By Don McNay
CNHI News Service
“Teach your children well.”
-Crosby, Stills and Nash
I have three suggestions for parents concerning money:
1. Keep your children from being spoiled rich jerks.
If your child grows up with substantial money, note that money can bring power and security, but it also can bring insecurity. People who are rich never know if someone likes them for who they are or for their money. Many develop the attitude that everyone wants something from them, and they are often right.
There are some steps to making sure that money does not warp them.
Don’t let them have it all at once. Most people spend a lifetime gathering significant wealth. Getting too much, too young, does not give a person the proper perspective.
Make sure they understand it is not easy to come by. Having them earn money, rather than having it given to them, is a good way for them to find out what other people do to feed themselves.
Make sure they know money can do good things. Too many people with inherited wealth spend it trying to impress other people with inherited wealth.
Don’t let them think in terms of a big inheritance. I have seen many young people waste their lives waiting for a rich relative to die and leave them a big lump sum.
Be a good role model. If you give money to charity, your children probably will too. If you volunteer to do things in the community, your children will follow your lead.
If you want to teach your children not to be spoiled, rich jerks, don’t act like one yourself.
2. They don’t teach your children much about money in college.
There are three things a college graduate should know about money: How to make it, how to keep it and how to use it to develop a lifestyle that that will give you long-term happiness.