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Planning Perspectives

A look at life and finance from every angle.

From personal to professional, from family to financial, there are many facets to your life. Yet, each is interconnected. Planning Perspectives is a source of ideas and information to help you make the most of them all, all together.

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Teach your children to treasure their financial future.

Parents often emphasize the importance of education to their children. The rewards are obvious. Yet, all too many forget to bolster that education with real-world financial information that can be passed along for genera­tions to come.

It’s never too early to share financial wisdom, to teach your children the value of mon­ey and how to care for their financial future. In fact, the sooner you start; the better. When they’re on their own, you’ll have the comfort of knowing they understand and appreciate the power of financial planning and the role money plays in their lives.

An essential skill
Financial literacy is an essential skill, just like reading or multiplication tables. Unfortunately, it’s not typically taught in school. It’s up to parents to pass on their finan­cial knowledge to ensure the next generation is capable of taking care of the wealth they’ve built.

Start teaching financial lessons as early as the toddler years and extend through middle age, when your adult children will need to know as much as possible about your financial life. Conversations should focus on holistic planning, saving and spending. It’s about how you build wealth and what you do with it to achieve your goals. You might be able to use real-life examples, like a new home purchase, to explain a particular financial lesson.

It seems obvious, but the best way to pass on your own financial legacy is by example. Parents need to establish themselves, early on, as moneywise adults. Just as unhealthy habits can be passed on to children by example, so can risky money management tech­niques. The next generation may struggle to overcome poor habits they’ve been taught over the years.

A Family Affair

Grandparents also have a role to play, as long as what they pass along is in line with your values and attitudes toward money. They often have insights, gained from years of experi­ence that can be shared. You may even learn a thing or two as you build your family’s financial legacy together.

While products such as trusts and wills can help ensure your wishes are carried out, they can’t give your heirs a true understanding of how to save, grow and spend money wisely. In fact, if your children are going to receive a sizable inheritance, they may get overwhelmed by sudden wealth without a solid foundation to rely on. It’s also a good idea to introduce your children, when they’re ready, to your financial advisor and other professional partners, so they’ll know where to find expert guidance when dealing with money issues.