I had a pretty awesome conversation this morning with my 14 year old daughter about kids and money. We were listening to a news report on NPR’s Morning Edition about the French people’s strike to protest their government raising the retirement age from 60 to 62.
My daughter wanted to know why people retired so late. She thought they retired much younger. I told her that it’s possible if you have the money to retire young but most people can’t retire until much later in life; in their 60s and 70s. I explained that most people are trained, programmed, or conditioned to work a regular job for someone else and often what they make is not enough to retire early.
She caught on to the word “programmed” and gave me a quizzical/worried looked. I could tell she didn’t understand or like the implications of that word. I went on to explain that we are all being programmed to work for someone else. She promptly told me she didn’t want to be programmed, LOL. She wants to be one of those kids that make money now and later in life.
I shared with her that she doesn’t have to be programmed like the majority of the world. She can create a different life for herself. She has to finish high school (she’s attending a science and technology charter school) and learn all she can there. After she graduates she can decide how she will get specialized education. In the meantime I will teach her about money, business, and marketing. I told her that by the time she completes high school she could have tried out at least three businesses.
She is blessed to be in a position to test things out without worrying about bills or other financial obligations. I told her about me selling pound cakes when I was 10 years old, but my parents didn’t know about business or how to coach me so the business could thrive.
We talked about the importance of learning computer and web design skills as well as watching the trends. The most important thing is to find out what people want and will pay for.
Conversations like these make a positive impact on kids. Sharing real world information and practical examples is often more valuable than just sitting in a class room. She sees what I do each day and wants to do the same thing. I’m just glad I’m in a position to give her a very good head start.
So how am I setting my kid up for financial success?
- Let her hear about real world issues and discuss
- Answer her questions in ways she can understand
- Set an example each day through my activities (very little television, setting goals, talking to clients, completing jobs, receiving payment)
- Teach her practical business and financial skills
- Encourage her to learn the things that will be profitable in the future
- Remove the pressure to be perfect
- Allow her to try things out until she finds the thing that works well
Can you apply these steps to your own life? Would it be realistic to begin pointing your kids toward financial success? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!