President Obama says daughters Malia and Sasha may be looking for babysitting jobs to supplement their allowances.
He made the remark during an interview with ABC News about the consumer benefits in the financial overhaul bill he signed on Thursday. In the interview, broadcast on Friday, the president was asked what he and wife Michelle are teaching their daughters, who are 12 and 9, about money.
"You know, it's a great question. What I'm doing now . . . is they're getting an allowance. They're starting to get old enough where they may be able earn some money babysitting. They've got their own savings accounts," Obama said, adding, "What I'm trying to explain to them are basic concepts about savings, about interest. If they keep a hundred dollars in their bank account at 2 or 3 percent interest for six months, this is how much money they're going to have at the end of it."
(It's rare to find regular savings accounts these days that pay 2 or 3 percent.)
Obama became a multimillionaire by writing two best-selling books. Before that, he has often said, he and Michelle found it hard to pay off their college loans, credit cards and save for their future.
The president was asked if his own retirement fund has taken a hit -- if he could feel "the pain directly that other Americans are feeling."
"Well, part of it has," he answered. "That part that is devoted to Malia and Sasha's college fund, that goes up and down with the stock market, and so it's lost value, like everybody else. You know, Michelle's mom has savings that have been affected.
"So, you know, one of the reasons I think that issues like consumer financial protection are so important to Michelle and myself is we're just not that far removed from what most Americans are going through. I mean, it was only a few years ago when . . . we had high credit card balances, we had two little kids that we were trying to figure out how to save enough for college, we were still thinking about our own retirement and looking at our retirement accounts and wondering, are we going to be able to get enough assets in there to make sure we're protected?"
Still, Obama, unlike many Americans, has a generous guaranteed lifetime pension, which he qualifies for after serving just a four-year term. Under the Former Presidents Act passed in 1958, the pension was $191,300 in 2008.
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