Teaching your grandkids about money

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It's never too early to learn about money, and grandparents can play an important role in helping grandchildren understand the financial fundamentals.

Before you talk money with your grandkids, however, as with any advice you give them, it's wise to check with their parents first, says Joseph Roseman, the managing partner of the Charlotte, N.C., wealth management firm O'Dell, Winkfield, Roseman & Shipp.

Here, Roseman shares how to talk about money with grandchildren of any age.

Young Children (ages 4 to 7): Talk About It
Whether you're paying for dinner or giving a grandchild a check as a birthday present, ask a simple question along with it: "Where do you think money comes from?"

This can be funny for parents and grandparents because, after all, kids say the darndest things. But it can also give you insights as to what young kids really think about money and then lead to a real talk about it. In the framework of giving a grandchild a check, this can mean talking about where the money behind that check came from. If it's paying for dinner with cash or a credit card, the same principle applies.

Tweens (ages 8 to 12): Give It Away
Introducing grandkids to charity is appropriate at this age, says Roseman, because it teaches children about the importance of dividing their money among different purposes, like spending and saving. They're also old enough to understand and care about where their money goes. If they attend church, this could mean putting their own money in the donation basket on Sunday. If they care about a cause, they can use money to help that cause. For example, animal-loving kids can donate to a shelter.

Teens (13 and up): Stock It
Roseman suggests letting teens buy a stock—and not one someone else chooses for them. "Let them go do the research and pick out something that they like," he says. They can even track the stock on their smartphone. As a result, they'll learn more about investing and the stock market in general. Of course, they'll need help in buying the stock itself, but that's a small hurdle on the way to getting them involved in investing.


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