financial lessons

I hope you had a great weekend! Of course today is National Dance Like A Chicken Day. So click on the link, get up from your chair, and dance like a chicken!

LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute for this week, “Mother’s Day Tips For Teaching Your Kids About Money” (presented below) comes to you courtesy of Charles Schwab & Co. As an independent, objective Registered Investment Advisory (RIA) firm, Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) has access to research from many sources. Be assured that I will share enlightening, useful information with you each week.

It’s hard sometimes to know how to teach your kids about money. Take a look at the guidance below from Schwab.

Have a wonderful week!

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Mother’s Day Tips For Teaching Your Kids About Money

 
By Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, Charles Schwab & Co.

Key points

  • Being a financial coach to your kids is an important role for moms — and dads too.

  • It’s easy to incorporate money activities into your kids’ lives, even at the youngest ages.

  • If you complement financial lessons with your good example, your kids will be more comfortable and confident with money — and appreciate your efforts later in life.

Moms these days can fill a lot of roles — from nutritionist to chauffeur to nurse to counselor. We’re called on to be experts in everything from caring for physical wounds to healing broken hearts. On top of that, many of us hold down full-time jobs! Now I’m going to add one more responsibility to the list: financial coach.

Think you don’t have time to add one more thing to your busy schedule? Actually, you might be surprised at how much financial knowledge you already impart to your kids just in the everyday things you do. After all, kids are always watching us — and learning from us — even when we’re unaware of it. So my thought is that when it comes to money, a little conscious awareness on the parts of moms — and dads — can make the financial lessons we teach our kids that much more effective.

Still skeptical? Here are some practical ways you can increase your kids’ financial knowledge from the early years until they’re ready to set off on their own.

Age-appropriate activities you can easily incorporate into your routine

I’m all for starting to teach kids about money at an early age. I believe even children as young as three-to-five can begin to learn a bit about saving and spending — and have fun doing it. As your kids get older, you can involve them in budgeting, smart credit management, even investing. And it doesn’t have to take a lot of time.

Young kids

Instilling the savings habit in kids from a young age is a great start to their financial education. Add to that a beginning awareness of spending, and you’ll really give them a boost. Try these simple activities to get started:

  • Have your kids choose something they really want. Put a price tag on it, and help them set aside a portion of any money they get from an allowance or gift, say 10 percent, toward their savings goal. That’s a good start. (You can always match their savings to help them along!)

  • Make saving tangible for even the youngest children by decorating separate jars for each savings goal and helping them track their progress.

  • Teach the value of money by giving a young child a dollar to buy a snack, pay for it, get a receipt, keep the change and put it toward a savings goal.

Middle schoolers

By middle school, kids are ready to handle some money of their own. Whether it comes from an allowance, gifts or eventually a part-time job, it’s only by managing their own money — and making their own mistakes — that kids will learn to make good saving, spending, and budgeting decisions. Here are some easy ways to give them real-world experience:

  • Help your preteen open a savings account. (You’ll need their Social Security number.) Shop for one with no fees — another good lesson. Talk about interest and explain how compound interest works. Your bank manager might be willing to help out. That might get the kids to listen more closely. Again, encourage them to save at least 10 percent of any money they receive.

  • Decide together what your kids will be responsible for paying for — whether something essential like school lunches or extras like a movie with friends. It will be up to them to make sure they have the money when they need it.

  • Let kids plan a trip or night out. Give them a budget, something like $1,000 for a family vacation or $75 for a special dinner. Have them research and estimate expenses. Help them be creative and make trade-offs to stay within budget.

Teens

Teens want freedom and independence but they don’t always equate that with being financially responsible. If you started their money lessons early, hopefully they’ve already established some good habits. Now is the time to prepare them for the upcoming transition to the real world of saving, budgeting, credit — even investing. Use this list as a starting point:

  • Savings: Help working teens set up direct deposit to put part of every paycheck into a savings account.

  • Budgeting: Whether with an online tracker or on paper, have your teens record every purchase they make for a week or two. Then take it a step further by having them complete a monthly budget planner to really see where their money is going.

  • Credit management: Once you explain the pluses and minuses of credit cards, give your older teen some hands-on experience.

    • First, open a checking account and teach your teen how to use a check register, review monthly statements and pay bills.

    • Consider giving your teen a credit card linked to your own card and set ground rules for using it.

    • Review the monthly statement together and make your teen responsible for paying off their monthly charges. You want them to learn from the start the importance of paying off their balance in full each month.

  • Investing: There’s a lot to talk about here, but experience is the best teacher. Once you’ve introduced some basic concepts about long-term investing, risk, and not betting everything on a single stock, here are a couple of ways to make it real:

    • Try virtual investing. Demonstrate how to research stocks online, and then have them “buy” 10 shares of a few companies they like. Record the “purchase” price, monitor the performance and, after a month, have them calculate what they gained or lost.

    • Open a custodial account (or a custodial IRA if your teen has earned income) and help them articulate their goals, whether that’s a special trip, a summer program, college, or even retirement.  You can then help them select investments appropriate for each goal and monitor their progress.

The best way to teach at any age

No matter your kids’ age, setting a good example is probably the most important thing you can do. If you’re open about your own financial challenges and make money conversations a part of everyday life, your kids will be more comfortable and confident when dealing with money.

And the lessons won’t stop when they’re off on their own. Your good example will continue on, and chances are they’ll be coming back to discuss their own money issues with you — as well as other of life’s challenges — knowing they can rely on Mom’s good counsel.

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About LRPC’s Monday Morning Minute

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) Monday Morning Minute is crafted to provide decision-makers with important information about the economy, investments and corporate retirement plans in a format that allows a reader to consume the information in less than 60 seconds. As an independent, objective investment adviser, LRPC has access to many sources of research and shares the best and most relevant information with its readers each week.

About Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC  

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC (LRPC) is a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based independent, objective Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) providing investment advisory, fiduciary compliance, employee education, provider management and plan design services to employer retirement plan sponsors. The firm specializes in Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) strategies for retirement plans and is a pioneer in the field. LRPC currently has contracts in place to provide consulting services on nearly $475 million in plan assets. For more information, please contact Robert C. Lawton at (414) 828-4015 or bob@lawtonrpc.com or visit the firm’s website at http://www.lawtonrpc.com. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser.

Important Disclosures

This information was developed as a general guide to educate plan sponsors and is not intended as authoritative guidance, tax, legal or investment advice. Each plan has unique requirements and you should consult your attorney or tax adviser for guidance on your specific situation. In no way does Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC assure that, by using the information provided, a plan sponsor will be in compliance with ERISA regulations. Investors should carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. The statements in this publication are the opinions and beliefs of the commentator expressed when the commentary was made and are not intended to represent that person’s opinions and beliefs at any other time. The commentary does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC and should not be construed as recommendations or investment advice. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC offers no tax, legal or accounting advice and any advice contained herein is not specific to any individual, entity or retirement plan, but rather general in nature and, therefore, should not be relied upon for specific investment situations. Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants, LLC is a Wisconsin Registered Investment Adviser and accepts clients outside of Wisconsin based upon applicable state registration regulations and the “de minimus” exception.

Additional Important Disclosures

The information provided here is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consult with a qualified tax advisor, CPA, financial planner or investment manager.