What Better than the Gift of Financial Education and Support?

 I don’t know about you, but I can hardly believe that it is already time for the holidays.  It seems like just yesterday that I was racking my brain to come up with creative gift giving ideas for all of those people on my list.  I find that it is just as hard to find gifts for adults as it is for children.  But there is one gift I’ve found that transcends generations – the gift of financial education. 

I know, financial education does not sound as attractive or exciting as say, an iPad or a Wine of the Month Club membership, but it is a gift that can keep on giving for a lifetime.  What am I talking about when I suggest a gift of financial education?  Here are just a few ideas:

For Younger  Kids (elementary – high school):

  • If you’re trying to stay away from more electronics, there are hundreds of books, workbooks and other resources available from Jump$tart Coalition (JumpStart.org)
  • Games like Monopoly, The Game of Life, and PayDay are great (Most are available as both traditional board games or for the computer, Wii, etc.)
  • Make a contribution to a 529 College Education fund to support the child’s future education.

For Older Kids (college - young adults):

  • If your gift recipient has had earned income during the year, consider contributing to a ROTH IRA in their name. 
  • Gift shares of a mutual fund or stock introduce them to investing and help them start an investment portfolio.
  • Make a payment towards their outstanding student loan debt.

For Young Adults and Beyond:

  • Fund a year of a credit monitoring service to protect their credit and financial identity from fraud.
  • Purchase financial software to help them with budgeting and financial tracking (i.e. Quicken)
  • Pay for a consultation with a Certified Financial Planner ™ (my personal favorite!).  This can help provide basic financial education and guidance for getting them set on the right financial path.

Giving a gift tied to financial education and support may not make you the hero of the holidays, but you can be certain that the gift will long be remembered as one that lasted long after the holiday decorations are put away for another year.

Any opinions are those of Center for Financial Planning, Inc., and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James.  Investments mentioned may not be suitable for all investors.