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Plan Well, Retire Well

Saving and investing your money
Tooth Fairy App

How Money Savvy is the Tooth Fairy?

Just what can we learn from the Tooth Fairy about money? Well, to start with, it seems that the Tooth Fairy feels that economic conditions in the U. S. are improving.

A survey released by Visa shows that the Tooth Fairy is leaving an average of $3.00 per tooth this year, an increase of 15% over the $2.60 left in 2011. The amount the Tooth Fairy leaves varies quite a bit from family to family: most of the time the tooth fairy leaves between $1 and $5 per tooth.

Using data collected in a survey, VISA has created an app and an online calculator that allows parents to calculate how much the Tooth Fairy is leaving in comparable households.

For example, in an Illinois household with a 34 year old, mother with a college degree and an annual household income between 25,000 - $39,900, the Tooth Fairy is likely to leave $3.00 for tooth.

If you're like me, my first thought is "that's a lot of money for a tooth!" And, my second thought is "I never received that much money from the Tooth Fairy for one tooth!" But we need to keep in mind the purchasing power of that $3.00. Does that $3.00 buy now what we could have bought when we were children?

Because of the effects of inflation, the purchasing power of our dollars tends to go down. For the 34 year old mother, that $3.00 is equivalent to $1.58 that she would have received when she was a child. And for the grandparents reading this today, that's equivalent to the quarter you may have received.

When we're saving money for long-term goals we need to keep in mind that the purchasing power of our dollar is likely to go down (assuming we continue to experience inflation in our economy). Luckily for our children, the Tooth Fairy seems to know this!

If you'd like to play with this Tooth Fairy online calculator go to

And you can get the app free at the iTunes Store for iPhones and iPads.

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When our grandkids were 6 & 8 they conspired when one lost a tooth: they put it under the pillow without telling their in observant parents. Then the next night...well, you get the idea. They may grow up to follow in the footsteps of their U of I research scientist Nana.
by Steve Shoemaker on Friday 5/17/2013