Shopping malls have a plethora of ideas about how you should spend your money to show someone you love them. Here are a few ideas you may not find at the mall, but they will be more meaningful than all the tchachkes you can buy.
One of the most valuable things parents can give their children is a financial education. One way parents can do this is to set up an account for the child funded partially with their money and partially with the child’s money. Have the child be in charge of investing the money. She now has a powerful incentive to learn about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, expense ratios, and other investing topics that she might otherwise find quite boring. It is key that the child’s own money be included so she has a vested interest and doesn’t feel like she is playing with “Monopoly money.”
Grandparents have achieved a well-deserved notoriety for spoiling their grandchildren. One of the most loving things they can do is to help with college funding by contributing to a 529 plan. Grandparents can make large one-time gifts or set up monthly contributions of as low as $25. It may not result in a twinkling in their eyes right now, but the grandkids will greatly appreciate the help when they realize down the road what college costs.
As adults, children can express appreciation to their parents for all they have done by helping them pay for long-term care insurance. The insurance provides a way for children to take care of their parents when they need it most, at a cost that may be substantially lower than if they had to pay for care directly. Long-term care insurance will help the parents live with dignity and as independently as possible.
There are many ways to say “I love you” with money. But only a few gifts are like good investments, resulting in appreciation that grows over time.