Holiday Financial Conversations for the Generations: Teenagers

 The upcoming holiday break from school gives you the perfect opening to have conversations with your teenage children about their college plans.  Try talking to them about what they are currently interested in studying once they reach college, where they think they might apply, and also your family’s plan for college funding.  This includes what you plan to contribute, as well as your expectations about your child’s contribution. 

Here are several items that should be on your list:

How much is your child’s education likely to cost?  Go online and look up tuition rates for the schools your child might be considering. Then find one of the many online college tuition calculators to determine what your child’s costs might be.

How will you plan to pay for school?

  • Discuss what you have saved (529 College Savings Plans, UTMAs, and other savings).
  • Discuss opportunities for scholarships and grants.  Here are two sites to visit as early as your child’s freshman year in high school:

Discuss ways for your child to contribute, either now or in the future. This may include part-time work in high school, during summers, or during college.  This also includes strong academic performance and/or extra curricular activities now which can put them in a position for academic or other scholarships in the future.

The high cost of a college education makes these family conversations necessary.  By framing the discussions around the excitement of planning for your child’s future, you can make this an enjoyable and productive use of the holidays.

Talk to your financial planner about the many ways to save for your child’s college education.

In my next blog, I will talk about holiday financial discussions to have with your older adult parents.

Sandra Adams, CFP® is a Financial Planner at Center for Financial Planning, Inc. Sandy specializes in Elder Care Financial Planning and is a frequent speaker on related topics. In 2012 and 2013, Sandy was named to the Five Star Wealth Managers list in Detroit Hour magazine. In addition to her frequent contributions to Money Centered, she is regularly quoted in national media publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Research Magazine and Journal of Financial Planning.


Five Star Award is based on advisor being credentialed as an investment advisory representative (IAR), a FINRA registered representative, a CPA or a licensed attorney, including education and professional designations, actively employed in the industry for five years, favorable regulatory and complaint history review, fulfillment of firm review based on internal firm standards, accepting new clients, one- and five-year client retention rates, non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered, number of client households served.

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