As a parent, one of many responsibilities is to guide your children towards becoming successful contributors to society. You want to give them all the tools needed to step into adulthood mentally and financially prepared. You want to do the right thing when it comes to financial planning for your children.
Financial planning for your children starts with taking care of them when they’re young and dependent, and can lead up to transferring your wealth to them when you die.
However, which financial planning topics should be covered at each age range to ensure you stay on track?
Under 10 Years Old
The first step to understanding financial planning is to teach financial literacy. During these formative young years, create opportunities for introducing the concept of money and the role it plays in society to your children.
Here are a few ways you can teach young kids about money:
- Create a chore list. Assigning chores to your children will teach responsibility, accomplishment, and work ethic. Introduce the aspect of barter by giving your children allowance for their completed chores.
- Help them start their own savings by making/buying a savings jar and use it to collect any money they earn.
- Start connecting the dots between their savings and how they can use it. When they point out things in the store, show them how much it cost and help compare the costs to what they have in their savings.
- Play money-themed board games to turn a learning opportunity into a fun game night! Games like Monopoly or Life can teach money skills.
10 to 18 Years Old
During this phase of childhood, kids are starting to have a mind of their own. They’re discovering hobbies and interests, and possibly working to earn money. They are young consumers who should take on a higher level of financial education.
Set up your child’s first bank account and obtain a debit card for the child to begin teaching them financial responsibility. If they are too young for a bank account, then take them to the bank with you to witness the deposit and withdrawal system. They can start to learn through the examples you set. When you open their savings account, take them to the bank for them to practice depositing their earnings and making withdrawals.
Explain taxes to your kids when they start to earn income. They don’t need to pay income tax if they are earning less than $12,950 annually.1 Go over that first paycheck stub together. Talk about gross earnings, any deductions for income taxes, and any deductions for FICA taxes (Social Security and Medicare).
The filing process of a tax return offers an opportunity to further teach the concept of taxes to your teenager.
Help your teenager understand the value of money before they enter adulthood to better set them up for success. Often children face shock if they end up on their own without understanding how expensive living can get. Consider removing their allowance as they get older, and encourage them to get part-time jobs. Easing them off of their parent’s money supply can help set them well for their 20s and 30s.
Introduce your kids to your financial advisor by letting them observe your meetings and ask any questions they might have. Your financial advisor can help teach about financial planning and how investing works.
18 – 24 Year Olds
In this stage, your children are either pursuing secondary education or have directly entered into the workforce after high school. They are gaining their independence and starting to feel like their own person. They might be communicating with your financial advisor more often for guidance.
This is the time to introduce credit cards, cash flow budgeting, and the importance of not carrying balances month to month.
Guide your children towards planning for their future by setting financial goals for later in life. Help put prices on their goals so they can better choose a career path that supports their future. Also, you can introduce multiple bank accounts and get them thinking about how to compartmentalize their money, such as an account for a car, or another account for a house.
You don’t have to financially guide your kids alone. Connect with your financial advisor to schedule meetings with your children. Give your children the opportunity to ask questions, learn and build a sturdy financial plan for their future.
- Investopedia.com, September 2022. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/taxes/08/kids-first-income-tax-return.asp.
- Kurtismycfo.com, September 2019. https://kurtismycfo.com/financial-planning-for-your-children/.