Class of 2016 Takes Part in Senior Transitions Program at Kellenberg

Feb 26 2016

By Isabella Cerrone, ’16:

The Kellenberg Memorial High School senior class has about three more months of high school before they graduate and become independent members of society. Years ago, a special program was created called Senior Transitions, which enables students to attend lectures about making informed choices in real world scenarios. The three sessions of the Senior Transitions program include talks about money and finances, our rights in our legal system, and the dangers of substance abuse. The first session was on February 23; a lecture was given by Mr. Thomas N. Dufek, C.P.A. and financial planner, and Mrs. Carolynn Lucca, Vice President at Signature Bank.

The Kellenberg Memorial High School senior class has about three more months of high school before they graduate and become independent members of society. Years ago, a special program was created called Senior Transitions, which enables students to attend lectures about making informed choices in real world scenarios. The three sessions of the Senior Transitions program include talks about money and finances, our rights in our legal system, and the dangers of substance abuse. The first session was on February 23; a lecture was given by Mr. Thomas N. Dufek, C.P.A. and financial planner, and Mrs. Carolynn Lucca, Vice President at Signature Bank.

Mr. Dufek and of three main ideas. The first was, “Do not use the edit card in one pocket if you don’t have the cash in your other pocket to pay it off.” Mr. Dufek called this the, “two pocket system.” Mrs. Lucca then continued with an example of how a $5000 debt acquired at age 18 can easily turn into a $15,000 expense if paid off until age 35. If you cannot pay your credit card debt in full, banks can help you by setting a lower price to pay by month, though they will charge you interest for the extended repayment option.

Our speakers next explained the importance of a credit score. Better credit scores receive much lower interest rates because banks believe you to be a trustworthy client. To earn a higher credit score, they suggested that the students, after college, go to a department or retail store and sign up for a store credit card and buy something small. At the end of the month, students should pay this small bill in full. Spending and paying in this way will gradually increase your credit score. If you continue with this clean credit record, you can keep a higher credit score for life.

The final topic discussed was retirement plans. They explained to us that as soon as you have a job you should take money out of your salary and invest in a 401(k) or 503B account, depending on the business you work for. This is the best way to save because you won’t miss the money you never see. If you never physically receive the money you won’t be tempted to spend it. It’s better to save the money for later in life because you never know what is going to happen to you. The importance of diversifying your portfolio was also mentioned, meaning you don’t want to invest the money for your retirement all in one place.

Kellenberg will be offering two more seminars for our Senior Transitions program in the upcoming months as the class of 2016 prepares to graduate on June 5, 2016. We’d like to thank all those who have taken the time to spend with our students.