‘Launching Financial Grownups’ Shows How To Raise Smart Kids By Reuters

© . FILE PHOTO: A mother helps her son with homework at their Pennsylvania home, Sept. 22, 2021. Photo taken Sept. 22, 2021. REUTERS/Hannah Beier/ By Chris Taylor NEW YORK () – When it comes to death, money is smart for kids, many parents know where to start. In the beginning, they introduce children to the concept, by giving them small amounts of money, such as stipends or tooth fairy gifts to deal with. The end goal is a fully functioning financially responsible adult – making money, managing a budget, paying bills, saving for retirement. The real challenge, however, is the intervening years. How exactly do you get them across the finish line? That’s the puzzle that drove Bobbi Rebell crazy. The author, licensed financial planner and former business newsreader for found herself frustrated when she tried to get her two college-age stepchildren to embrace ideas about financial literacy. “Although I spent decades writing business and personal finance news, I failed so miserably,” Rebell says. “There’s a lot of great educational material for little kids, but I couldn’t find anything for parents of people growing up.” Presto: Her New Book “Launching Financial Grownups”. There are a few reasons why it’s so challenging to launch our kids into the real world. Often adults do not have their own financial house in order, so we lack the knowledge or tools to teach the next generation. Plus, the last thing a teen wants to do is patiently listen to and learn from parents. And schools aren’t a big help either. Money skills are now part of some curricula, but the reality is that personal finance is often overlooked as a topic. As a result, teens often take money lessons from elsewhere, if at all. According to a survey by banking giant Wells Fargo (NYSE:), 35% of teens say they get information about how to handle money through social media. Every family’s resources and financial journeys are different, but these core principles can serve as a compass to rally smart kids: FIND THAT BALANCE It’s usually unrealistic to launch kids at age 18 and expect them to grow up from day one. manage all their financial affairs. At some point, however, you have to release them. Still, 74% of parents help their adult children financially — and half say they cut their own retirement savings to do so, according to surveys from personal finance site Bankrate. That’s why Rebell says where to find that delicate balance: Help in times of crisis, contribute if you can to big expenses like their first car or their college tuition, but don’t do everything for them so they don’t get skin in the game. “Just because you can subsidize them doesn’t mean you should,” Rebell says. “You have to be strategic about it.” USE THE COVID YEARS AS AN OPPORTUNITY This unique pandemic era has rewired family dynamics in many ways. In many cases, young adults live with their parents for reasons such as saving money, job loss, or schools closing for in-person instruction. If your child is around more often than you expected, take the opportunity. Have money conversations, invite them to budget decisions, and ask them to contribute to household expenses. They learn more than you think just by watching what you do, so be transparent about how running a household means making tough choices. AVOID ‘CONCIERGE’ PARENTING If you solve every financial problem that comes their way, they don’t learn much on their own. Resist the need to intervene in everything, and let them make some decisions and bear the consequences. That means that sometimes they have to fail. Think back to your own financial history: Probably the best money lessons you ever learned came from when you had very little and had to get creative. “A lot of parents are so well-intentioned, and they just don’t want their kids to suffer,” Rebell says. “But sometimes you have to let your kids fall short.” NOT JUST LEARNING – LISTENING Helping your kids understand money isn’t just a one-way street, teacher-pupil, of presenting a lesson plan and letting them process it. After all, they are not you: they are (or will be) independent, with their own ideas of what they want from life. As a result, they will have their minds about money and how they want to earn, spend, save and give it – and that’s okay. “It’s a conversation, so let them talk more than you do,” Rebell says. “Think about what’s important to them and don’t assume their priorities are yours. Then you can help guide them.”

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