Money is always a solid choice as a gift for a kid or teen. You could give them a wallet filled with cash, or a gift card to the local mall – or you could give a financial gift that will keep giving dividends for years to come. Even the youngest children can understand money and how it works, and a few well targeted gifts could set those young people up for a lifetime of financial success.
Financial gifts do not have to be boring. There are plenty of wonderful playthings the youngsters on your holiday gift list are sure to enjoy. Books targeted at young children are the perfect example – there are dozens of such titles each year, some written by titans of the financial industry and successful investors. The best financial books for kids talk about money in an engaging and interesting way, so pick up a few for your favorite kids.
Then there are the games – from board games to video games to smartphone apps, there are lots of ways to reinforce smart financial habits and give a great gift. Just look for games that are age appropriate and play them with your kids. Who knows, you might even learn a thing or two.
Financial Instruments as Gifts
For the older kids on your gift list, you might consider some financial instruments. Starting a college fund is always a great thing to do, and parents, grandparents and other adults can add to that account year after year.
If you have working teens in the house, you could fund a retirement account in their name. It is never too early to start saving for retirement, and having an IRA in place could encourage those young workers to save even more on their own.
There are even retirement-targeted gifts that are perfect for children of all ages. These funds are designed to fund retirement, and they generally take the form of a variable annuity. The recipient can make investment changes, but the money stays locked in until retirement.
Investment Seminars and Targeted Education
Knowledge is power when it comes to saving and investing, and it is never too early to start the learning. Signing up for a financial class or seminar as a family is a great thing to do, and there are also kid-friendly classes that even the youngest children will enjoy.
A little caution is warranted here, since some financial seminars are nothing more than sophisticated sales pitches. Gift givers should do their homework and focus on seminars that teach the basics of financial education – without pushing specific products or services.
It is never too early for young people to think about their finances. Giving the young people in your life a financial head start just might be the best gift you can give. Gifts that teach young kids the value of the dollar could help them avoid debt later on, while games that are fun to play can teach valuable financial lessons along the way. So grab your gift list and give presents that will last a lifetime.