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How Much Money Do You Make, Mom and Dad?

Do your kids know how much money you make? If not, and they asked, would you feel comfortable telling them?

My hunch is that the most common answer to both these questions is “No.” Talking about money is such a strong taboo that it often keeps us from sharing information about our earnings and net worth even with members of our immediate families.

Yet being honest with children about what we earn and how we spend it is a perfect opportunity to teach them important life lessons about money. Here are a few suggestions to foster those conversations:

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What I Want My Kids to Know About Money

Many parents don’t talk to their kids about money. As a financial planner, I’m an exception to that norm. My kids would be quick to tell you I talk to them about money a lot.

Here are a few of the things I want my kids to know about money.

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Teach Kids About Money With “Intentional Wealth”

When it comes to children and money, it’s my experience that parents from a variety of backgrounds and income levels want the same thing: for their kids to be successful and happy. While families might have different definitions of “success,” the underlying aim is very similar.
A useful resource for helping children build empowered relationships with money is a book called Intentional Wealth, by Courtney Pullen.

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Equal Inheritances Not Always Fair

In estate planning, “equal” isn’t necessarily the same as “fair”. I rarely see an estate plan that does not treat children equally. When I do see inequality, it’s usually because a parent is estranged from one child and leaves him or her nothing.

Dividing an estate into equal shares for each child might seem to be the obvious way to treat children fairly. However, that usually only works if you’ve treated them equally during your lifetime. If you have given more to one child during life, it’s usually smart to level the playing field at death.

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Your Kids – Genetics, Parents, and Money All Matter

The determining factor that may give your kids the best chance in life doesn’t depend solely on genetics, or the decisions you make as a parent, or if you have a lot of money.  It’s actually more complicated than that, according to a study done by the University of Texas and the University of Virginia. According to the study, for poorer parents […]

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