Bank On It, Baby


With preparation, a secure financial future for your child is within reach


By Lynn N. Duke



The nursery is perfectly appointed from the Robeez booties and organic crib blanket in the dresser to the Alexander Henry paint on the walls.


What’s left?


While many parents spend hours planning their baby’s new nest, too few consider their children’s nest egg beyond, perhaps, taking an initial stab at establishing a college fund.


In order to really give their children a solid financial grip on the future, there are several aspects of their own financial lives that parents should make sure are in order.


“Try to do everything along the way to secure your own financial future, not with an eye toward leaving your children a windfall, but so that you can help them along the way -  their first car, college, professional school or whatever their needs may be,” said Theodore E. Hughes, Michigan assistant attorney general for law, retired, and co-author of several books on estate and financial planning.


Estate planning, proper insurance coverage and a solid retirement plan will aid your children’s financial stability in the long term almost as much as it will your own. For parents of children with special needs, maintaining control over these components is even more critical.


And in showing your children that money is a powerful tool that can work for you or against you depending on how it’s managed, you may be providing them with the strongest fiscal tool of all: Respect for money and its uses.


“There’s a saying: Poor people spend their money and save what’s left. Rich people save their money and spend what’s left,” said Deborah Fox, founder of the San Diego-based Fox College Funding, LLC. “Money has its own energy. You need to learn to attract money and to keep money.”


Here are nine steps you can take that will likely translate into a smoother financial future for your children: