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Interview with Garret Sutton
Rich Dad Advisor, Attorney, Radio Host

Q. Please tell us a little about your background?
A. I am a lawyer living in Reno, Nevada. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and graduated from the University of California Berkeley and Hastings College of Law. Tiring of the Bay Area’s congestion and high prices I moved to Nevada in 1989. I was fortunate to become involved with Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad/Poor Dad organization. I am a Rich Dad’s Advisor and have written five books in the series, including “Own Your Own Corporation” and “The ABC’s of Getting Out of Debt”.

Q. What drew you to writing about kids and money?
A. As a father of three, I want my children to understand money and assets (including real estate). Sharon Lechter, co-author of “Rich Dad/Poor Dad”, is very involved in teaching kids about money and I have learned about many of the issues, and negative consequences a failure of such education can have, through her efforts.

Q. Who introduced you to saving and/or money and at what age?    
A. My father was a big influence. His family, as many others, had suffered through the Depression. He placed a high value on saving. I started saving at about the age of eight.
Q. Do you have a favorite place or container to save change? If so, would you tell us a little about it?
A. No, every drawer in the house has a quarter or two in it.
Q. What do you think the biggest challenge parents face when it comes to teaching children about money?

A. Getting their focused attention. With TV, the internet, school homework and team sports it is not easy to sit down and spend time with it.
Q. What's your best tip for parents on teaching children about money?

A. Include it in the conversation. Too many parents follow the absolute taboo on money issues. While some topics should be off limits, others can be easily discussed, and should be.
Q. What's the biggest mistake you think parents make when it comes to teaching children about money?

A. For all the times parents say “money doesn’t grow on trees”, they convey the opposite attitude. You need to say “No” to impulse purchase requests. A second mistake has to do with debt. The correct use of debt to build wealth is a topic not discussed enough.

Q. Are you pro allowance? Briefly, why or why not?
A. Yes. Now that my kids have to work for an allowance, there is a better appreciation of what money is about.

Q. At what age do you think credit card education should begin?
A. Early. Children should know the consequences of using a credit card, namely that the bill must be paid on time and the failure to make timely payments can have significant outcomes.

Q. At what age do you think parents should allow children to have a credit card?
A. As soon as possible. Credit cards can be very useful in building a good credit profile. Good credit can save young adults a great deal of money on deposits and down payments when they are first starting out.

Q. If you could only give a child one piece of advice on money, what would it be?
A. Use retirement plans to your advantage at an early age.

Q. What's your favorite family activity?
A.  Skiing. Our family of five skis most every winter weekend. Good skiing is only 40 minutes away from us here in Reno and we take advantage of it.

Q. What's your favorite money quote or saying?
A.  A Scottish proverb: “Ask thy purse what thou should spend.”

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