kids saving money

Why it’s Crucial for Kids to Learn about Saving at an Early Age

While most parents take the job of raising their children seriously, many of them forget that teaching them about being financially responsible is just as important as it is to ensure that they learn good manners along the way. Children as young as three to four years old can be taught the basics regarding how to save and budget their money, and this go a long way in teaching them to work as effectively as possible with their money as teens and adults.

During the Earlier Years

It has been noted that children as young as the age of three years are able to understand the basic concept of how money works. For example, your three year old will not only know that money is required to purchase the toy they want; they do realize that Mom or Dad will have to go to work so they can get the money that’s needed. One of the easiest ways to start teaching young children about money is to show them how to count by using dollar bills.

If the toy your child wants costs $30, show them 30 individual dollar bills, have them count them out and explain that this is what will be needed to pay for the toy. The next step to take is to let your child know that you’ll provide them with one bill in exchange for them completing a simple chore or task around the house. Once they have accumulated enough of the dollar bills, they will be able to purchase the toy. 

As your Child becomes Older

As your child becomes older, it will be normal for them to start wanting costlier toys, clothing and gadgets. For instance, your tween may ask for a phone and this can provide you with a great opportunity to teach them about the art of budgeting. In most cases, mobile phones come with their own monthly bills and part of the responsibility of having one can involve requiring your child to earn the funds to pay part or all of that bill. 

If your children are close to the age of 16, you may already have had them asking you to purchase a car for them. If you’ve started teaching them early enough about saving and budgeting, your child may already have sufficient funds to pay cash for their first vehicle. This will also be the right time to teach them about the insurance that’s required to drive and to cover the costs of gas, servicing and maintenance over time. 

In a Nutshell

When teaching your children about money from an early age, you’ll be doing the following:

  • Teaching them that it’s necessary to earn the money needed to buy the items they want or need
  • Explaining the value of money, making them less likely to spend unnecessarily later in life
  • Showing them how important it is to set money aside for unexpected emergencies
  • Teaching them how and why they need to budget their money to cover monthly bills as adults

When your children know how to spend their money responsibly, they stand a far better chance of succeeding in areas of their lives other than just finance. Contact us today if you would like to learn more about learning how to budget or how to teach your children more about money.

 

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older person working

Why Individuals are Retiring Later than Ever Before

These days, reaching the age of 60 or 65 doesn’t automatically mean that an individual will retire from work. In fact, several people are now waiting longer than ever before or in more serious cases, have to continue working indefinitely in order to survive. Below are some reasons why employees are retiring at later ages than previous generations.

Waiting for Larger Social Security Payouts

Although it’s possible to officially retire at the age of 62, individuals who do this will receive smaller payments from Social Security than those who are willing to wait until reaching 65 – or even older. It’s a known fact that those who retire early can receive payments that are as much as 30% lower than those received by older individuals, and there may also be restrictions with regards to other forms of income as well.

Longer Life Expectancies 

Twenty to thirty years ago, a sense of urgency existed for individuals to retire when reaching the age of 65 or even sooner. However, this is not so common anymore because many people are living longer than they did previously – while also enjoying a better quality of health in general. This means that many employees can now easily stop working when reaching the age of 70 or more and still be able to enjoy a decade or two of leisure time.

They want to Remain Active

More individuals than ever are realizing that there are a number of benefits associated with remaining physically and mentally active. For example, several studies have revealed that regular mental stimulation can delay or even prevent the onset of dementia or Alzheimer’s. This means that anyone working in fields where cognitive thinking skills are needed will significantly reduce their risk of developing conditions such as these. 

Exercising the body regularly has many benefits as well, such as reducing the chances of developing conditions like arthritis, heart disease and obesity.

Retirement Accounts have been Lost

Delaying retirement is often an extreme necessity for some individuals. For instance, when markets crashed and the housing crisis occurred a few years ago, several people saw their life savings and/or retirement accounts dwindle away to virtually nothing. Although many of these employees have been working hard since then, chances are that they won’t have enough money to retire unless they are willing to work a few extra years.

Healthcare Benefits are Essential

Senior citizens who are still in good health are often dismayed to discover that their Medicare benefits will not be able to cover all of their health-related expenses. As such, those who require these benefits might have to work a few extra years so that they can make use of the health savings accounts and/or medical plans being provided by their employers. This is especially true in cases where specific medications that require high Medicare co-payments are concerned.

If you think that you may not have enough money to retire or you’d like to learn more about making better investment-related choices, contact our team for assistance today. 

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retirement decluttering

Items you should De-clutter after Retiring

Although most individuals see downsizing as a highly undesirable chore, the truth is that you could find this to be an emotionally and spiritually freeing process – especially if you have recently left the workforce. Having fewer possessions to keep track of will allow you to focus more energy on aspects that are important to you, such as spending more time with family, traveling or even having the ability to move into a smaller home.

Below are some examples of items that can do with being de-cluttered:

Sentimental items

Items such as old greeting cards, ornaments, photos, trophies and any other similar items fall into this category. Although you should hold on to items that are really special to you for any reason, you may not be able to take all of it along with you if you’re moving to a smaller home or retirement facility. 

Consider choosing a few of your most treasured items that mean the most to you and find out if other family members or close friends would be keen to take any of the others over from you. A great way to be able to remember the items you’re parting with is to take pictures of them that can be kept forever.

Old Paperwork

Most individuals are guilty of holding on to far more paperwork than they are required to. Once paperwork is older than seven years, it should be discarded responsibly – shredding these documents is usually a good idea. If there are sentimental items such as old report cards or certificates of achievement, these can also be photographed before discarding them.

Large Items

Large appliances, oversized furniture items and that unused exercise bicycle that has been used to hold everything except an exercising individual over the years should all be downsized at this time. The same can be done with those boxes of items you’ve had in your storage unit or garage and haven’t opened in the past few years – chances are that you’ll never need the items in them again anyway. 

This can also be the ideal time to downsize your household to one vehicle – you’ll then only have to cover the servicing, maintenance and insurance costs of a single vehicle instead of multiple units.

Books

Books take up a lot of space, are quite heavy to move and in many cases have digital alternatives available these days. If you’ve been collecting a lot of books over the years and won’t have the space to take them all with you to your new home, you’ll need to consider selling them or donating them to various charities or schools. 

The only exception you should make is if you have any autographed books. If you enjoy reading, consider joining your local library – they have thousands of books that can not only be borrowed for free – you won’t have to worry about storing them either. 

While de-cluttering your physical possessions is an important part of the downsizing process, don’t forget about de-cluttering your debt as well (if you have any). The fewer expenses you have to cover in retirement, the less you’ll have to stretch your available finances to survive. 

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