So here's the deal: 17-year-old swimmer Missy Franklin, who just won 4 gold medals in London, says she'll most likely choose going to college over going pro. What does that mean? Well, going to college generally involves getting an education, which is good, but going pro generally involves making millions of dollars in endorsements, which is also rather good. As a parent, I know I'm supposed to applaud Franklin's choice as noble or sensible or something, but as a woman who has watched and continues to watch the current unemployment epidemic rip people's lives apart -- including people with college educations -- my honest advice to Missy Franklin is more along the lines of "take the money and run." (Or swim, I guess.)
Of course, getting back to the parental perspective, clearly giving lots of money to a 17-year-old who is still -- gold medals or not -- an inexperienced kid is obviously a recipe for ruin. Ideally, that money would come with a non-negotiable (signed!) agreement to meet with a trusted financial consultant every week. Without guidance, those millions could run out right quick!
But WITH guidance, those millions could give somebody like Missy Franklin security, which is in short supply these days. A college education might end up doing the same, but it might ... not. And there's no going back to recapture a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
What would you tell Missy Franklin to do: Go to college or go pro?
Image via 401 (K) 2012/Flickr