Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Financial Parenting Tips

Every parent is challenged to prepare their children for living meaningful lives and managing their affairs responsibly.  Here are a few parental tips to help set the tone for your children and their approach to handling the money you provide.

My thanks to my WealthCounsel colleague, Wayne Ball, for turning my attention to these financial planning tips first shared by his legal colleague in Little Rock, Arkansas -  Dee Davenport of Delta Trust.

·       Make money meaningful:  Good financial parenting could begin with an allowance that is tied to the completion of specific chores.  It’s important to teach children that money is the result of performance or effort.  It must be earned.

·       A sense of sharing: Give young children holiday gifts in three pieces: one piece to spend, one piece to save, and one piece to give to someone who is in need. Families report great results with this simple plan, and heirs remember the lessons learned and speak of them gratefully for a lifetime.

·       Give just enough:   The sage of Omaha, Warren Buffet says “Give your children enough so they can do anything, but not enough so they do nothing”. At the same time, mature children whose values are intact could do so much good in the world, not only for themselves and their families, but also for their communities.

·       Think long range:  Some of the most successful families have constructed “100 year plans” (four generations) to pass on both the family values and the family financial assets. Increasingly, families are engaging community members in their legacy development processes to assure the effectiveness of the gifts made.

These are just a few guidance tips for instilling many of the basic tenets of financial planning.  I hope you find one or more that you can incorporate into your parenting activities. 

For more formal estate planning strategies, I would enjoy meeting with you and sharing my experience and knowledge.  We can meet – just give me a call, or you can leave a comment on this post.


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