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  • Writer's pictureMMH CPA

Financial Education for Children

Most parents, at one time or another, have asked their child, “Do you think that money grows on trees?” While this a common expression, it hits at an underlying truth. Children on the verge of teenage-hood and adulthood often don’t have a clue about financial matters.

For instance, can you honestly say that your brood knows enough about managing debt, saving for college, or planning for retirement? If not, here are a few financial tips you can pass along to children in your life as a good starting point.

Debt management. Debt doesn’t have to be treated like a four-letter word. In fact, there are times when it makes financial sense to borrow money, such as taking out a home mortgage. But caution your children about over-extending themselves, especially when it comes to credit card debt.

College savings. At an early age, include your children in planning for their college education. When appropriate, let them participate in investment decisions, and monitor portfolio progress together on a regular basis. Also, point out the advantages of tax-advantaged vehicles such as 529 plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts.

Retirement planning. Sure, retirement is way off your child’s radar screen, but don’t ignore the need to plan ahead. Advise your child about the benefits of tax-sheltered retirement vehicles. If your child works summers or part-time, he or she can contribute up to $6,000 to an IRA for 2020. Contributions to a traditional IRA are tax-deductible, but distributions are taxable. On the other hand, contributions to a Roth IRA are not deductible, but qualified distributions are tax-free.

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