It’s a difficult thing for any parent to watch their kids grow up and strike out into the world on their own.
When they’re young, we spend countless hours preparing our kids for that inevitable day; we teach them to be good people, help them develop their unique talents, encourage them to study hard and to get good grades.
Parents invest an inordinate amount of time and money in our kids’ futures, but many of them are missing out entirely on one of the most important skills they’ll need to thrive in the world: financial literacy.
“Each of us as adults have to make decisions every day about our financial future: our budget, where to invest, what mortgage to get, whether to take out a loan, and more,” explains Nicky Scott, a Family Enterprise Advisor at Penticton’s Canadian Family Financial. “What are we doing to prepare kids for this inevitable reality?”
Many young people who were supported by their parents growing up step out into the real world and get swamped by the hard reality of budgeting and complex financial decisions.
There are skills that are not really taught in schools, and Scott says that many young people have already built up bad credit from cell phones or credit cards by the time they hit university.
Meanwhile, they often don’t even know what a credit rating is, let alone how to manage their own. Many also struggle to get a handle on how to manage spending.
“When kids aren’t forced to pay close attention to spending growing up, they don’t build good skills around that. Then once they get their own place there’s never enough money at the end of the month,” Scott says.
Without the proper financial education, she says, our kids can easily flounder.
Right now, however, there aren’t many places for young people to learn how to actually manage their finances—especially if parents are busy building a business of their own, or don’t have the skills to effectively pass on sound financial knowledge.
At Canadian Family Financial, Scott works with families to help ensure the younger generations get the proper financial education to set them up for adulthood. That includes everything from helping transition a business from parents to their kids, to educating young adults on basic financial skills and more complex things like managing trusts or inheritances.
She says parents are constantly asking where they can send their kids to help them learn these skills, so Canadian Family Financial designed a program especially for young adults to teach them everything they need to know.
“A lot of people are lost as to where they might even start that process,” she says. “So we’ve made it part of our mission to help them navigate that in a way that’s actually fun and engaging.”
A few simple financial skills can make a huge difference as young person strikes out on their own, Scott says, and be the difference between their overall success or failure.
Scott and the team at Canadian Family Financial also work closely with families navigating the often choppy waters of passing on wealth or a business from the older to younger generation.
There can be a lot of emotion wrapped up in family wealth, and Scott says it’s vital for families to handle it effectively and professionally.
Often, she says, accountants or lawyers provide advice and planning for the current request (for example, an estate freeze), but do not educate the people who are taking on that responsibility in the future.
At Canadian Family Financial they have made family financial education their speciality—the firm is even run by Scott and her mom Kathy Reich—so they aim to make sure all generations are carefully considered in a family’s financial decisions.
Pair that with their experience and qualifications (Reich is a chartered accountant with experience as a tax professional), and Scott says they have all the tools to solidify your legacy.
“We eat and sleep family business, so when we give advice it’s from our personal experience,” she says.
Because what’s more important than making sure our kids thrive after we’re gone?
This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Okanagan Edge.
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