Early finance lessons resonate

Jun 29, 2014 @ 12:01 am

By Liz Skinner

Financial education came to Layton Cox at a very young age.

When he was seven years old, his father required that he save 10% of his weekly allowance. Mr. Cox's father enrolled the whole family in a Dave Ramsey financial freedom course when Mr. Cox was 13, and that's when he started doing his own personal budgeting.

“When I went to college, my parents gave me a stipend and to get it I had to present a budget, showing my expenses and income I'd be making with part-time jobs,” he said.

During his sophomore year, Mr. Cox took advantage of an ailing real estate market in Tucson, Ariz., and purchased a home.

His own early personal finance lessons produced a keen interest in financial planning and helping others practice it. A University of Arizona graduate, Mr. Cox, 23, is now director of retirement plan consulting for Pathways Financial Partners in Tucson.

He graduated in December 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and a concentration in accounting, and began his full-time job at the start of the year. Initially an investment strategist, he's already been promoted.

Mr. Cox spends about 90% of his time talking to retirement plan participants at enrollment meetings.

“It's sad to see people nearing age 60 with only $50,000 saved because they weren't taught basic rules about personal finance,” he said. “It's my goal to help as many people as possible learn this.”

IMPACTING LIVES

Mr. Cox said he enjoys working with the firm's Employee Retirement Income Security Act consulting branch because he talks to many different types of people. It's personally satisfying to talk to someone about increasing enrollment from 2% of their salary to 10% and the impact that will have on their life down the road, he said.

Mr. Cox envisions a possible future as president of a firm that offers retirement consulting services, but he knows the economics of such businesses can be less attractive than providing personal financial planning services.

“It's about half the pay for twice the work,” he said.

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