As an adult trying to secure your retirement, it’s difficult not to think about your children. Perhaps you want to leave your children money or spend more time with potential grandchildren when you retire.
However, one of the greatest gifts you can give is teaching your kids about money and retirement.
In our most recent podcast, we had the pleasure of having Clifton Corbin on the show. Clifton is the author of Your Kids, Their Money: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Literate Children. He provides us with the information to empower children so that they can start retirement planning at a young age.
If your kids are grown up, you can share this information with your grandkids to help them become financially independent and reach retirement.
What Prompted Clifton to Dedicate His Life to Educating Kids About Money?
Clifton has dedicated his life to educating children about money, and this commitment goes back to his own personal story. As a young person, he was very curious about money and then going to university changed everything.
He made friends, had fun, and then ended up with:
- Credit cards
- Early debt
Looking back at his experience, he decided to learn why he got into so much debt. As someone who had a paper route and lemonade stand, he always had an interest in money, but he never truly learned about debt and managing money at a young age.
After this reflection, he has made a commitment to teaching young people about money and debt and educating young people in ways that they don’t receive in school.
We are firm believers that between K-12, kids need to have financial literacy classes. Far too many kids end up in debt because they really don’t understand debt or how to manage their money properly.
However, while we can’t change the education system on our own, we (and you) can guide children to Clifton’s books and resources, which they can grasp at a very young age.
At What Age Should You Begin Teaching Kids About Money?
Understanding money to its true extent is something that many people don’t grasp until they’re older. However, when kids start to realize and understand that money is something that is traded for goods and services, you can begin teaching them about money.
You can bring your grandchild or child to the store, and when you tap your debit card on the reader or hand over money, it’s a good time to start having early conversations.
Most kids can grasp the basic concept of money at 4 or 5.
At this age, you can begin:
- Roleplaying as a shop owner or even customer who is buying something from your kid’s or grandkid’s imaginary diner.
- Explain basic concepts to children with a focus on fun examples, such as the accumulation of coins or other currency.
We only have a limited amount of time to get these concepts into a child’s mind before they need to use them. You want to teach your children these concepts when the ramifications are still low.
- When your child is still in the safe space of home
- When you can lend your child $5 and teach them that paying back debt is important without creditors knocking on their doors
Essentially, kids need to start learning money management before they actually need to use money management in their lives. You wouldn’t allow your child to get behind the wheel of a car and drive on the highway as their first driving experience.
Instead, you bring your child to a parking lot and help them understand the basics of driving before setting them free.
You want to do the same thing with money.
Teach your kids about money management before they need it so that they can start on the right foot.
When to Teach Each Concept of Money to a Child and at One Age
As someone with children, we know that teaching kids about credit cards and how they work is extremely difficult, even when they are in their teens. Clifton explains that every child and their understanding of money is different.
The hope is that by the time a child becomes a young adult, they will be comfortable managing their money.
When a child gets their first job, they need to know how to put the money they earn to work for them. Children and teens need to learn basic skills, such as:
- Living off of less than they earn
- Putting a percentage of each dollar away for their future
- Saving money for a home
Ideally, a child should learn different concepts of money before they need to use the concept. So, if your child can take out a student loan at 18, they should understand how these loans work before they need to take them out.
The same goes for savings, loans, credit cards and so on.
How Grandparents Can Approach the Talk About Money
Grandparents have a different approach to teaching their grandkids because they often hand them back to their parents and go back to their daily lives. However, grandparents have a wealth of information and guidance that they can share with their grandkids.
Grandparents can share stories of:
- Their first jobs
- Generating wealth
Stories from grandparents help their grandchildren through storytelling because these stories often stick in the child’s mind.
Clifton also shared with us that he may not be the most fun uncle because he puts money into 529 accounts and other savings accounts for his nieces and nephews. However, he shows them their balance every year, and then when they need the money for their higher education, they can use it.
Smart money management and showing kids about savings through your own actions can really help your grandchildren learn about money, compound interest and more.
As a grandparent, you can share:
- Wealth of information
Clifton’s Resources and What Children Can Learn from Them
Clifton has so much information to share, and he has these resources that you can use to teach kids about money. We asked him about these resources and what kids will learn from them:
- Your Kids, Their Money: A Parent’s Guide to Raising Financially Literate Children is a resource book that is written with short stories on managing money, talking to kids about acquiring money, securing money, tax strategies, tax planning and more. This is a book that teaches you how to talk to your child or grandchild about wealth, money and more – in a language that kids understand.
- Workbook is filled with puzzles and activities that you can provide to children to help them learn about money in a way that is fun and exciting to them. Pictures, puzzles and engaging activities fill the workbook, making it something kids actually want to do.
If you want to find the workbook for free, you can click here. The book has fun ways to teach your kids about identifying money, coins, basic money management and more. The book is something we’ve looked through, and it looks like an amazing option for teaching kids about money using puzzles, riddles and more.
You can also find Clifton’s books on Amazon, online book stores, Barnes & Noble and many other locations.
If you would like to receive our book, Get Off of the Retirement Rollercoaster, email firstname.lastname@example.org with a screenshot showing you left a review of our podcast on iTunes for more information.