Financial Preparations for your Child’s Future
My husband and I always knew we wanted to be able to financially help our daughter pursue her dreams later in life. But honestly, anything that is more complicated than putting money in a bank account or a jar in the back yard, intimidated me. After setting up a little policy here and a savings account there, we felt that at least we had something started but that something was still missing.
This year we finally feel good about the direction we are going. I imagine many parents are in the same boat we were in, so I wanted to tell you a little about our experience and encourage you to take the time to explore your options sooner rather than later. I’ll admit that it’s not quite as fun as exploring the river on your kayak, but it’s a lot easier to save for college when your little one is five opposed to eighteen!
What makes the most difference from how we felt a year ago and how we feel now, is we found a financial adviser that we truly trust. This might be the step that takes you the most time. We did not find our person at our first meeting or even second, but when we found him, it felt right, and we knew and were ready to finally get something going. How do you know where to start? Ask your friends, parents, other family members about their financial advisers. How long have they had their adviser?What do they like or dislike about them? Research options online and read reviews to narrow your choices on who you’d like to visit.
After you’ve narrowed your choices down, set up a meeting with those you are considering. Here are a few qualities I noticed about our investor that can give you an idea of some of the things you may want to note.
- Our investor truly listened to what we were trying to accomplish. He asked questions about US and our goals.
- Our investor is very knowledgeable with many years of experience. He presented different options with simple examples so we could consider the pros and cons of each. He took the time to thoroughly explain how different policies work and answered my same questions over and over until I understood and was able to make the best decision for our family.
- We NEVER felt pressured.
- The fees and commissions were discussed. Industry comparison data was given. This was very helpful and eye-opening.
It feels good to have investments in place for our family. Now it’s on to the most important piece of this puzzle. Building values rather than just her bank account. The values we teach our kids are the biggest investment we can make. No matter the amount of money we can give our children, if they do not know how to save, manage, and budget, it will never be enough.