Teach older kids to save $$$
Give teens gifts that keep giving
Seems like just yesterday that an American Girl doll was the only thing the young ladies on your list wanted for Christmas. Their brothers thought they couldn’t live another year without a new Wii game, and little ones liked anything from Playskool or Fisher Price.
Now, they’re teenagers who giggle with feigned delight when they open the carefully wrapped package containing your idea of a great gift. Turns out those sweaters you gave them are their worst nightmares. No one would wear that style or that color to school, so your cashmeres go into the closet for good.
You probably know the kids prefer money, but you still enjoy shopping for them. Besides, you don’t get those electronic gadgets that kids spend all their money on today. If you’re stumped, it may be time to wise up.
Give them money that grows
Instead of cold cash for birthdays, graduations and holidays, how about giving the kids in your life a few lessons in investing? An investment account could be the best gift they ever receive. Having their own mutual funds, stocks or bonds can open their eyes to saving money, investing it wisely and watching it grow.
No matter how big or small your budget may be, you can teach teens to save for the future by buying them shares in small installments for special occasions. Certified financial planner Ron VanSurskum, Advanced Asset Management, opens accounts for as little as $50 or $100. Every time another milestone is reached, you can just add a few more bucks to the child’s fund.
As little as $20 or $25 for birthdays, larger sums for bigger occasions like graduation, can be deposited into the child’s account any time. He or she will soon see how putting a little money to work in investments increases the total over time. Teens who are lucky enough to own such accounts will watch their funds grow long after the latest fashions are no longer chic and electronic toys are outdated.
Financial gift-givers often tuck their deposit slips into appropriate greeting cards, sometimes attaching a small gift. Others put half of each monetary present into the investment account and give the remainder in cash.
Some families may worry that investments will affect a young person’s financial aid for college. Most colleges, however, allow students to have some financial assets and still receive aid. Check on financial aid requirements with your child’s school counselor, along with finding out about 529 college savings plans. Parents and grandparents can also keep accounts in their names, designating the student as a beneficiary. No matter how you do it, putting money into investments for young people makes a great gift!
Manage Your Money . . . helpful financial facts provided for you by . . . Advanced Asset Management LLC Follow our blog: aamllc.com Ronald Van Surksum, CFP 4555 Wilson Ave SW – Suite Grandville, MI 49418 For permission to reprint: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Ph: 616-531-5220 Cell: 616-450-8439