Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

9 Lasting Gifts To Give Your Children or Grandchildren

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boomer parents with kids and grandkids 300x232 9 Lasting Gifts To Give Your Children or GrandchildrenGuest post by baby boomer Roman Janos of Northwestern Mutual.

In this season of giving and receiving, some of the most meaningful gifts are probably not top-of-mind when you are shopping and wrapping for the holidays. In fact, you may have the greatest impact on your children with gifts you can share all year long.

The foundation of a positive life

Adults are role models for children every day, whether they realize it or not. Among the best gifts children can receive are encouragement to develop their abilities, and help in understanding how to manage their lives and finances. The longest-lasting gifts you can give a young person form the foundation of a successful life, including:

Education. Whether it is focused on academics or technical preparation, continuing education after high school offers a chance to develop a career that could pay off throughout life. There are many ways to calculate and save for educational expenses, including adding contributions from outside the immediate family. It is good to start investing in a child’s future early to maximize growth opportunities over time, and to help the student understand how to manage their college finances.

Experiences. Memorable enrichment opportunities – such as travel, academic or athletic competition, performance and scouting or service experiences – help young people build skills, learn by doing, and develop their unique talents. These often are recommended by school counselors or teachers who know your student well.

Financial literacy. Kids are taught how to read in school, but home is where they learn about money. An allowance can help them understand what it’s like to manage cash and how quickly it can disappear. Take advantage of the many everyday opportunities to teach children how to use money wisely so they become financially fit young adults.

Life Skills. Handling daily essentials – such as cleaning, cooking, laundry and other tasks – teaches children responsibility and gives them confidence to take care of themselves later in life. Despite some inevitable grumbling, children feel empowered by doing age-appropriate tasks that contribute to the household and the family team.

Permanent life insurance.The gift of permanent life insurance can help lay the groundwork for a sound financial future by offering a low-risk financial asset that grows on a tax-deferred basis. For example, for a $600 annual premium, a $100,000 65 Life policy bought to insure a healthy male at age 0 would accrue $33,749 in cash value and a $225,202 death benefit by the time he reached age 30, and more than $300,000 in cash value by age 65.* (Your financial representative can provide a Basic Illustration and values to reflect your own particular situation.)

Planning and goal setting. Whether they are saving for a favorite toy or thinking about college, setting goals can help children to understand that achievement takes time and effort. Explaining your financial security goals and plan to children shows you take advance planning seriously. Your financial representative can help you develop these.

Protection from risk. Children realize it is important to think long-term when they see you protecting your family from the worst-case scenario with disability insurance, life insurance and estate planning. Be sure to explain how these will support your goals by taking care of their needs and properly allocating your assets in unexpected circumstances.

Savings habits. Nearly a third of respondents in a recent Northwestern Mutual survey said their best financial decision ever was to start saving early. You can talk to children of all ages about the importance of saving for a rainy day and point to your own example. If you need to get your own financial affairs in order, take advantage of free resources like www.mint.com or www.mymoney.gov, or talk with your financial representative.

Service and charity. Adults who demonstrate compassion and concern for others through service help instill these values in children, whether it is through a school project, group charitable donation or even a family foundation. Serving others as a family, or involving children in the decision to make a charitable gift, engages them in the experience.

The most important gifts that parents can give children are those that will equip them for a long, happy life. Regardless of what they unwrap this holiday season, you can be confident that the financial knowledge and values that you share with your children throughout the year will set them on a solid course for the future.

baby boomer roman janos 130x150 9 Lasting Gifts To Give Your Children or GrandchildrenAbout the author: Roman Janos is originally from Switzerland, a financial planner with Northwestern Mutual. Visit his website at RomanJanos.com

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