Helping Parents Raise Their Children's Money IQ

Serving your clients' investment goals has long centered on planning for taxes, retirement and estate matters. However, given the alarming statistics on our youth's level of financial literacy, another box should be added to your checklist: Educating parents on how to raise their children's money management awareness. Every parent, especially those from affluent families, wants to teach their children how to be good stewards of the family's wealth. However, it's much easier said than done.

From an altruistic standpoint, through this effort you will be helping prepare our future generation for adult life. The self-serving aspect may be appealing as well since you'll be helping train future clients on the value of financial planning.

A helpful first step to this goal is simply helping parents understand age appropriate lessons for their children. From lessons on the value of money to establishing long-term savings goals, parents can teach these concepts through activities incorporated into everyday family life or "teachable moments." An easy example is teaching children the difference between debit and credit cards. On trips to the grocery store, parents can alternate between using cash―demonstrating the actual cost of items― and credit and debit cards―demonstrating the difference in these transactions.

The other concept to help parents' grasp is that these ideas need to be taught repeatedly. Once is simply not enough. Any parent that is still struggling to have their children voluntarily take out the garbage will readily understand this last point!