Monday, March 9, 2020

Why You Need to Share Your Financial Stories With Your Grandkids

I'm lucky to have Clifton Corbin from share his thoughts on sharing your financial stories with your Grandkids on the blog today.
Grandparents play a critical role in the guiding and moulding of a generation.

I can bear witness to the remarkable relationship children can have with grandparents.  I watch my children interact with my parents in wonder and awe.  My rule-following, austere parents that I thought I knew, transform into a playful version of themselves, and it warms my heart.

For many kids, mine included, their grandparents are their first confidants.  They feel comfortable sharing with their grands’ in ways they don’t with other family or friends.  I believe it is because they receive unconditional love, without the restraints that parents put upon them. That combination allows for an openness that they cannot experience with many others.  It also makes for a beautiful relationship that enables children to discuss whatever interests or concerns them freely.  Add to that their grandparent’s worldly perspective gained through a life filled with experiences, and you have a marvellous combination.

Luckily, most grandparents acknowledge the role they can play in their grandchild’s life. According to a 2019 AARP study, “81% of grandparents say they play an important role in their grandchildren’s lives”. Grandparents have the power to influence those young souls.  They look to their grandparents not only for a loving shoulder to lean on but also as role models to fashion their lives after.  Is there any better way to model good behaviour than to include your grandchildren in your retirement planning journey?

Share Your Family Stories

I still love hearing about what my parents and grandparents had to go through to get where they are today. Walking to school, working as a bookbinder, a cab driver, a baker and au pair.  The stories about buying first homes or first cards.  Looking for work after immigrating to a new country.  Trials and tribulations of working and going to university with a young family at home.  Not to mention the discrimination that they experienced.

All of those stories helped to inspire me to work hard and appreciate what I have.  They helped me understand where I came from and how fortunate I am to have what I have.  The same would be true for the stories you share with your grandchildren.  Retirement is the ultimate story of delayed gratification.  You work and toil, all the while putting a little bit of money aside for someday in the future.  You doubtlessly have had both ups in downs in your financial journey.

Share your financial stories with your grandchildren. Children that hear about good financial habits are more likely to adopt those habits.  Telling your stories will help to empower your grandchildren to build good financial behaviours. Those stories have the power to influence and to educate.  They teach the need for forethought and planning, the importance of saving early, how hard work pays off, and the need for perseverance.

Planning for retirement can be an exciting time in your life as you all the possibilities that lay ahead. Retirement is the opportunity to reap the ultimate reward of all of your hard work.  Include your grandchildren in this exciting part of your life so they can learn and grow from your valuable experiences.

Clifton blogs at an online resource teaching finical literacy for parents and their kids.  You can follow Clifton's personal and business ramblings on Twitter @cdcorbin


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