What is the most important financial advice you would pass to your children?Submitted by Castlebar Asset Management on June 14th, 2016
When you pass away if you could not leave any money to your children, but only one piece of financial advice, what would it be? I was asked this excellent question and had to pause. My mind raced trying to think of all the financial advice I had heard and also given, things you want your kids to avoid and habits you want kids to know sooner than you figured them out.
My answer is at the end but I asked several colleagues who I respect how they would answer the question. Here are their amazing responses.
Pursue a life doing something that you are good at and willing to work hard at. Your career earnings power is your greatest asset toward long-term financial success. Too often people say to pursue your "passion" or "what you love". Certainly do something you enjoy, but it is equally important to maximize your talents and be committed to improvement.
Brian E. Betz, CFP® @percension
Don't open and use a credit card until you have the intention of paying it off in full immediately. Too many times the temptation of easy money can lure you to purchase things you can't truly afford. Do yourself a favor and set a goal for that vacation, designer purse, or new living room furniture. Set money aside each month or paycheck until you can pay for the item. You will feel much more accomplished and receive so much more joy from the things you worked hard to get. Plus, you won't find yourself trying to break free from the vicious cycle of consumer debt years later when you can't even remember what you financed at 20% interest in the first place.
Push the boundaries for what you want out of life. Find the balance between saving for a comfortable future and enjoying the now. Make your life decisions based on what you find real joy in doing. Travel, make career decisions based on your core values, find a cause you are passionate about and spend time with those you love. Leave a legacy of a life well lived. This is just as important to me as creating a plan that will ensure financial independence my entire life.
Debbie Freeman @DebbieDenverCO
As Stephen Covey stated in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, "live, love, laugh and leave a legacy." If children aren't part of your legacy (or even if they are), my advice is to leave your community better off than when you found it. Find an organization or two in your community that you're passionate about and help them be part of your legacy. The future will thank you for it.
Clint Haynes @Clint_NextGen
My advice would be to always remember that money is a good servant but a terrible master. Always focus on what's important to you and to those you care about, and use money to help you pursue and achieve those things or experiences. If, on the other hand, money becomes your goal, consider what otherwise important things you may sacrifice (intentionally or otherwise) in pursuing it.
Russ Thornton @russthornton
Your long term financial success is the result of thousands of small decisions you make throughout your life. While many financial decisions may seem minor, when added together over time, they add up to a lot! This applies to saving and spending. Choose wisely.
David Waldrop @DavidNWaldrop
Avoid Lifestyle Creep - It's not uncommon to want to spend more as you make more. There will always be a newer, nicer "thing" you'll want to buy. After a few years, you may find yourself living an expensive lifestyle. Unfortunately, expensive lifestyle are difficult to dial back. My advice would be to avoid lifestyle creep by focusing on saving more of a raise than you spend. Control your budget and stick too it. Save first, save often, and save smart.
Daniel Zajac @daniel_zajac
Here is my answer to the question.
Reaching your financial goals is not about one big thing, it is a series of small things that accumulate over time. Remember to pay yourself first, spend less than you earn and invest with the long term in mind and you’ll achieve all of your financial goals.
Andrew Comstock @CastlebarAM
Final Thought: Don't wait until the very end to share your financial advice with your children or grandchildren. Always strive to make today count.
Disclaimer: The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your personal financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.