Recently, my 8-year-old son approached me with a serious look on his face and asked me if I could Google how to be a superhero. As we reviewed the steps … determine your superpower, choose a name, get an outfit, etc., it sparked the idea for this blog.
How do you become a superhero to your children?
My first thought was to suggest you make sure your children and spouse are taken care of should something untimely occur. This means considering the classic need for insurance and replacing income in the event of loss of your earning power either by death or disability. By managing the risk properly with life and disability insurance products. With a life insurance policy, you can provide funding for college, payment of the mortgage or any other expenses that would normally be satisfied by your income. A disability insurance policy can cover the expenses while you are unable to work due to an injury or illness. Both types of policies can help your family avoid catastrophic financial circumstances should something unexpected happen.
Another item in the superhero toolbox would be appropriate wills and power of attorney designations for you and your spouse. This would direct your assets to be divided as you wish and not as State Statues would have it. In North Carolina, if assets are inherited by a minor, the courts will appoint a guardian to manage those funds until the child reaches the age of majority, even if your spouse survives you. The will should also name guardians to physically care for any minor children should something happen to both parents.
The first two items dealt with unpleasant but important issues that arise every day. Let’s move on to something more positive … teaching your children to save. Creating good savings habits in children not only helps them understand the concept of patience, it also can benefit them in the future. As Albert Einstein once said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it earns it … he who doesn’t … pays it.” Children can learn about saving by not spending money frivolously, saving money and investing money.
Another money skill to teach children is how to spend wisely. Children and patience are not words normally used together but hand in hand with saving is spending wisely and learning the value of money. Many children see the use of debit cards and credit cards and assume it is like a magic card that allows you to buy things. They don’t see the hard work that creates the money in the account or which is used to pay off the bill at the end of the month. Teaching children that even after saving for something, there may be additional costs involved is important. For example, a child may save money for a video game console only to later realize there is an ongoing cost for additional games. The money they’ve spent on the console is only the price of admission.
Finally, teaching your children to share or be charitable is a habit that will make them someone else’s superhero. Developing a habit of charitable giving or fundraising for a good cause can help children become focused on more than themselves. By saving or spending wisely, your children can have some money to share for a good cause.
This is a quick summary of some simple, but important things you can do to become a financial superhero for your children or your grandchildren for that matter. Teach them good habits for saving, spending, and sharing and take care of your adult legal stuff. This way, should you leave the party early, you’ll have all the bases covered. Or, should you be fortunate enough to be in the game for the long haul, helping your children may just help create some new superheroes that can one day help you.
Not sure how to address these issues with your children? Great news! Keep checking out our Facebook page for upcoming events dealing with them.