A pro football player, a couple million a year." ~ Joe, Age 12
"An architect, $4,000 a month." ~ Kaila, Age 11
"A teacher, $200 a week." ~ Devon, Age 8