Raising Financially Sound Kids

The vast majority of children are destined for a financial future that differs little from that of their parents. Research has found that the financial future of younger generations can sometimes even be worse due to a combination of societal influence and last of intentional “fiscal training”.

You can change that.

An easy way to fiscally train the younger generations in your family is through the use of an allowance. Yes…the old school allowance.

The benefit of an allowance is that it provides an easy way for families to engage in money talk, and teach accountability and personal responsibility at an earlier age. We get questions about when to start and what method to use. As to “When?”, it will differ by family, but many families start when children can understand how the allowance will work. What method you use for allowance should be tailored to your family culture. Here are three systems to consider.

  • Set Dollar System Uses regular monthly amounts with expectations of engagement in the home
  • Reward SystemPay certain amounts for different assigned household jobs
  • Income SystemPay for special jobs outside of regular responsibilities (e.g. mowing the lawn, detailing a car)

Coupled with instruction on how to save, invest, give and spend, an allowance system is a powerful tool to have when raising financially sound kids.

Allen Addresses Advisers on Working with Breadwinner Women

This May Sharon Allen spoke at the national Financial Advisor Invest in Women conference in Dallas, Texas. She facilitated a panel of experts as well as shared her own expertise regarding the concerns and needs of Breadwinner Women in our society. Drawing from the national research from the Family Wealth Advisor’s Council, of which Sharon is a member, she focused on the resulting data highlighting the challenges and opportunities financial advisors need to be aware of when serving women investors. “I was honored to be asked to be a part of the conversation around this very important topic,” says Allen. “Despite a growing awareness of differences in the needs of women, our research shows that the financial services industry still needs to do a much better job in truly partnering with women investors.”

Sharon Allen, CFP(R), CTFA is the Co-Founder and President of Sterling Wealth Management, a fee-only wealth management firm. She has an exceptionally collaborative approach in working with her clients, and has a particular interest in the challenges facing women of wealth. Sharon has co-authored a paper on the Sandwich Generation Woman titled Caught In the Middle: How Does the Sandwich Generation Woman Not Get Squeezed?.

Holiday Conversation Starter – Family Financial DNA

multi-generation family white bkgd (standing)

What are your plans for this holiday season? Why not include some meaningful financial planning conversation while you pass the turkey?

Every family has a “Financial DNA”…a set of unique values and personality around money. These values guide life decisions that have economic impact. For example, if community is important to you, you might choose to spend $20 on diapers for the local emergency shelter instead of going out for coffee. Or if you want to see your family members hone a natural skill to excellence, you might choose to live a more simple life now to set aside financial resources for college or training for them in the future.

If you find yourself desirous of cultivating that DNA for future generations, here are some questions to spark conversation.

  • What’s important to you about money?
  • What is your definition of wealth?
  • What would you like to do for your community?
  • What do you want to do for the world at large?
  • What charitable causes tug at your heart?
  • What would your ideal weekend or vacation be?

There’s no right or wrong answer. And hopefully by starting the conversation, you will have had a chance to begin defining your family mission.