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Making a smooth financial transition from college to adult life

I remember the moment I made the financial transition from college student to independent adult.

It was when my father took my credit card -- the plastic he had supported as a co-signer through four years of college -- and used very sharp scissors to cut it into pieces in front of me and one of my friends.

The big event occurred shortly before I left home to start my first job. It served notice that the days of counting on the bank of mom and dad were over.

Having just watched child No. 3 collect his college diploma, I now fully appreciate how my father must have felt when he cut the financial tie with me. Indeed, my wallet already feels a bit heavier now that I no...